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Every poker player has five options to choose from when it's their turn to act in a betting round.
If a player doesn't feel their holding is strong and doesn't want to continue in the hand, they can elect to 'fold' and throw their cards away. This player will be dealt into the next hand.
Note: If there is no bet to call then it's always advisable to 'check' instead of folding. Even if you don't feel you have a strong card, the next card could change that!
When no-one acting before the player has bet anything, the player can 'bet'. As the name suggests, bets aren't limited in No Limit Hold'em. As long as the best is at least the size of the 'Big Blind' the player can bet their entire stack at anytime.
After a bet has been made anyone who wishes to continue playing in the hand must either match your bet or raise. If other players are not prepared to match the bet, the only option left for them is to fold.
In a situation where a player bets all their chips, the player is deemed to be 'all in'. Once all in, the player cannot do anything more, but also cannot be forced to fold.
If a player is facing a bet they have the option to raise.
For example if you are facing a bet of $10 you might consider raising to $30. This will make your opponent re-evaluate their hand. If they're not prepared to match or raise your raise, they have to fold.
If a player is facing a bet they have the option to call.
For example if you are facing a bet of $10 you might consider matching it and calling. By calling you're ensuring you stay in the hand for the time being.
If you are not facing a bet, then you can check. To check is to simply pass the action onto the next player.
When is it Your Turn?
It is important to understand when it is your turn to act. There are a couple of simple rules to understand regarding this.
In the first round of betting the player to the left of the Big Blind is first to act. This is because both the blinds are deemed to have acted. The action moves clockwise with each player electing to: call the big blind, raise or fold. If there has been no raise the action for the round ends with the Big Blind who can either check or raise.
In all later rounds of betting (Flop, Turn & River) action continues to move clockwise, but starts with the small blind and ends with the 'dealer' or 'button'.
Best Five Card Hand Wins
There are a total of seven cards that can be used to make a poker hand: Two hole cards & Five community cards.
Players can use any combination of their hole cards and the community cards to make their best five card poker hand. In some instances a player's best five card hand will be comprised of just the community cards and in others they will maybe only use one hole card and four community cards.
Player one uses both of his hole cards together with three community cards to make the best possible five card hand he can, a full house. The best hand player two can make is an Ace High Flush. See all Poker Hand Rankings.
If you're still having difficulty learning how to play, please watch our how to play poker beginner training video.
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