Betting

In the game of poker, the play largely centers on the act of betting, and as such, a protocol has been developed to speed up play, lessen confusion, and increase security while playing. Different games are played using different types of bets, and small variations in etiquette exist between cardrooms, but for the most part the following rules and protocol are observed by the majority of poker players. Players in a poker game act in turn, in clockwise rotation (acting out of turn can negatively affect other players). When it is a player's turn to act, the first verbal declaration or action he takes binds him to his choice of action; this rule prevents a player from changing his action after seeing how other players react to his initial, verbal action. Until the first bet is made each player in turn may "check," which is to not place a bet, or "open," which is to make the first bet. After the first bet each player may "fold," which is to drop out of the hand losing any bets they have already made; "call," which is to match the highest bet so far made; or "raise," which is to increase the previous high bet. A player may fold by surrendering his cards. (Some games may have specific rules regarding how to fold: for example in stud poker one must turn one's upcards face down.) A player may check by tapping the table or making any similar motion. All other bets are made by placing chips in front of the player, but not directly into the pot ("splashing the pot" prevents other players from verifying the bet amount). The pot in poker refers to the sum of money that players wager during a single hand or game, according to the betting rules of the variant being played. It is likely that the word "pot" is related to or derived from the word "jackpot." At the conclusion of a hand, either by all but one player folding, or by showdown, the pot is won or shared by the player or players holding the winning cards. Sometimes a pot can be split bet een many players. This is particularly true in high-low games where not only the highest hand can win, but under appropriate conditions, the lowest hand will win a share of the pot. See "all in" for more information about side pots. In poker, the showdown is a situation when, if more than one player remains after the last betting round, remaining players expose and compare their hands to determine the winner or winners. To win any part of a pot if more than one player has a hand, a player must show all of his cards faceup on the table, whether they were used in the final hand played or not. Cards speak for themselves: the actual value of a player's hand prevails in the event a player mis-states the value of his hand. Because exposing a losing hand gives information to an opponent, players may be reluctant to expose their hands until after their opponents have done so and will muck their losing hands without exposing them. Robert's Rules of Poker state that the last player to take aggressive action by a bet or raise is the first to show the hand—unless everyone checks (or is all-in) on the last round of betting, then the first player to the left of the dealer button is the first to show the hand.[1] If there is a side pot, players involved in the side pot should show their hands before anyone who is all-in for only the main pot.[1] To speed up the game, a player holding a probable winner is encouraged to show the hand without delay. Any player who has been dealt in may request to see any hand that is eligible to participate in the showdown, even if the hand has been mucked. This option is generally only used when a player suspects collusion or some other sort of cheating by other players. When the privilege is abused by a player (i.e. the player does not suspect cheating, but asks to see the cards just to get insight on another player's style or betting patterns), he may be warned by the dealer, or even removed from the table.[1]