Procedure

Open The act of making the first voluntary bet in a betting round is called opening the round. On the first betting round, it is also called opening the pot, though in variants where blind bets are common, the blind bets "open" and other players call and/or raise the "big blind" bet. Some poker variations have special rules about opening a round that may not apply to other bets. For example, a game may have a betting structure that specifies different allowable amounts for opening than for other bets, or may require a player to hold certain cards (such as "Jacks or better") to open. [edit]Call To call is to match a bet or match a raise. A betting round ends when all active players have bet an equal amount or no opponents call a player's bet or raise. If no opponents call a player's bet or raise, the player wins the pot. The second and subsequent calls of a particular bet amount are sometimes called overcalls. This term is also sometimes used to describe a call made by a player who has put money in the pot for this round already. A player calling a raise before he or she has invested money in the pot in that round is cold calling. For example, if in a betting round, Alice bets, Bob raises, and Carol calls, Carol "calls two bets cold". A player calling instead of raising with a strong hand is smooth calling or flat calling, a form of slow play. Calling when a player thinks he does not have the best hand is called a crying call. In public cardrooms and casinos where verbal declarations are binding, the word "call" is such a declaration. In public card rooms, the practice of saying "I call, and raise $100" is considered a string raise and is not allowed. Saying "I call" commits the player to the action of calling, and only calling. Note that the verb "see" can often be used instead of "call": "Bob saw Carol's bet", although the latter can also be used with the bettor as the object: "I'll see you" means 'I will call your bet'. However, terms such as "overseeing" and "cold seeing" are not valid. [edit]Check If no one has yet opened the betting round, a player may pass or check, which is equivalent to calling the current bet of zero. When checking, a player declines to make a bet; this indicates that he does not wish to open, but does wish to keep his cards and retain the right to call or raise later in the same round if an opponent opens. In games played with blinds, players may not check on the opening round because the blinds are live bets and must be called or raised to remain in the hand. A player who has posted the big blind has the right to raise on the first round, called the option, if no other player has raised; if he declines to raise he is said to check his option. If all players check, the betting round is over with no additional money placed in the pot (often called a free round o free card). A common way to signify checking is to tap the table, either with a fist, knuckles or an open hand. [edit]Raise To raise is to increase the size of the bet required to stay in the pot, forcing all subsequent players to call the new amount if they wish to remain in. If the current bet amount is nothing, this action is considered the opening bet. A player making the second (not counting the open) or subsequent raise of a betting round is said to re-raise. Standard poker rules require that raises must be at least equal to the amount of the previous bet or raise. For example, if an opponent bets $5, a player may raise by another $5 (or more), but he may not raise by only $2. The primary purpose of the minimum raise rule is to avoid game delays caused by "nuisance" raises (small raises of large bets, such as an extra $1 over a current bet of $50, that have little effect on the action but take time as all others must call). This rule is overridden by table stakes rules, so that a player may in fact raise a $5 bet by $2 if that $2 is his entire remaining stake. In most casinos, fixed-limit and spread-limit games cap the total number of raises allowed in a single betting round (typically three or four, not including the opening bet of a round). For example in a casino with a three-raise rule, if one player opens the betting for $5, the next raises by $5 making it $10, a third player raises another $5, and a fourth player raises $5 again making the current bet $20, the betting is said to be capped at that point, and no further raises beyond the $20 level will be allowed on that round. It is common to suspend this rule when there are only two players betting in the round (called being heads-up), since either player can call the last raise if they wish. Pot-limit and no-limit games do not have a limit on the number of raises. If, because of opening or raising, there is an amount bet that the player in-turn has not paid, the player must at least match that amount, or must fold; the player cannot pass or call a lesser amount (except where table stakes rules apply). [edit]Fold To fold is to discard one's hand and forfeit interest in the current pot. No further bets are required by the folding player, but the player cannot win. Folding may be indicated verbally or by discarding one's hand face down into the pile of other discards called the muck, or into the pot (uncommon). For this reason it is also called mucking. In stud poker played in the United States, it is customary to signal folding by turning all of one's cards face down. Once a person indicates a fold or states I fold, that person cannot re-enter the hand. In casinos in the United Kingdom, a player folds by giving his hand as is to the "house" dealer, who spreads the cards face up for the other players to see before mucking them.