Texas Holdem Poker is probably the most famous form of poker, where raising is an important part of the game, but not the most important: Imagine you are bluffing a pot with a large bet: whatever your opponent does, you will either be better or worst off (worst if he calls, better if he folds). When someone at that table makes a large bet, you have three options: fold (I don’t want to play these cards), call (I want to see more cards) or raise (I am happy with those cards). Therefore, there are more options in calling/checking than in raising the pot.
Let’s go over some of the betting techniques for playing on the internet:
It’s all about timing.
OK so you are after the big blind, and you call with a mediocre hand (J9). If you really are going to call, leave it a couple of seconds before you call; this might give the impression that you got a great hand, but are devising a strategy for winning big on this pot. Than when the dealer or one of the blinds raise, you can do a super fast all in. that way, it looks like you were just waiting for a player with a hand good enough to call so you could go all in with your fake pair of aces.
Same thing when you are small blind: you have called with a bad hand (78) but still want the money; Give it a few seconds before you check the flop. If the player raises instantly, you can either fold if you think he has a good hand, or go all in, pretending to have a two pair trips. Do not try these techniques more than once a round (every time the button goes round the table) or you will loose big time to people who noticed you are a looser.
Similarly, poker is all about timing, so if you have not had a good hand for a while, raise the pot a fair amount, and place a large bet provided someone is not already doing this.
Calls are my favourite way to make money. Calls allow you to do whatever you want with your opponent if he is speaking before you: if he raises and you call him quickly, he will be put off next round, which is when you bet large if he checks, and raise again if he raises. By that point, if he does not have an amazing hand, he will think you do.
But even more fun, is to have a huge hand (AA, KK, AK, QQ) and calling all along. It can be dangerous to allow players to see cards when you have a pocket pair in case a flush or even two pairs come out, but if there is a strong hand available on the table, you will see it coming with a medium sized raise (1.5-2x the minimum bet).
When you have a flush draw on the flop, meaning you have 4 cards of the same suit and need a fifth one, you have a chance of around ½ of making it (2 times 1 out of 4). This means that you could go all in, but you d have about as many chances of getting it than not, therefore take a long, long time to call instead. This will give your opponent the creeps, whether he raises or not, giving you the edge on the pot.
is annoying, but usually wise. When you play ten players, you usually want to see around 25-30% of the flops, so make sure you only play on your good cards.