When it’s your turn to play, if no one has placed a bet you have two options: Check or Bet.
1. Check – You don’t put any chips in the pot; you wait to see what the other players are doing. You do this for one of the following four reasons – A. you have a weak hand and if someone bets you will fold (you have 5,6 hearts and the flop is Ac, Kc, 3d), B. you have a marginal or drawable hand and if someone bets you will call (you have 5c, 7c and the flop is 2c, 6d, 8s), C. you have a great hand and if someone bets you will raise (you have Ac, 3h and the flop is As, 8s, 3d), or D. you have a weak hand and if someone bets you intend to bluff by raising.
2. Bet – You put chips into the pot. You do this for one of the four following reasons: A. you think you have the best hand and want to make the pot bigger (you have AJ and the flop is 47J), B. you think you have the best hand and want to eliminate the competition (you have Ah, Ks and the flop is Ad, Kd, Jh), C. you bluff with a lousy hand (T8 and the flop is 257), or D. you want to get the respect of the players on the next turn (you have As, 5s and the flop is Ks, Ts, 5h).
If someone has already bet, you have 3 options: fold, call, or raise
1. Fold – You don’t put any chips into the pot, through your cards in, and are no longer a part of this hand. Do this when A. you think you don’t have a good hand (83 and the flop is AQ5), B. you are not getting the right pot odds in order to call the bet (you have 75, the flop is 46A playing heads up and the bet is very big), or C. you think that bluffing would not work in this situation.
2. Call – You put the same amount as the bet into the pot. Do this when A. you have a drawable hand (straight or flush usually) and you are getting good pot odds (you have Kh, Th the flop is Ah, 9d 4h and the bet is relatively small compare with the size of the pot), or B. when you have a great hand and want the other players to call (you have AA and the flop is A, 9, 4).
Raise – You make the bet bigger by putting in more chips than the original bet. The amount you put in the pot should be at least double the original bet. Do this when: A. you have a good hand and you want to eliminate the number of opponents (you have AQ and the flop is Q, 7, 3), or B. if you are going for a bluff.