The game of Texas Hold em requires two forced bets (per round) called the big blind and small blind. When the betting comes around to you in a clockwise sequence, you have one of four choices:
1. Bet - When you are "under the gun," you place an amount of chips equal to the big blind. This goes into the pot.
2. Call - Calling is matching the the amount of the prior bet.
3. Raise - To call a raise requires you first match what another player bet. Afterward you can "raise" to whatever amount you choose.
4. Fold - To fold is simply dropping out of a hand. Nothing to win. Nothing to lose.
When you sit down at the poker table, you will quickly observe there are two extreme bettors.
1. Manic - The Maniac pushes the action, whether he has a hand or not. At first, the Maniac is quick to double or triple his chip stack. For all that, the need for action often leaves the Maniac knocked out of sit and go's or refilling his bankroll.
2. Passive - The Rock often checks or calls and never raises unless he possesses a monster hand. Due to his passiveness, the Rock constantly loses chips and is in the long run out of the tournament and having to refill his account.
Texas Hold em betting is not just throwing chips into the pot, or paying to see the flop. Actually, there is a strategy, which should be involved. David Sklansky said there are five reasons why you place a bet:
1. You want to get more chips in the pot.
2. You want to drive other players out.
3. You want to bluff (or semi-bluff).
4. You want to get a free card.
5. You want to gain information on the other player (s).
Here are five poker betting strategies you can use to improve your Texas holdem poker play.
1. Value Bet: With the value bet, you are proding for information. The feeler bet will always let you know where you stand in the hand. If you never bet, you will never know what your opponents are holding. It is for this purpose you use it to get a "feel" for the strength of your hand also the strength of your opponents hand.
2. Stealing the Blinds: A strategy worth expanding in poker is taking down uncontested blinds and pots! Stealing the blinds over time will win you more money than you will lose. There some things you should give thought to before you start stealing the blinds is the caliber of players at the table, your own table image, sensing weakness at the table and the size of the bet.
3. Check Raise: This is also known as trapping. The check raise works by acting weak in hopes of hiding your strength. With any luck, this will induce a bluff or at least a misinformed bet from your opponent to get him to put his chips to the pot.
4. Continuation Bet: Representing the Flop is showing strength before the flop, most often with over cards. Oftentimes you will miss the flop, but continue to show strength through betting, as if you have a real hand. The secret to successfully pulling off the continuation bet is to narrow your opponents down to one or two at the most. Here is the rule of representing the flop: If you make a pre-flop raise, you must bet after the flop. Period. This includes when you do not hit your cards. Do not be one of those morons who raises with Big Slick before the flop...only to check after the flop when it comes out garbage. Players who do that are faint of heart.
5. Squeezing: You squeeze when you believe someone is on a flush or straight draw but does not have it. Raising in this situation may keep the player from staying in the hand, not wanting to put at risk his stack on the likelihood of missing his straight or flush. Watch out, unless you already have a strong hand, this type of texas holdem betting strategy could boomerang.
Try putting into practice these five Hold'em betting strategies and watch your Holdem game improve.