Betting in Poker – Part2

At the end of the first completed betting round then, the action has moved from player A (the player on the dealer’s immediate left) to player B then to player C and so on back to player B. The action ends at player B because he is the last to match all of the previous bets and raises. After the betting round there are three players remaining in contention for the pot. They are players B, C and F and they have each contributed £31, including their antes. Player E contributed £11, but has folded giving him no further claim to the money he has already put in the pot, in the same way players A and D have each lost their £1 ante. Therefore at the end of the betting round there is £106 in the pot.
All of this looks complicated on paper, but in reality it is easy to grasp. But be sure you understand how a betting round works, because the same principle applies to all types of poker game.
It is interesting to note that at this stage in the game in the example above, each player has only seen the cards that were dealt to him and can only guess what the other players have. However, there are clues to what a player’s hand is, and these clues are identified in the bets that the player makes. Several tentative conclusions can be drawn just from the bets alone in this betting round. Firstly player A had a poor hand, so he initially checked and when later he was faced with a bet he folded his cards. Player B initially checked but then called’ a bet and a raise and then subsequently-he called a re-raise, so he must have liked his hand to some extent. Player C made the first bet, called a raise and made a re-raise of his own, so again he must have liked the hand, possibly thinking it to be the best hand at this stage. Player D folded at the first opportunity, so he most probably had ‘a very poor hand. Player E called the initial £10 bet but none of the subsequent raises, so it is possible that he considered his hand to be of moderate value. Player F called the initial £10 bet and then raised £10, so he must have liked his hand, but he only called player Cs final re-raise rather than raising again himself, so he may have had doubts about whether his was the best hand at that stage.
After this first betting round player F, the dealer, then asks the remaining players, starting from the one on his left, how many cards they want to change. By the way, in cases where the dealer h~s folded early in the progress of the hand, he would still continue with the job of dealing and controlling the action. Remember it is the dealer’s job not only to deal the cards, but also to control the action. Each player, when asked, tells the dealer how many cards he wants to exchange. This exchange of cards is called the draw. A player can keep the original five cards, or change up to five (some poker schools allow only a maximum of four to be changed). The dealer exchanges his own cards last and announces how many cards he is changing, e.g. ‘dealer takes three’. He makes this announcement so that the other players know how many cards he is exchanging. It is important that every player knows how many cards each other player has exchanged, because this is another way that one gains information on the strength of an opponent’s hand. An extreme example to illustrate this point is to consider a player who decides to change none of his cards. You could make the reasonable assumption here that the player had a strong hand (you might also think it was possible that the player could have a weak hand and intended to bluff – but this sort of consideration is left for later in the book). By contrast a player who changes all five cards at the draw will undoubtedly have a worthless starting hand. The cards are dealt from .the top of the remaining deck, that is, folded cards are not reincorporated as part of the deck. For this reason, usually draw poker games are limited to seven players to avoid running out of cards. The cards that have been folded are put, by the dealer, into a separate pile beside the pot, and near the centre of the table. These cards are collectively known as the discards or colloquially as ‘the muck’. Thus folded cards are said to have been discarded or mucked.

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