On a poker table you have four option available to you on how to play when it comes to your turn. You may fold, check, call or raise.  Unless you are playing a limit game, in which the amount of the bet is predetermined by what level of stakes you are playing, poker betting is not just a matter of throwing a few chips into the pot. You should think about how you want to bet based on how your opponents are playing.

For example, you’re on a nine handed poker table, in mid-late position, and are dealt a couple of middle connectors. There has been no flop yet, and the person sitting under the gun, (UTG) bets three times the big blind. There are a few things you should take into consideration in this position.

  • Is your opponent a good poker player? If you have had time to study how they play, you should be able to make an informed decision on how to play your hand by the way they play. If they are a strong player, then they are probably holding a very strong hand, pocket kings or aces, and you should almost definitely fold.
  • How large is your stack? If you’re playing a tournament, and have managed to accumulate a rather large stack of chips, then it may be ok to call and see the flop.
  • Have any other players before you called the bet, and if so, are they skilled poker players? If a skilled poker player calls a UTG raise, you can be sure they have a strong starting hand, or at very least a strong ace in the hole. In this case, it is probably best that you fold.

Once you have answered these questions in this poker guide, you can make an informed decision on how to proceed. More often than not it is probably a good idea to fold to an UTG raise of any amount- keeping in mind that this depends on the skill of the player making the original bet of course. However, in most cases, somebody putting out any bet from early position has a strong hand, and there are better situations to be in during a poker game than spending the whole hand trying to catch up to a player who had a hand before there was even a flop.


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