Poker Betting Structures
Any poker player will tell you a little luck is a part of every poker game. But there is more involved than just luck. A big part of playing successful poker is to know when to place a bet, to check or to move all of your chips in the middle. Fully understanding the betting structure of a poker game is a key to both your success in it and enjoyment of it, regardless of how the cards might fall.
Different forms of Poker
There are many different forms of poker, although Texas Hold ‘em could well be claimed to be the most popular form of all poker games. Pot Limit Omaha and Seven Card Stud are just two of the more common variations that are also very popular both in casinos and in online poker rooms. These poker variations have several different betting structures and also to provide enjoyable poker playing opportunities for players of all financial means. If you are a small stakes player then fixed and spread-limit games will suit you best, whereas the more adventurous gamblers may be drawn to pot-limit and no-limit poker games, with potentially greater rewards. But beware: These games, especially the no limit games, also have a high risk of ruin.
Fixed limit Poker is very popular online in casinos. Also in home games a limit betting structure makes a lot sense because it’s very easy to understand. All bets are fixed at betting levels, which can usually be doubled in the latter rounds of betting. So a 10-20 fixed limit game would signify a minimum bet of 10 chips before and on the flop with maximum bets of 20 chips at the turn and river. Being a good and patient limit player will guarantee you success in cash games and poker tournaments.
Games with spread limit structures
The rules of spread limit games are quite easy too. A minimum and maximum bet is specified and players can then choose to make a bet or raise between the two figures at any time they want. So in a 25 - 50 spread limit poker game you can place a bet from 25 up to 50 chips as you wish. However, if you are a tighter player when it comes to betting, be wary of games that have something like spread-limit 10/20/50/100. This would be a game where the first betting rounds have a minimum bet of 10 chips and maximum bet 20 chips. But on the turn and the river you will have to bet at least 50 and 100 chips.
The Pot-limit betting structure
This can be an expensive game for beginners, but pot limit is the game experienced and professional players will look for, especially if against fish. If you’re still learning the game of poker this betting structure is best steered clear of as - not only do you need to be thinking about your cards but you’ll also need to be constantly knowing how big the pot is. The reason for this is that the maximum bet in pot limit is limited by the size of the pot. Pot-limit can be likened to a fixed-limit game - providing you understand that at any time a player can bet or raise up to the amount currently already in the pot. The big edge for the professional comes from the fact that beginners are not able to protect their good hands with an all-in move against speculative drawing hands.
The Cadillac of Poker – No Limit Games
When you plan to play in one of the bigger poker tournaments, make sure you know how to play No Limit, especially No Limit Holdem. No Limit is the most common betting structure in use, both in casino and online poker tournaments. It is easy: The maximum bet is only limited by the number of chips in front of you on the table. The minimum bet is defined by the big blind. Here you need to be very sure that your bet is not just a strong one but also a measured one, or you could quickly find yourself out of the game by being all-in to fast. It’s not the best idea to make big bluffs without knowing the tendencies of your opponents very well. This could lead very fast to a situation where you can lose a lot of chips with a marginal hand. A simple rule for playing no limit games is: Small Hand – Small Pot, Big Hand - Big Pot. Follow that simple rule and you will be fine.