Each type of Hold'em (Limit, Pot Limit, or No Limit) has its own particularity of raises. If you play online, you don't really need to pay attention and make sure you understand how they work because the software will guide you. But if you are playing in a casino, you want to make sure that you are following the correct betting and raise procedure
To be as clear as possible, we'll take an example for each Hold'em variant and explain, step by step, the possible options for bets and raises.
Let's say you're at a Limit Hold'em table with blinds of $1/2. The €1 is the amount that the small blind will have to pay blind, necessarily, without seeing his cards, and the €2 is the amount that the big blind will have to put in front of him before seeing his cards
One rule applies to all types of Hold'em; you move on to the next round of betting when all players have put the same bet on the table. If a player bets and no one wants to call that bet, the bettor wins the default prize pool
In our example above, the minimum bet to continue is the highest bet, $2. Each player who wants to go to a flop, will have to put in a minimum bet of €2. If he pays the minimum bet without raising, he will be called a "limp". The English word is often used which literally means "crawl" and no French translation of this concept has been proposed so far
But a player may also raise if he wishes to. The first player to speak preflop (the position called Under The Gun) will therefore have 3 options: fold at a cost of $0 and wait for the next hand, limp at a cost of $2, or raise at $4. In Limit Hold'em, the raise options are much stricter than in other variations. You raise the size of a big blind. You can raise no less and no more
If the first player to talk raises to $4, then all players at the table must also have $4 on the table to move on to the next round. The player who speaks second may raise as well, in this case to $6. If he raises to $6, the 3rd talker will have the option to fold, pay $6 to see a flop or raise to $8. If he decides to raise to €8, this raise will be called a cap, which is the maximum raise for the pre-flop round. If a raise in Hold'em is 4 times the size of the big blind, it can't go higher. If the first player to talk who raised to €4 doesn't want to pay the extra €4 to call the bet, he will forfeit his €4 which will be in the main pot between all the players who called the €8 bet. Refusal to pay a raise forces us to forfeit the money we have already invested in the pot
At the flop, the principle is the same. The action starts from the beginning and the first player to speak in the hand will have 2 options; pass (a game that means "bet $0" if you want to) or bet $2. Again, his bet is a forced bet. All players will still have the freedom to call that bet or raise and raise again up to €8 (the 4th cap bet)
For action on the turn, the principle remains the same as pre-flop and flop, except that the bets will be doubled. In other words, the minimum bet will no longer be €2, but €4. And the minimum raise in this case will always be equal to the previous raise, so €4. If preflop and at the flop the raise could reach a cap of 8€, as far as the turn and the river are concerned, the maximum raise will be up to 16€ and the minimum bet will be 4€
In short, for the river, we play it exactly like the turn.
Pot Limit Hold'em
The pot limit variation gives us more freedom in our betting. To use the example from the game above with €1/2 blinds, if I'm first to talk, I can either fold, limp (put in €2) or raise. For my raise, I will have a minimum bet that will always be equal to the previous raise and a maximum bet that will be the pot. So, in this example, I will be able to raise to a total of €4 (the previous raise is the big blind which is €2 of which €2+€2 = raise to €4) and €5
Why $5? Because I can raise from the pot, which is $3, but in order to raise, I also have to put in my minimum bet of $2. So by increasing my bet total to $5, it's like saying I pay the minimum bet of $2 and raise the size of the pot (+3). So I can raise to $5. The same rule will apply for subsequent players. The maximum raise in Pot Limit Hold'em will be equal to the total amount in the pot plus the total bets on the table plus the amount the active player must call before raising. In other words, he has to match what has already been bet before raising. Players will be able to raise without cap in Pot Limit and only the size of the stack will be a limit to the amount that can be bet. When a player is all in (all those chips in the middle of the table), he automatically has the right to go to the bust. However, his cards must remain hidden until the end of the betting rounds
No-Limit Hold 'em
The operation of no-limit Hold'em betting is probably the easiest to understand. To use our example above, the first player to speak will also be able to fold, raise to $2, raise minimally to $4 (the minimum raise always remains the same as the previous raise), or more. He will be able to raise to $4, $5 or $200 if his stack allows it. His maximum bet is no longer determined by the size of the pot as in Pot Limit Hold'em, but by the size of his stack. Of course, as in other variations, players will have to have bet the same amount of money in one round of betting to move on to the next round of betting. If a player does not pay a bet, in any round of betting, he loses the money he has already invested in the pot