In a game with “pocket cards” like Hold’em or Omaha, it is your responsibility to “protect your own cards”.This confusing phrase really means “put a chip on your cards”.

If your cards are just sitting out in the open, you are subject to two possible disasters:

First, the dealer may scoop them up in a blink because to leave one’s cards unprotected is a signal that you are folding.

Second, another player’s cards may happen to touch yours as they fold, disqualifying your hand and your interest in the pot.

Along the same lines, when you turn your cards face up at the showdown, be careful not to lose control of your cards. If one of them falls off the table or lands face-down among the discards your hand will be dead, even if that card is not used to make your hand.

Accidentally Checking

In some fast-paced games, a moment of inaction when it is your turn to act may be interpreted as a check.

Usually, a verbal declaration or rapping one’s Judi Bola hand on the table is required, but many players are impatient and will assume your pause is a check. If you need more than a second to decide what to do, call “Time!” to stop the action. While you decide, don’t tap your fingers nervously; that is a clear check signal and will be considered binding.

String Bets

A “string bet” is a bet that initially looks like a call, but then turns out to be a raise.

Once your hand has put some chips out, you may not go back to your stack to get more chips and increase the size of your bet, unless you verbally declared the size of your bet at the beginning.

If you always declare “call” or “raise” as you bet, you will be immune to this problem.

Note that a verbal declaration in turn is binding, so a verbal string bet is possible and also prohibited.

That means you cannot say “I call your $5, and raise you another $5!” Once you have said you call, that’s it. The rest of the sentence is irrelevant. You can’t raise.

One Chip Rule

In some card-rooms, the chip denominations and game stakes are inappropriate.

For example, a $3-$6 game might use $1 and $5 chips, instead of the more sensible $3 chip.

The one-chip rule says that using a large-denomination chip is just a call, even though the chip may be big enough to cover a raise.

If you don’t have exact change, it is best to verbally state your action when throwing that large chip into the pot.

For example, suppose you are playing in a $1-$5 spread-limit game, the bet is $2 to you, and you have only $5 chips. Silently tossing a $5 chip out means you call the $2 bet.

If you want to raise to $4 or $5, you must say so before your chip hits the felt.

Whatever your action, the dealer will make any required change at the end of the betting round. Don’t make change for yourself out of the pot.



Raising Forever


In a game like Hold’em, it is possible to know that you hold “the nuts” and cannot be beaten.


If this happens when all the cards are out and you get in a raising war with someone, don’t stop!


Raise until one of you runs out of chips. If there is the possibility of a tie, the rest of the table may clamor for you to call, since you “obviously” both have the same hand. Ignore the rabble. You’ll be surprised how many of your opponents turn out to be bona fide idiots.