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Updated: May 10, 2024
Poker action

Poker Actions – What Are Call, Bet, Check, Raise And Fold

The world of poker is vast, but when you’re starting as a poker player, you need to understand the basics well. There are four very basic but very important actions that all poker players perform during the game: check, call, raise, and fold. Through the four rounds of poker action, these moves will determine whether you stand to win or lose a game.

Players looking to go pro in poker game will go into the depths of understanding poker hands, rounds, objectives of the game, actions in poker, and more. In this blog, we will go into the depths of the various poker actions.

Poker Actions

Once you have a hang of the basics of poker, like different rounds, variants, blinds, poker hand rankings, and more, it is time to play. The focus now turns to the different actions that a player performs while playing the game of poker.

There are four main actions that happen during a hand of poker: check, call, raise and fold. We will explain each of these actions and how you can perform them well.

Importance of Poker Actions

The difference between playing good poker and bad poker is understanding what actions to take and when to take them during the game. Taking the right actions during the game can help raise profits or increase your chances of winning the pot.

Pro players understand that even if you have weak cards, you can bluff your way to increasing the pot size or making the others fold. They do so by raising or calling your bets and thereby forcing other players to make more contributions to the pot size.

Players who have strong hands might want to hide that from their opponents by checking and only calling if the other players have made a bet. This is also a strong strategy, known as fishing.

So, knowing when to check, call, raise, or fold is important to the strategy of all poker players.

What is the Meaning of Call in Poker?

The action of matching the exact bet amount made by a player during a game of poker is known as ‘Call’. If a player has made a bet and no one has proceeded to ‘Call, then the hand ends and the player who made the initial bet wins.

If people call each other and the game moves to the final round, or ‘River’ and Player 1 bets while Player 2 calls him, this leads to the showdown. During the showdown, all cards are displayed, and the best 5-card combination wins.

Rules for Poker Call

  • If a player makes a ‘Call’ action in poker, it means matching the exact bet made by the previous player and those chips to the pot.
  • The difference between ‘Call’ and ‘Check’ in poker is that when a player ‘Calls’ he has to add chips to the pot, and if they ‘Check’ then no chips are added.
  • A player should usually ‘Call’ when they are uncertain about the strength of their hole cards or are waiting to see what opens on the community cards.
  • If you have raised and your opponent ‘Calls’ and you have better cards, then you win more money.
  • If you have raised and your opponent folds instead of calling, then you only win the amount you raised.

What is the Meaning of Check in Poker?

‘Check’ is the action all players take when they want to pass the move to the next player without folding or dropping out of the game. This action can only be performed if the big blind amount hasn’t been raised.

The action of ‘Checking’ in a physical game of poker is done by tapping on the table. In a digital poker app like Pocket52, you can ‘Check’ by clicking on the button of the same name. This is a good action to use when you want to stay in the game without raising before others do.

Rules for Check in Poker

  • One of the main rules of ‘Check’ in poker is that players don’t need to add anymore chips to the pot after the small and big blinds have been played, unless there is a raise.
  • ‘Checking’ in poker is a good way to evaluate the possible strength of your opponent’s cards. It also lets the player sometimes go through the rounds without adding any chips to the pot.
  • ‘Check’ is a good option when you are trying to bait the opponents or when you’ve got weaker cards. But, checking with strong cards is a bad action in poker, you should always raise or re-raise to increase the pot.
  • Players apply the ‘Check’ option if they are waiting for more cards to open on the table to complete their best 5-card combination.

What is the Meaning of Raise and Fold in poker?

A player will usually go for a ‘Raise’ when they want to increase their initial bet. This is done to either bluff the strength of the cards you’re holding and straightaway force opponents to fold or when you’re trying to raise the pot amount.

Performing the action of ‘Fold’ means quitting the current hand or round of poker. This is usually done by players when they feel they don’t have strong enough hole cards to play with. Players will most likely ‘Fold’ before the flop opens; subsequently, they will also fold if they feel they no longer hold the upper hand after community cards start opening up.

Rules and Regulations for Poker Raise

  • ‘Raise’ means a player has to put in more chips or money into the pot than the big blind. 
  • Raising is usually done to increase the pot value or to bluff and make your opponent fold.
  • A re-raise is done after an opponent has already raised a certain amount. This is to make that opponent fold or make him bet even more, considering that you’ve got stronger cards.
  • If a player has raised and no one else matches the raised amount of chips then that player automatically wins the hand and the pot. They don’t have to show their cards, either.

Rules and Regulations of Poker Fold

  • ‘Fold’ is an action that players should only perform if they feel they have weak hole cards to start with. 
  • ‘Fold’ should be performed cautiously, so as not to waste chips. The best use case is when you’re the big blind in the game and you’re already forced to put that amount in the pot. It is better to ‘Check’ than to ‘Fold’ if no one else has raised; that way, you get to see the flop.
  • It is also the best option to use, when you don’t want to bleed any more chips in a round of poker.

What is the Meaning of Bet in Poker?

‘Bet’ is an action taken by a player when they want to be the first to increase the pot. This is done by placing more chips than the value of the big blind in the pot. Once a player has ‘Bet’, the others can now call, raise, fold, or re-raise that amount.

Again, a player performs the first ‘Bet’ only if they feel they have strong hole cards to start with or they are bluffing with weaker cards. If they are bluffing with weaker cards, they will usually do this pre-flop.

Rules and Regulations in Poker Bet

  • In No Limit Hold’em poker there are no limits on betting. You can bet the entire stack of chips you have, this is called going ‘All-In’. 
  • During betting, the big blind acts as the minimum bet size that a player must match and go beyond.
  • Players will usually bet or raise depending on where they are positioned after the dealer. The number of betting rounds depends on the variant of poker that is being played.

Poker Check vs Call Comparison

Check Call
Performed when you want to pass the move to the next player. Performed when you want to match the bet made by the previous player.
No chips are added to the pot. Chips are added to the pot, increasing the value.
Checking means postponing the chance to bet or raise for one more round. The call is to match the bet and make the next community card open.


1. What is Check in poker?

‘Check’ is the action of passing on the move to the next player without folding or dropping out of the game. It can only be performed if no one has bet a higher amount yet.

2. What is a Call in poker?

‘Call’ is the action of matching a bet placed by the previous player. This is done to keep the round moving, and seeing the next card among the community cards, or forcing the opponent to a showdown if it is the ‘River’ round.

3. When can you Check in poker?

‘Check’ can be performed only if the previous players haven’t bet a bigger amount or raised the big blind.

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