So, how do you bet? Poker is, after all, a gambling game. In most games, you must 'ante' something (amount varies by game, our games are typically a nickel), just to get dealt cards. After that players bet into the pot in the middle. At the end of the hand, the highest hand (that hasn't folded) wins the pot. Basically, when betting gets around to you (betting is typically done in clockwise order), you have one of three choices:
When you call, you bet enough to match what has been bet since the last time you bet (for instance, if you bet a dime last time, and someone else bet a quarter, you would owe fifteen cents).
When you raise, you first bet enough to match what has been bet since the last time you bet (as in calling), then you 'raise' the bet another amount (up to you, but there is typically a limit.) Continuing the above example, if you had bet a dime, the other person raised you fifteen cents (up to a quarter), you might raise a quarter (up to fifty cents). Since you owed the pot 15 cents for calling and 25 for your raise, you would put 40 cents into the pot.
When you fold, you drop out of the current hand (losing any possibility of winning the pot), but you don't have to put any money into the pot.
Betting continues until everyone calls or folds after a raise or initial bet.
When a player wishes to call a bet or does not have enough funds to do so, the player can remain in the game by going all-in (betting all their remaining money). The player will take no further action in the hand but will still be eligible to win the share of the pot up to and including their last contribution.
Whether you are playing a cash game or a tournament, there are different ways to play relating to how much you can bet during a hand. Standard poker rules require that raises must be at least equal to the amount of the previous bet or raise.