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Your Option - Betting Options

by Jesse Knight
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Betting Option
Option - An option to check or to raise, granted by rule to each player who has posted.


In flop games as well as in draw games, certain players are required to “post” before the start of the deal. This means that they are required to put up a nominal sum, which goes into the pot before they are dealt any cards, and this amount is typically credited towards a future call after the deal.

There are basically two different situations which can result in a requirement to post. The first situation is that a given player has blind obligations which they must fulfill. In flop games and draw games, blinds are used to seed the pot. In these games, players sitting in certain positions (generally to the left) relative to the button are required to post what are known as “blinds” before the deal begins. These bets are referred to as “blinds,” because they are essentially blind bets, since they are posted before a player receives any cards from the dealer. A player who owes blinds must post them or he will be given a missed blind button and be dealt out until he posts the blinds he owes. The blind obligation rotates in conjunction with the dealer button, so that each player takes their turn paying posting blinds.

The second situation where a player may be required to post, is when they first sit down in the game as a new player. Whether or not new players are required to post is governed by the house rules. Some casinos require that new players post upon entering the game, and some do not. This has more to do with management philosophy than anything else. Some casinos feel that requiring a new player to post upon entering the game is not very player friendly, especially if competing clubs do not require you to post as a new player. It is seen as a courtesy to allow new players into the game for free. The problem with this is that when new players are allowed into the game for free, they will also have a positional advantage over existing players without having ever posted. Many clubs view it as unfair to the existing players to allow someone who has come in off the street to have an unearned advantage over existing players, even if each of those players were given the same courtesy when they were new players. To eliminate the new player advantage, many clubs require all new players to post, or make a blind call, upon entering the game.

So, a player can be required to post either because they have a blind obligation, or because they are a new player in a club that requires new players to post. In either case, the player will have posted before the cards are dealt. Immediately after the cards are dealt, the initial betting round takes place. This betting occurs in clockwise rotation, with each player acting on their hand in turn. Remember that when a player posts, that amount is credited towards a future call. That means that if the pot is unraised, each player who has posted, for whatever reason, has already put enough chips into the pot to call. When it becomes their turn to act, they will have an “option.” This option is the option to check or to raise. By rule, any player who has posted enough to cover the call is afforded an option to check or to raise when it is their turn to act, so long as the pot has not yet been raised. If the pot has already been raised before the action gets to the player who has posted, then that player will not have technically have an “option,” as they are now facing a raise.

When a posting player does have an option, the dealer is obliged to make sure if their intent is to check the option or to raise. The dealer will typically do this by prompting the player by saying “Your option,” or simply “Option?”

Usage: Check Your Option, Option Big Blind, I Have The Option

Previous Poker Term: Offsuit
Next Poker Term: Out

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