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What Does It Mean To Check In Poker?

What Does It Mean To Check In Poker?

If you play poker, you'll likely have come across some common terms that are important to understand. One of these terms is "check". 

In poker, checking means choosing not to bet when it's your turn. It keeps you in the game without putting any more money into the pot. Checking is only possible if no one has made a bet in the current round. It's a way to see what others do before making your next move. 

Understanding when and why to check can make a big difference in your poker strategy. In this article, we'll explore what checking means and how it fits into the game. 

Can You Check As Many Times As You Want In Poker?

In poker, you can check multiple times, but there are some important rules to remember. 

You can only check if no one has bet during the current betting round. If a player before you places a bet, you have to either call, raise, or fold. 

Each hand of poker has different betting rounds, such as after the initial deal or after certain community cards are revealed. During these rounds, as long as nobody bets, you and other players can keep checking. 

However, once someone places a bet, the option to check is no longer available for that round. You must choose another action as explained above. 

Keep these rules in mind when deciding to check, as they can help you navigate your poker game effectively. 

How Is Check Different From Call In Poker?

Check and call are two of the main moves a player can make in poker, and understanding the difference between them is a foundational piece of knowledge for playing poker. In this section, we'll outline the differences between the two. 


A check in poker means that you choose not to bet when it's your turn. It's like saying "pass" but staying in the game. 

You can only check if no one has bet before you in the current round. Checking lets you see what other players will do without risking any more money. Essentially, you are choosing to stay in the game but not to be the player to initiate betting this round. 


A call, on the other hand, is when you match the current highest bet made in that round. 

If someone before you has placed a bet, you have to at least call to stay in the game. This means you put in an amount equal to the highest bet. Calling keeps you in the hand and allows you to see the next card or round. 

In summary, checking costs nothing and is only possible if no one has bet so far in the round while calling requires you to match the current bet amount to stay in the game. 

When To Check In Poker

Knowing when to check in poker can help improve your game. Here are some common situations where you might consider checking: 

No One Has Bet

If no one has bet before you in the current round, you can check to stay in the game without adding more money to the pot. This lets you see how other players act before making your move. 

Weak Hand

If you have a weak hand that you don't want to bet on, checking can help you stay in the game without placing a bet. It can allow you to see more cards or decide your next steps based on how others bet. 

Strong Hand

Sometimes, even with a strong hand, you might want to check. This can trick your opponents into thinking your hand isn't strong, encouraging them to bet. You can then raise in later rounds to build the pot. 

Free Card

Checking can also get you a "free card". If everyone else checks, you get to see the next card without having to bet. This can be especially useful if you feel you need more information on how your hand may play out before deciding on how to proceed. Who knows? You may just need one card to complete a strong hand, or you may see no improvement and decide this round isn't for you. 

By understanding when to check, you can make more informed decisions and develop your skills and strategy as a poker player. 

Can You Raise After You Check In a Poker Game?

Yes, you can raise after you check, but there's a condition. 

When you check, you're choosing not to bet and passing the action to the next player. If another player then places a bet in the same round, you have the option to call, raise or fold when the action comes back to you. 

For example, if you check and the next player bets, you can then decide to raise the amount from the current bet. This is known as a "check-raise". 

A check-raise can be a powerful move. It can confuse your opponents and potentially increase the amount of money in the pot if they decide to call your raise. 

So, while you can't raise immediately after checking (i.e. in the same exact turn), you can raise in the same round if someone else bets after your check and it circles back around to you. 

Check In The Dark Meaning

"Check in the dark" is a term you might hear in poker. It refers to a specific type of check. 

If you check in the dark, you make your decision to check before seeing the next card or before any new betting round starts. 

This means you're choosing not to bet without any additional information that other players will see after the new card is revealed. 

Checking in the dark can be a risky move because you're making a decision with incomplete information. However, it can also be a strategic play to force your opponent to make the first decision based on the new card, which can help to keep your opponents guessing about your hand. 

It's not a common tactic, but understanding it adds another layer to your poker knowledge.