Don't Be Afraid of Raising in Real Money Texas Holdem Poker Games

The fear of raising in Texas Holdem poker holds back many players

Raising is a factor in all forms of poker, not just in Texas Holdem games, which can increase the tension and is in fact one of the most important elements when playing poker for real money. Nothing spices up a betting round or a pot size than a raise or even a re-raise.

However it can also instil fear and trepidation amongst some, particularly those new to the game. In this article we look at why that may be the case.

Raising Makes the Game of Poker What it Is

Undoubtedly there are some Texas Hold Em players out there who would prefer it if raising didn't exist. They would be quite happy calling or folding until the showdown at the end, as they know the table limits and can budget their bankroll accordingly. Any raise by a player whose turn it is to act before them on the betting round is often greeted with an inaudible (or perhaps audible!) sigh or mutter of despair, as it is now going to cost them more of their precious money to stay in the hand. Playing in this manner though would make poker a particularly simple game, and one which the majority of people would soon tire of. Being able to raise the betting stakes higher is what keeps poker players coming back to the casino or continuing to play online poker in their home time after time.

The Fear of Raising

Often a player will be wary of raising for one or both of two reasons:

  • They are new to playing Texas Holdem poker

  • They have a small amount of chips left, either because they have lost a lot already in the session or because they did not start with many in the first place

  • Regarding the first point, new players are often worried about losing a lot of cash before they have truly got to grips with the game, learnt all the rules and become at least moderately skilled in how to play it. This is perfectly understandable, as the time spent learning the fundamentals of the game is the time when a player can lose a lot of their real money, especially in a game such as poker where rival players at the table are all too keen to relieve "weaker" players of their chips.

    But with regular practice and learning this time will not last forever, and soon a player will be skilled enough to be more disciplined with their poker chips, as well as being able to win more pots from beginners just as they had done to them! Rather than be fearful of raises, new players need to understand that raising is not only a powerful tactic for bluffing and winning pots without the strongest hand, but also as a means to create a much larger pot when they do have the strongest hand and take all the chips at the showdown, as all other players around the table still contesting the pot need to call that raise to stay in.

    As for the second point, all casino games are likely to cause a player's cash amount to fluctuate as they experience a few losses on the trot before winning. The goal is to recoup more money from wins than goes out in losses, so that the player is richer at the end of the night or gambling session. In order to accommodate these fluctuations, a player will need a large enough bankroll to cover the unsuccessful attempts, including calling other player's raises, before winning money themselves. Without it, they will often have nothing left before getting a chance to win or settle into working out the betting habits of other players at their table. In some ways it is similar to stock market investing, where a person must be able to sit through the peaks and troughs whilst the share price moves higher on average over time (hopefully!). Although it is often highly unwise to keep throwing more and more money into a losing session, starting out with too small a stack of chips is a common mistake amongst new players. Plus, if you have an awesome hand but run out of chips and have to go all-in with what you have left, a side-pot will be formed and you may miss out on a big win.


    Remember then that raising is an essential part of poker games including Texas Holdem poker and without it it's popularity would be nothing like as high as it is. Rather than something to be afraid of or feared, players must learn to accept it, understand it's advantages and then use them for their own financial gain and success at the Texas Holdem table.