What Does Check Means In Poker?
Checking in poker is an action that passes the betting option to the next player and can only be used when there are no active bets in the current betting round.
With a check, a poker player essentially says: “I don’t want to bet, but I still want to continue participating in the hand.”
It is important to note that the check option only becomes available in poker if no bet has been made in the current betting street. If a bet has been made before it is your turn to act, then you only have three options available: call, fold, or raise.
Understanding which situations you should check is an important part of poker strategy. Checking can allow you to see a free card without risking any chips, and it can also allow you to deceive your opponents by disguising the strength of your hand.
However, checking too often or in the wrong situations can also cause your opponents to see you as weak and allow them to take control of the hand.
For these reasons, you should not perceive the action of checking as just passing the action to the next player. Instead, you should look at this action as another tool in your poker arsenal that can increase or decrease your overall results.
Checking In Poker Example:
You are holding 8s 7s, the flop comes 4d 5h As, which gives you a gutshot, and the preflop raiser checks to you. In this situation, you have two options, you can check your inside straight draw or bet. You decide to check, hoping to see a 6 on the turn.
The turn is 9d, and the preflop raiser makes a ½ bet. With this bet, your opponent has denied you the option to check again. Now you can either call, raise, or fold.