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What Is Check In Poker?

What Is Check In Poker?

In the captivating world of poker, where strategy intertwines with the thrill of chance, understanding the term 'check' is crucial for both beginners and seasoned players. 

Here at Easy Slots, we'll unravel the mystery of what it means to 'check' in poker, delve into how many times you can perform this action, and distinguish it from a 'call'. Additionally, we'll guide you on when it's most opportune to check, ensuring you can navigate your next game with confidence. 

How Many Times Can You Check In Poker?

In poker, to "check" is to pass the action to the next player without making a bet, akin to saying, "I'll wait and see what happens next". This move is your way of staying in the game without adding more money to the pot, but only if no one has made a bet in the current betting round. 

Imagine it as pressing the pause button on your decision, giving you a moment to assess the situation and your opponents' actions. The beauty of checking is its flexibility; players can check as many times as they wish within a single round as long as a bet hasn't already been placed. 

Once a bet is on the table, the option to check is off the menu, and players must then decide to call, raise, or fold. This rule ensures the game keeps moving while giving players a chance to strategise without immediate pressure. 

Difference Between Check & Call In Poker

In the intricate dance of poker, two moves that often cause confusion among newcomers are "check" and "call." Though they might seem similar at first glance, understanding their differences is key to mastering the game's strategy. 

In this section, we'll break down the distinction between these two pivotal actions, shedding light on when and why you might choose one over the other. Our explanation will hopefully help clarify these fundamental concepts, potentially making your poker experience smoother and more enjoyable. 


In poker, a "check" is akin to saying "I'll wait". It's a strategic move that players can use when no one has placed a bet in the current round. By checking, you're choosing not to bet at that moment, but you're still in the game. It gives you a chance to see how others play before making your move. This action can only be taken if the betting hasn't been opened by another player. 


In contrast to a check, a "call" in poker is when you match the bet made by another player to stay in the round. It's your way of saying, "I'm in", showing that you believe your hand has a chance to win, or you're calling someone's bluff. 

By calling, you're committing to the current pot, matching the latest bet or raise. It's a move that keeps you in the game for a chance to win the pot, ensuring you're still part of the action as the game progresses. 

When Should You Check?

Deciding when to check in poker can be as crucial as knowing when to bet. 

One generally accepted moment to check is when you're first to act or if everyone before you has checked and you hold a hand that's not strong enough to bet but too good to fold. This cautious approach allows you to see how the round develops without risking more chips. 

Another strategic moment to check is when you have a strong hand and want to lure opponents into feeling secure, potentially leading them to bet more against you. This is known as a "check-raise" strategy, where you check with the intention of raising after an opponent bets, aiming to increase the pot size. 

Lastly, checking can be wise if the board, as it stands, is unfavourable to your hand, allowing you to potentially move on in the game to see the next drawn card whilst minimising potential losses. These strategies help manage your risk while keeping your options open as the game unfolds. 

Can You Raise After You Check In Poker?

Yes, in poker, you can indeed raise after you've checked, provided another player has made a bet in the same round. This manoeuvre is known as a "check-raise." Here's how it works: 

  • Initially, you check, indicating you don't wish to bet at that moment. 
  • If a following player decides to bet, then the round continues until all other players either call, raise or fold. Meaning the action returns to you. 
  • This is when you have the chance to raise, increasing the bet from the current amount. 

The check-raise is a powerful strategy that can be used for two main reasons. Firstly, it can be a way to trap opponents who might think you have a weak hand when you actually hold a strong one, encouraging them to bet. 

Secondly, it can be used defensively to discourage opponents from betting freely, by increasing the cost for them to stay in the hand. Effectively utilising the check-raise can be a useful skill to possess in poker. 

What Does "Check In The Dark" Mean?

"Check in the dark" is a theatrical move in poker where a player decides to check before the next community cards are even revealed or before they've seen their own cards in a new betting round. It's like making a decision with your eyes closed, signalling to your opponents that you're choosing not to bet without knowing how the upcoming cards will affect the game. 

This can be a strategic ploy, suggesting confidence in one's hand or a bluff designed to confuse and unsettle opponents. It adds an element of mystery and unpredictability to the game, challenging traditional poker strategies. 


Throughout this guide, we've explored the essential poker concepts of checking, calling, and strategic moves like the check-raise and checking in the dark. 

Checking allows you to stay in the game without betting while calling matches an opponent's bet. The check-raise is a tactical manoeuvre to increase the pot after luring opponents with a check. Checking in the dark adds an unpredictable element to your play. 

Mastering when and how to use these actions can enhance your poker strategy, making you a more formidable player at the table. Poker is a game of skill, strategy, and sometimes, the art of deception. However, it is also a game of chance, so nothing is ever guaranteed. Therefore, it's crucial to always gamble responsibly.