If you’ve just started playing poker, keeping track of many terms and rules in the game can be a tricky business. Sometimes, even Pros fail to correctly name the rounds.
For instance, not everyone is able to correctly distinguish between the pre-flop and flop rounds. For those who are wondering what pre-flop means in poker, you’ve come to the right place. Let us take a look at what preflop means in poker.
Before the Pre-flop
Pre-flop is the second stage of the game, which occurs after the blinds have been placed. After the big and the small blind bets have been placed, the game enters the pre-flop round.
The Preflop Meaning: Explained
In the pre-flop round, each player in the game is dealt two cards, which are termed as the ‘starting hand’ or the ‘hole cards’. These are private cards, meant to be seen only by the player himself/herself.
After seeing their respective cards, players need to decide if they want to continue in the game with the same stakes as the big blind (call), raise the stakes (bet), or to sit out of the game (fold). This process starts with the player to the left of the person who placed the big blind in the first step.
By ‘calling’, the player bets the same amount of money as the big blind; by ‘betting’, the player can raise the amount of bet as per his/her wish; and by ‘folding’, the player throws their hand away and does not play the game.
Each player on the board exercises these options, and every time a player ‘bets’ to raise the amount, the remaining players in the game have to match the bet in order for the game to continue. Once everyone in the game has bet the same amount, the next round begins.
If the no one has raised the amount after the big blind, then the big blind player can opt to Check, i.e. Call without putting in any money, and end the pre-flop round.
After the Preflop
In case you haven’t guessed it already, the round following the preflop is called ‘flop’. In this round, the dealer reveals three community cards to all the players in the game. Both the preflop and flop rounds are of critical importance, as they decide the course of the game ahead.
Simply put, the preflop round is where the players get their two private cards and decide their next action based on the strength of the same.
We hope that you got a fair idea of the pre-flop round of poker.