On the first round of betting, the blinds act after everyone else. After the button has folded, opened, or called, or raised, the small blind acts. Since the small blind already has chips in the pot, if he plays he adds only as much to the pot as needed to make the total equal the bet.
In our example of the $5-$10 game, we saw that the
small blind has $5 that plays for him in the pot. If players have limped and
there have been no raises, he can participate by adding $5 to the pot. Just as
any other player, the small blind can fold, call, or raise.
If everyone has folded except the small blind, the
small blind has those same three options. If anyone has raised before the
action gets to the small blind, he would have to call the raise, less $5, to
participate. For example, if a player raised to $20, the small blind can play
by adding $15 to the pot.
The big blind is the last to act on the first round of
betting. If one or more players have called the initial bet, that is, if the
players have all limped, the big blind has two choices. This situation is
called the option. He can elect to simply check (not raise, that is, put no
further chips into the pot). This effectively end the betting for the round.
However, the big blind has another choice when the
action gets to him with no raises. Even though he has already technically made
a bet, the big blind, after all, is a bet and there is no raise, he can himself
In online poker room, when the action similarly gets
to the big blind, the software presents two choices, one prompting “raise” and
the other “check”. The effect is the same. If, however, there has been a raise,
the big blind now must either match the raise (call) raise the pot himself or
fold his hand.