All players have their own reasons for betting. Frequently times you will want to bet to get information about your opponents. For instance, if you are playing in a heads up situation you might wish to bet at any flop, thence creating the need for your opponent to either flat out bluff back at you or to have a hand in order to call. If you do this you have a shot at taking the pot right there. If you happen to play against an opponent who is playing "tight" you have also put yourself into the situation where he has to have a hand to play back at you. Remember that you should use this sparingly or else everyone will begin to suspect that you never possess a hand and you will never be able to steal a pot.
Yet another instance is if you have a set and the flush gets there on the turn. Now you may wish to bet out even though the flush has hit to get information from your opponents. If you are raised, your opponent most likely has a flush. In addition, you still have outs even if your opponent does have a flush if the board pairs you make a full house. By playing your hand in this way you force your opponent to decide whether you have a flush and are getting precious information about his hand.
When you bet without having a strong hand you are bluffing in Holdem. This can be a potent tool in No limit Holdem or against tough players. A bet or raise can often be used to lift a pot immediately without having to make your hand. For instance, if you bet on a flush draw against tight opponents you might be able to take the pot right there. If you are called or raised, you may still possess outs to complete your hand.
Raising to Get a Free Card
By raising in Holdem you are regularly able to obtain a free card. To illustrate, if you are on a flush draw with position in the hand and an opponent bets into you a raise might make him call and check the turn. If he checks the turn you could also check thereby giving yourself two chances to build your flush. In effect this is not getting a free card but actually getting to notice another card cheaply. Your raise makes it two small bets to see the ‘turn’ and the ‘river’ while if you had simply called the flop and turn you have actually called one small bet and one big bet, successfully three small bets. You should realize that if your opponent recognizes this play and reraises you and bets the turn you would haveto pay many more times for that flush draw than you intended.