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Poker Betting
There are quite a few reasons to bet and raise in poker which all expert players are aware of. We will discuss some of them in detail below.

To get more chips in the pot
To restrict competition
To acquire information
To bluff (or semi-bluff) your way
To obtain a free card

To get more chips in the pot

It is a very simple and basic reason for betting. You wish for more chips in the pot. For instance, if you just flop a flush and have several players in the hand you may not want to slow play by checking and merely bet your hand with the goal of getting multiple callers and perhaps a raise. If you slow-play your hand you are not only giving your opponents a chance to draw out against you (perhaps they have 2 pair or a set) but you are also receiving less chips into the pot. Remember the goal is more chips in your heap.

To restrict competition
A bet or raise in poker can be employed to narrow down the field. For instance, if you are in a 4 way action hand and have two pair but there are flush and straight draw possibilities in the hand, a helpful way to lose those draws is a check and raise on the turn. In case you can get the person behind you to bet on the turn and can raise you are thereby making it wrong for a good player to call based on the real Pot Odds.

Another good use of a raise to narrow down the competition is when a player preflop has raised in the blind without seeing at his/her hand. Now any hand that you want to play can go for 3 bets which should, thus, narrow the hand down to hopefully only you and the player in the blind. In a good number games it takes a pretty strong hand to call 3 bets cold. Hands which you normally might pass on, such as Ace/Jack in early position may be brought out here if you feel you can effectively keep apart the play between you and the player going blind.