betting in limit poker

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Betting in limit poker south point betting

Betting in limit poker

The very first thing you have to do is decide on the stakes in which you're about to play. If you're playing a tournament the stakes will start very small and gradually increase; if you're playing a cash game, the stakes will stay constant.

Hold'em poker functions with a rotating dealer. This means regardless of who's actually dealing the cards, the dealer in the game is the player with the plastic "Dealer" button in front of them. After the hand concludes the dealer button is moved to the player to the left of the current dealer, and so on. If this is the very first hand you can choose who starts as the dealer in any fashion you would like.

The most common way is to deal every player one card face up. The high card starts as the dealer. Once you have a dealer the player to the left of the dealer must put the small blind out. The small blind is a forced bet equal to half of the smaller limit. The player to the left of the small blind must place the big blind. The cards are dealt clockwise, starting with the player to the left of the button the small blind and ending with the player who is acting as dealer the button.

After the last card is dealt the action starts with the player seated to the left of the big blind. This player has the option to call match the amount of the big blind, or the smaller limit , fold throw away their cards or raise. A raise in limit poker is always equal to the total of the previous bet, plus the addition of the current governing limit.

In this scenario, the player chooses to raise. The action now continues clockwise around the table with each player acting on the same options: call , fold or raise. When the action meets the small blind the amount of money they've already put into the pot is counted toward the total of their call or raise.

The big blind has the same option as the small blind here. If no player would have raised, the big blind would have been the only player with a different set of options. In poker, a betting round ends when every player has had the option to play, and every player has the same amount of chips bet or has folded. Note: There is an additional rule on raising.

In Limit Hold'em there is a "cap," meaning there can only be one bet and three raises in any single betting round [unless there are only two players remaining in the hand]. This means once there has been a bet and three raises, no player is allowed to raise any further; they can only call or fold. Once the first round of betting is complete the dealer deals the flop.

To do so, they place one card face down on the table this card is known as the "burn card" , followed by three cards face up. Each player looks at the flop and uses it to evaluate the strength of their current holdings.

From now until the end of the hand, every betting round starts with the player closest to the dealer button. In the event of any ambiguity in a player's verbal action while raising, the player will normally be bound to raise to the stated amount.

In fixed-limit games, the size of bets and raises is determined by the specified stakes. Also, in fixed-limit and spread-limit games most casinos cap the total number of raises allowed in a single betting round typically three or four, not including the opening bet of a round. It is common to suspend this rule when there are only two players betting in the round called being heads-up , since either player can call the last raise if they wish.

Pot-limit and no-limit games do not have a limit on the number of raises. If, because of opening or raising, there is an amount bet that the player in-turn has not paid, the player must at least match that amount, or must fold; the player cannot pass or call a lesser amount except where table stakes rules apply.

To call is to match a bet or match a raise. A betting round ends when all active players have bet an equal amount or everyone folds to a player's bet or raise. If no opponents call a player's bet or raise, the player wins the pot. The second and subsequent calls of a particular bet amount are sometimes called overcalls. This term is also sometimes used to describe a call made by a player who has put money in the pot for this round already.

A player calling a raise before they have invested money in the pot in that round is cold calling. For example, if in a betting round, Alice bets, Dianne raises, and Carol calls, Carol "calls two bets cold". A player calling instead of raising with a strong hand is smooth calling or flat calling , a form of slow play.

Calling in the final betting round when a player thinks they do not have the best hand is called a crying call. Calling when a player has a relatively weak hand but suspects their opponent may be bluffing is called a hero call. Calling a bet prior to the final betting round with the intention of bluffing on a later betting round is called a float.

In public cardrooms, placing a single chip in the pot of any value sufficient to call an outstanding bet or raise without a verbal action declaring otherwise always constitutes a call. If necessary, any "change" from the chip will be returned to the player at the end of the betting round, or perhaps even sooner if this can conveniently be done.

If, when it is a player's turn to act, the player already has an oversized chip in the pot that has not yet been "changed" and that is of sufficient value to call an outstanding bet or raise, then the player may call by tapping the table as if checking. In public cardrooms and casinos where verbal declarations are binding, the word "call" is such a declaration.

Saying "I call" commits the player to the action of calling, and only calling. Note that the verb "see" can often be used instead of "call": "Dianne saw Carol's bet", although the latter can also be used with the bettor as the object: "I'll see you" means 'I will call your bet'. However, terms such as "overseeing" and "cold seeing" are not valid. To fold is to discard one's hand and forfeit interest in the current pot.

No further bets are required by the folding player, but the player cannot win. Folding may be indicated verbally or by discarding one's hand face down into the pile of other discards called the muck , or into the pot uncommon. For this reason it is also called mucking. In stud poker played in the United States , it is customary to signal folding by turning all of one's cards face down. Once a person indicates a fold or states I fold , that person cannot re-enter the hand.

In casinos in the United Kingdom , a player folds by giving their hand as is to the "house" dealer, who spreads the cards face up for the other players to see before mucking them. When participating in the hand, a player is expected to keep track of the betting action. Losing track of the amount needed to call, called the bet to the player , happens occasionally, but multiple occurrences of this slow the game down and so it is discouraged.

The dealer may be given the responsibility of tracking the current bet amount, from which each player has only to subtract their contribution, if any, thus far. To aid players in tracking bets, and to ensure all players have bet the correct amount, players stack the amount they have bet in the current round in front of them. When the betting round is over a common phrase is "the pot's good" , the players will push their stacks into the pot or the dealer will gather them into the pot.

Tossing chips directly into the pot known as splashing the pot , though popular in film and television depictions of the game, causes confusion over the amount of a raise and can be used to hide the true amount of a bet. Likewise, string raises , or the act of raising by first placing chips to call and then adding chips to raise, causes confusion over the amount bet. Both actions are generally prohibited at casinos and discouraged at least in other cash games.

Most actions calls, raises or folds occurring out-of-turn —when players to the right of the player acting have not yet made decisions as to their own action—are considered improper, for several reasons. First, since actions by a player give information to other players, acting out of turn gives the person in turn information that they normally would not have, to the detriment of players who have already acted.

In some games, even folding in turn when a player has the option to check because there is no bet facing the player is considered folding out of turn since it gives away information which, if the player checked, other players would not have. For instance, say that with three players in a hand, Player A has a weak hand but decides to try a bluff with a large opening bet.

Player C then folds out of turn while Player B is making up their mind. Player B now knows that if they fold, A will take the pot, and also knows that they cannot be re-raised if they call. This may encourage Player B, if they have a good "drawing hand" a hand currently worth nothing but with a good chance to improve substantially in subsequent rounds , to call the bet, to the disadvantage of Player A. Second, calling or raising out of turn, in addition to the information it provides, assumes all players who would act before the out of turn player would not exceed the amount of the out-of-turn bet.

This may not be the case, and would result in the player having to bet twice to cover preceding raises, which would cause confusion. A player is never required to expose their concealed cards when folding or if all others have folded; this is only required at the showdown. Many casinos and public cardrooms using a house dealer require players to protect their hands. This is done either by holding the cards or, if they are on the table, by placing a chip or other object on top.

Unprotected hands in such situations are generally considered folded and are mucked by the dealer when action reaches the player. This can spark heated controversy, and is rarely done in private games. The style of game generally determines whether players should hold face-down cards in their hands or leave them on the table.

Holding "hole" cards allows players to view them more quickly and thus speeds up gameplay, but spectators watching over a player's shoulder can communicate the strength of that hand to other players, even unintentionally. Unwary players can hold their hand such that a "rubbernecker" in an adjacent seat can sneak a peek at the cards.

Lastly, given the correct light and angles, players wearing glasses can inadvertently show their opponents their hole cards through the reflection in their glasses. Thus for most poker variants involving a combination of faceup and facedown cards most variants of stud and community are dealt in this manner , the standard method is to keep hole cards face-down on the table except when it is that player's turn to act.

Making change out of the pot is allowed in most games; to avoid confusion, the player should announce their intentions first. Then, if opening or cold calling, the player may exchange a large chip for its full equivalent value out of the pot before placing their bet, or if over-calling may place the chip announcing that they are calling or raising a lesser amount and remove the change from their own bet for the round.

Normally, if a player places one oversized chip in the pot without voicing his intention while facing a bet, the action is automatically deemed a call whether or not the chip is large enough to otherwise qualify as a raise. In most casinos players are prohibited from handling chips once they are placed in the pot, although a player removing his own previous bet in the current round from the pot for the purpose of calling a raise or re-raising is usually tolerated.

Otherwise, the dealer is expected to make change when required. Making change should, in general, be done between hands whenever possible, when a player sees they are running low of an oft-used value. The house dealer at most casinos maintains a chip bank and can usually make change for a large amount of chips.

In informal games, players can make change with each other or with unused chips in the set. Similarly, buying in for an additional amount must be done between hands or, at least, done after a player has folded during the current hand since players are not allowed to add to their stack during a hand. As described below, some casinos alleviate this issue by allowing cash to be deemed temporarily "in play" while staff fetches chips.

Players who wish to always play with at least the buy-in limit will often carry additional chips in their pocket so that whenever they lose a pot they can quickly "top up" without inconveniencing the dealer or delaying the game.

While having players buy chips directly from the dealer is seen as a convenience by some players, and can help deter players from exceeding buy-in limits, many players dislike this system because it slows down the game, especially if the dealer is expected to count large numbers of small denominations of chips. Also, many jurisdictions require all such purchases or, at least, all larger transactions to be confirmed primarily to ensure accuracy by a supervisor or other staff member, potentially causing further delay.

To speed up play and, by extension, increase the number of hands dealt and rake earned by the casino , many casinos require players to buy chips from a cashier - to assist players, some establishments employ chip runners to bring cash and chips to and from the tables. Many casinos have a dedicated cashier station located in or very near the poker room, although in some usually, smaller venues the same cashier station that handles other transactions will also handle poker-related purchases.

In addition, if the casino uses the same chips for poker as for other games then it is often possible to bring chips from such games to the poker table. Touching another player's chips without permission is a serious breach of protocol and can result in the player being barred from the casino. Most tournaments and many cash games require that larger denomination chips be stacked in front i.

This rule is employed is to discourage attempts to conceal stack size. Some casinos discourage, prohibit or simply refrain from circulating larger chip denominations to prevent them from being used in lower-stakes cash games, although the drawback is that larger stacks won during play will become more difficult to handle and manage as a result.

Some informal games allow a bet to be made by placing the amount of cash on the table without converting it to chips, as this speeds up play. However, table stakes rules strictly prohibit this from being done while a hand is in progress. Other drawbacks to using cash include the ease with which cash can be "ratholed" removed from play by simply pocketing it , which is normally disallowed, in addition to the security risk of leaving cash on the table.

As a result, many games and virtually all casinos require a formal "buy-in" when a player wishes to increase their stake, or at least require any cash placed on the table to be converted into chips as quickly as possible. Players in home games typically have both cash and chips available; thus, if money for expenses other than bets is needed, such as food, drinks and fresh decks of cards, many players typically pay out of pocket.

Some players especially professionals loath removing any part of their stack from play for any reason, especially once their stacks exceed the initial buy-in limit. In casinos and public cardrooms, however, the use of cash is occasionally restricted or discouraged, so players often establish a small cache of chips called the "kitty", used to pay for such things. At a casino, dealers who exchange cash for chips are expected to immediately secure any cash by placing it into a locked box near his station.

This means that regardless of how chips are purchased, when cashing them in it is typically not possible to sell them back to the dealer since s he has no access to any cash. Poker chips must therefore be taken to the cashier to be exchanged for cash. Dealers who handle buy-ins will often be willing and sometimes encourage departing players to "color up" their stacks by exchanging them for the highest-available denominations, both for the convenience of the player and to minimize the number of times casino staff must deliver fresh chips to the poker table - a time-consuming process.

On the other hand, casinos that expect players to buy chips from the cashier will usually furnish players with chip trays typically designed to handle chips each to ease the handling of large numbers of chips. Chips given by players or otherwise retained by the dealer for tips, rake and other fees where applicable are usually placed in separate locked boxes by the dealer, although in some casinos the rake is kept in a separate row in the dealer's tray. Public cardrooms have additional rules designed to speed up play, earn revenue for the casino such as the "rake" , improve security and discourage cheating.

All poker games require some forced bets to create an initial stake for the players to contest, as well as an initial cost of being dealt each hand for one or more players. The requirements for forced bets and the betting limits of the game see below are collectively called the game's betting structure. An ante is a forced bet in which all players put an equal amount of money or chips into the pot before the deal begins.

Often this is either a single unit a one-value or the smallest value in play or some other small amount; a proportion such as a half or a quarter of the minimum bet is also common. An ante paid by every player ensures that a player who folds every round will lose money though slowly , thus providing all players with an incentive, however small, to play the hand rather than toss it in when the opening bet reaches them.

Antes are the most common forced bet in draw poker and stud poker but are uncommon in games featuring blind bets see next section. However, some tournament formats of games featuring blinds impose an ante to discourage extremely tight play.

Antes encourage players to play more loosely by lowering the cost of staying in the hand calling relative to the current pot size, offering better pot odds. With antes, more players stay in the hand, which increases pot size and makes for more interesting play.

This is considered important to ensure good ratings for televised tournament finals. Most televised high-stakes cash games also use both blinds and antes. Televised cash games usually have one of the players, normally the dealer, pay for everyone to accelerate play.

If there are six players for example, the dealer would toss six times the ante into the pot, paying for each person. In live cash games where the acting dealer changes each turn, it is not uncommon for the players to agree that the dealer or some other position relative to the button provides the ante for each player.

This simplifies betting, but causes minor inequities if other players come and go or miss their turn to deal. During such times, the player can be given a special button indicating the need to pay an ante to the pot known as "posting"; see below upon their return. Some cardrooms eliminate these inequities by always dealing all players into every hand whether they are present or not.

In such cases casino staff or neighboring players under staff supervision will be expected to post antes and fold hands on behalf of absent players as necessary. A blind bet or just blind is a forced bet placed into the pot by one or more players before the deal begins, in a way that simulates bets made during play.

The most common use of blinds as a betting structure calls for two blinds: the player after the dealer blinds about half of what would be a normal bet, and the next player blinds what would be a whole bet. This two-blind structure, sometimes with antes, is the dominating structure of play for community card poker games such as Texas hold-em. Sometimes only one blind is used often informally as a "price of winning" the previous hand , and sometimes three are used this is sometimes seen in Omaha.

In the case of three blinds usually one quarter, one quarter, and half a normal bet amount , the first blind goes "on the button", that is, is paid by the dealer. A blind is usually a "live bet"; the amount paid as the blind is considered when figuring the bet to that player the amount needed to call during the first round.

However, some situations, such as when a player was absent from the table during a hand in which they should have paid a blind, call for placing a "dead blind"; the blind does not count as a bet. If there have been no raises when action first gets to the big blind that is, the bet amount facing them is just the amount of the big blind they posted , the big blind has the ability to raise or check. This right to raise called the option occurs only once.

As with any raise, if their raise is now called by every player, the first betting round closes as usual. Similarly to a missed ante, a missed blind due to the player's temporary absence e. Upon the player's return, they must pay the applicable blind to the pot for the next hand they will participate in. The need for this rule is eliminated in casinos that deal in absent players as described above.

Also the rule is for temporary absences only; if a player leaves the table permanently, special rules govern the assigning of blinds and button see next subsection. In some fixed-limit and spread-limit games, especially if three blinds are used, the big blind amount may be less than the normal betting minimum.

Players acting after a sub-minimum blind have the right to call the blind as it is, even though it is less than the amount they would be required to bet, or they may raise the amount needed to bring the current bet up to the normal minimum, called completing the bet. When one or more players pays the small or big blinds for a hand, then after that hand permanently leaves the game by "busting out" in a tournament or simply calling it a night at a public cardroom , an adjustment is required in the positioning of the blinds and the button.

There are three common rule sets to determine this:. In tournaments, the dead button and moving button rules are common replacement players are generally not a part of tournaments. Online cash games generally use the simplified moving button as other methods are more difficult to codify and can be abused by players constantly entering and leaving.

Casino card rooms where players can come and go can use any of the three rulesets, though moving button is most common. When a player immediately takes the place of a player who leaves, the player may have the option to either pay the blinds in the leaving player's stead, in which case play continues as if the player never left, or to "sit out" until the button has moved past him, and thus the chair is effectively empty for purposes of the blinds.

Many card rooms do not allow new players to sit out as it is highly advantageous for the new player, both to watch one or more hands without obligation to play, and to enter the game in a very "late" position on their first hand they see all other player's actions except the dealer's. For these reasons, new players must often post a "live" big blind to enter regardless of their position at the table. The normal rules for positioning the blinds do not apply when there are only two players at the table.

The player on the button is always due the small blind, and the other player must pay the big blind. The player on the button is therefore the first to act before the flop, but last to act for all remaining betting rounds. A special rule is also applied for placement of the button whenever the size of the table shrinks to two players. If three or more players are involved in a hand, and at the conclusion of the hand one or more players have busted out such that only two players remain for the next hand, the position of the button may need to be adjusted to begin heads-up play.

The big blind always continues moving, and then the button is positioned accordingly. For example, in a three-handed game, Alice is the button, Dianne is the small blind, and Carol is the big blind. If Alice busts out, the next hand Dianne will be the big blind, and the button will skip past Dianne and move to Carol.

On the other hand, if Carol busts out, Alice will be the big blind, Dianne will get the button and will have to pay the small blind for the second hand in a row. A kill blind is a special blind bet made by a player who triggers the kill in a kill game see below. It is often twice the amount of the big blind or minimum bet known as a full kill , but can be 1. This blind is "live"; the player posting it normally acts last in the opening round after the other blinds, regardless of relative position at the table , and other players must call the amount of the kill blind to play.

As any player can trigger a kill, there is the possibility that the player must post a kill blind when they are already due to pay one of the other blinds. Rules vary on how this is handled. A bring-in is a type of forced bet that occurs after the cards are initially dealt, but before any other action. One player, usually chosen by the value of cards dealt face up on the initial deal, is forced to open the betting by some small amount, after which players act after them in normal rotation.

Because of this random first action, bring-ins are usually used in games with an ante instead of structured blind bets. The bring-in is normally assigned on the first betting round of a stud poker game to the player whose upcards indicate the poorest hand. For example, in traditional high hand stud games and high-low split games, the player showing the lowest card pays the bring-in.

In low hand games, the player with the highest card showing pays the bring-in. The high card by suit order can be used to break ties, but more often the person closest to the dealer in order of rotation pays the bring-in. In most fixed-limit and some spread-limit games, the bring-in amount is less than the normal betting minimum often half of this minimum.

The player forced to pay the bring-in may choose either to pay only what is required in which case it functions similarly to a small blind or to make a normal bet. Players acting after a sub-minimum bring-in have the right to call the bring-in as it is, even though it is less than the amount they would be required to bet, or they may raise the amount needed to bring the current bet up to the normal minimum, called completing the bet.

In a game where the bring-in is equal to the fixed bet this is rare and not recommended , the game must either allow the bring-in player to optionally come in for a raise, or else the bring-in must be treated as live in the same way as a blind, so that the player is guaranteed their right to raise on the first betting round the "option" if all other players call. Some cash games, especially with blinds, require a new player to post when joining a game already in progress.

Posting in this context means putting an amount equal to the big blind or the minimum bet into the pot before the deal. This amount is also called a "dead blind". The post is a "live" bet, meaning that the amount can be applied towards a call or raise when it is the player's turn to act. If the player is not facing a raise when the action gets to them, they may also "check their option" as if they were in the big blind.

A player who is away from their seat and misses one or more blinds is also required to post to reenter the game. In this case, the amount to be posted is the amount of the big or small blind, or both, at the time the player missed them.

If both must be posted immediately upon return, the big blind amount is "live", but the small blind amount is "dead", meaning that it cannot be considered in determining a call or raise amount by that player. Some house rules allow posting one blind per hand, largest first, meaning all posts of missed blinds are live. Posting is usually not required if the player who would otherwise post happens to be in the big blind. This is because the advantage that would otherwise be gained by missing the blind, that of playing several hands before having to pay blinds, is not the case in this situation.

It is therefore common for a new player to lock up a seat and then wait several hands before joining a table, or for a returning player to sit out several hands until the big blind comes back around, so that they may enter in the big blind and avoid paying the post. For this same reason, only one set of missed blinds can be accumulated by the player; old missed blinds are removed when the big blind returns to that player's seat because the player was never in any position to gain from missing the blinds.

In online poker it is common for the post to be equal in size to a big blind and to be live, just like the big blind. This can create a tactical advantage for the player if they choose not to play during the time they would otherwise spend in the blind in full ring games. A straddle bet is an optional and voluntary blind bet made by a player after the posting of the small and big blinds, but before cards are dealt. Straddles are typically used only in cash games played with fixed blind structures.

Some jurisdictions and casinos prohibit live straddles. Straddles are normally not permitted in tournament formats and are rarely allowed online. The purpose of a straddle is to "buy" the privilege of last action, which on the first round with blinds is normally the player in the big blind. A straddle or sleeper blind may count as a raise towards the maximum number of raises allowed, or it may count separately; in the latter case this raises the maximum total bet of the first round.

For example, straddling is permitted in Nevada and Atlantic City but illegal in other areas on account of differences in state and local laws. The player immediately to the left of the big blind "under the gun", UTG may place a live straddle blind bet.

The straddle must be the size of a normal raise over the big blind. A straddle is a live bet; but does not become a "bigger blind". The straddle acts as a minimum raise but with the difference being that the straddler still gets their option of acting when the action returns to them.

In a No-Limit game if any other player wants to make a raise with a straddle on board, the minimum raise will be the difference between the big blind and the straddle. The minimum raise would be 10, for a total of 30, it doesn't need to double to Action begins with the player to the left of the straddle. If action returns to the straddle without a raise, the straddle has the option to raise. This is part of what makes a straddle different from a sleeper because a sleeper does not have the option to raise if everyone folds or calls around to him.

Some casinos permit the player to the left of a live straddle to re-straddle by placing a blind bet raising the original straddle. Depending on house rules, each re-straddle is often required to be double the previous straddle, so as to limit the number of feasible re-straddles. Straddling is considered poor long-term strategy by most experts, since the benefit of obtaining last action is more than offset by the cost of making a blind raise. Because straddling has a tendency to enrich the average pot size without a corresponding increase in the blinds and antes if applicable , players who sit at tables that allow straddling can increase their profits considerably simply by choosing not to straddle themselves.

Straddling is voluntary at most cardrooms that allow it, however house rules can make straddling obligatory at times by using a special token called "the rock" at the table. Whoever is in possession of the "rock" is obliged to place a live straddle for double the big blind when they are in the UTG position. The winner of the ensuing pot takes possession of the "rock" and is obliged to make a live straddle when the UTG position comes around to him.

If the pot is split the "rock" goes to the winner closest to the left i.

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Texas Hold'em is the most widely played poker variation in the world, particularly thanks to its simple setup and play. This article focuses on the Limit version of the game. Its full name is "Fixed Limit," and it's called that because the betting limits are fixed. At any given time you can only bet in the single governing limit set for that street. The very first thing you have to do is decide on the stakes in which you're about to play.

If you're playing a tournament the stakes will start very small and gradually increase; if you're playing a cash game, the stakes will stay constant. Hold'em poker functions with a rotating dealer. This means regardless of who's actually dealing the cards, the dealer in the game is the player with the plastic "Dealer" button in front of them.

After the hand concludes the dealer button is moved to the player to the left of the current dealer, and so on. If this is the very first hand you can choose who starts as the dealer in any fashion you would like.

The most common way is to deal every player one card face up. The high card starts as the dealer. Once you have a dealer the player to the left of the dealer must put the small blind out. The small blind is a forced bet equal to half of the smaller limit. The player to the left of the small blind must place the big blind.

The cards are dealt clockwise, starting with the player to the left of the button the small blind and ending with the player who is acting as dealer the button. After the last card is dealt the action starts with the player seated to the left of the big blind. This player has the option to call match the amount of the big blind, or the smaller limit , fold throw away their cards or raise.

A raise in limit poker is always equal to the total of the previous bet, plus the addition of the current governing limit. In this scenario, the player chooses to raise. The action now continues clockwise around the table with each player acting on the same options: call , fold or raise. When the action meets the small blind the amount of money they've already put into the pot is counted toward the total of their call or raise. The big blind has the same option as the small blind here.

If no player would have raised, the big blind would have been the only player with a different set of options. In poker, a betting round ends when every player has had the option to play, and every player has the same amount of chips bet or has folded.

Note: There is an additional rule on raising. In Limit Hold'em there is a "cap," meaning there can only be one bet and three raises in any single betting round [unless there are only two players remaining in the hand]. This means once there has been a bet and three raises, no player is allowed to raise any further; they can only call or fold. Pot limit play can get a whole lot pricier than limit play. As the size of the pot grows, the size of the bets can also increase.

In pot limit the first player to the left of the big blind has the same options as the player in fixed limit in terms of calling, raising or folding. The difference is in how much he can raise. Folding requires nothing but mucking throwing away your cards. Wow, this could get expensive! The thing to remember in pot limit is a player who wishes to raise first counts the amount he would need to call and adds it to the pot and then can raise the size of the pot.

The emphasis in pot limit is placed on post flop play. The reason for this is that you can normally see flops fairly cheaply before the pot grows to the size where raises can get pretty expensive. So our nugget to remember at this juncture for the betting variation of pot limit is to focus to strong post flop play. Its name says it all — there is no limit, except the size of the blinds.

If there has been a bet beforehand, then the minimum raise amount would be the size of the previous bet. This is the same as in pot limit, but with one big different, there is no maximum limit. This is not like the movies! Poker is always played at table stakes, and table stakes means you can only wager the amount of money you have in front of you when the hand begins. The betting variations described in this lesson are listed in order of excitement, danger, risk and reward.

The first variation, fixed limit is safer than either of the other two due to the limit which can be bet.

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But in Texas hold 'em was declared legally distinct from stud-horse in Tibbetts v. Van De Kamp. Texas hold 'em is now one of the most popular forms of poker. During this time hold 'em replaced seven-card stud as the most common game in U. Hold 'em's simplicity and popularity have inspired a wide variety of strategy books which provide recommendations for proper play.

Most of these books recommend a strategy that involves playing relatively few hands but betting and raising often with the hands one plays. Prior to poker becoming widely televised, the movie Rounders , starring Matt Damon and Edward Norton , gave moviegoers a romantic view of the game as a way of life despite the poker portrayed being often criticized by more serious players. A clip of the classic showdown between Johnny Chan and Erik Seidel from the World Series of Poker was also incorporated into the film.

This film is unique in that it deals with the darker, more addictive elements of the game, and features Phil Hellmuth and Brad Booth. Hold 'em tournaments had been televised since the late s, but they did not become popular until , when hidden lipstick cameras were first used to show players' private hole cards on the Late Night Poker TV show in the United Kingdom. A few months later, ESPN 's coverage of the World Series of Poker featured the unexpected victory of Internet player Chris Moneymaker , an amateur player who gained admission to the tournament by winning a series of online tournaments.

Moneymaker's victory initiated a sudden surge of interest in the series along with internet poker , based on the egalitarian idea that anyone—even a rank novice—could become a world champion. In , there were entrants in the WSOP main event, [26] and triple that number in The winner, Joe Hachem of Australia, was a semi-professional player. Beyond the series, other television shows—including the long running World Poker Tour —are credited with increasing the popularity of Texas hold 'em.

The English journalist and biographer Anthony Holden spent a year on the professional poker circuit from — and wrote about his experiences in Big Deal: A Year as a Professional Poker Player. The follow-up book, Bigger Deal: A Year Inside the Poker Boom covers the period — and describes a poker world "changed beyond recognition".

Twenty years after the publication of Alvarez's groundbreaking book, James McManus published a semi-autobiographical book, Positively Fifth Street , which simultaneously describes the trial surrounding the murder of Ted Binion and McManus's own entry into the World Series of Poker. Michael Craig 's book The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King details a series of high-stakes Texas hold 'em one-on-one games between Texas banker Andy Beal and a rotating group of poker professionals.

The ability to play cheaply and anonymously online has been credited as a cause of the increase in popularity of Texas hold 'em. The and winners Chris Moneymaker and Greg Raymer, respectively of the World Series no-limit hold 'em main event qualified by playing in these tournaments.

Although online poker grew from its inception in until , Moneymaker's win and the appearance of television advertisements in contributed to a tripling of industry revenues in Hold 'em is normally played using small and big blind bets — forced bets by two players. Antes forced contributions by all players may be used in addition to blinds, particularly in later stages of tournament play.

A dealer button is used to represent the player in the dealer position; the dealer button rotates clockwise after each hand, changing the position of the dealer and blinds. The small blind is posted by the player to the left of the dealer and is usually equal to half of the big blind. The big blind , posted by the player to the left of the small blind, is equal to the minimum bet.

After one round of betting is done, the next betting round will start by the person in the small blind. When only two players remain, special 'head-to-head' or 'heads up' rules are enforced and the blinds are posted differently. The dealer acts first before the flop. After the flop, the dealer acts last and continues to do so for the remainder of the hand.

The three most common variations of hold 'em are limit hold 'em, no-limit hold 'em and pot-limit hold 'em. Limit hold 'em has historically been the most popular form of hold 'em found in casino live action games in the United States. In the next two rounds of betting turn and river , bets and raises must be equal to twice the big blind; this amount is called the big bet. No-limit hold 'em has grown in popularity and is the form most commonly found in televised tournament poker and is the game played in the main event of the World Series of Poker.

In no-limit hold 'em, players may bet or raise any amount over the minimum raise up to all of the chips the player has at the table called an all-in bet. The minimum raise is equal to the size of the previous bet or raise. If someone wishes to re-raise, they must raise at least the amount of the previous raise.

If a raise or re-raise is all-in and does not equal the size of the previous raise or half the size in some casinos , the initial raiser cannot re-raise again in case there are other players also still in the game. In pot-limit hold 'em, the maximum raise is the current size of the pot including the amount needed to call. Some casinos that offer hold 'em also allow the player to the left of the big blind to post an optional live straddle , usually double the amount of the big blind.

This causes that player to act as the big blind and the player has an option to raise when it comes to their turn again. Some variations allow for straddle on the button. No-limit games may also allow multiple re-straddles, in any amount that would be a legal raise.

Following a shuffle of the cards, play begins with each player being dealt two cards face down, with the player in the small blind receiving the first card and the player in the button seat receiving the last card dealt. As in most poker games, the deck is a standard card deck containing no jokers. These cards are the players' hole or pocket cards. These are the only cards each player will receive individually, and they will possibly be revealed only at the showdown , making Texas hold 'em a closed poker game.

The hand begins with a "pre-flop" betting round, beginning with the player to the left of the big blind or the player to the left of the dealer, if no blinds are used and continuing clockwise. A round of betting continues until every player has folded, put in all of their chips, or matched the amount put in by all other active players. See betting for a detailed account. Note that the blinds are considered "live" in the pre-flop betting round, meaning that they are counted toward the amount that the blind player must contribute.

If all players call around to the player in the big blind position, that player may either check or raise. After the pre-flop betting round, assuming there remain at least two players taking part in the hand, the dealer deals a flop : three face-up community cards. The flop is followed by a second betting round. This and all subsequent betting rounds begin with the player to the dealer's left and continue clockwise.

After the flop betting round ends, a single community card called the turn or fourth street is dealt, followed by a third betting round. A final single community card called the river or fifth street is then dealt, followed by a fourth betting round and the showdown, if necessary. In the third and fourth betting rounds, the stakes double.

In all casinos, the dealer will burn a card before the flop, turn, and river. Because of this burn, players who are betting cannot see the back of the next community card to come. This is done for traditional reasons, to avoid any possibility of a player knowing in advance the next card to be dealt due to its being marked.

If a player bets and all other players fold, then the remaining player is awarded the pot and is not required to show their hole cards. If two or more players remain after the final betting round, a showdown occurs. On the showdown, each player plays the best poker hand they can make from the seven cards comprising their two-hole cards and the five community cards. A player may use both of their own two hole cards, only one, or none at all, to form their final five-card hand.

If the five community cards form the player's best hand, then the player is said to be playing the board and can only hope to split the pot, because each other player can also use the same five cards to construct the same hand. If the best hand is shared by more than one player, then the pot is split equally among them, with any extra chips going to the first players after the button in clockwise order.

It is common for players to have closely valued, but not identically ranked hands. Nevertheless, one must be careful in determining the best hand; if the hand involves fewer than five cards, such as two pair or three of a kind , then kickers are used to settle ties see the second example below. The card's numerical rank is of sole importance; suit values are irrelevant in hold 'em.

If the first or second card dealt is exposed, then this is considered a misdeal. The dealer then retrieves the card, reshuffles the deck, and again cuts the cards. However, if any other hole card is exposed due to a dealer error, the deal continues as usual.

After completing the deal, the dealer replaces the exposed card with the top card on the deck, and the exposed card is then used as the burn card. If more than one hole card is exposed, a misdeal is declared by the dealer and the hand is dealt again from the beginning. Each player plays the best five-card hand they can make with the seven cards available. They have.

In this case, Ted's full house is the best hand, with Carol in second, Alice in third and Bob last. Here is a sample game involving four players. The players' individual hands will not be revealed until the showdown, to give a better sense of what happens during play:.

Compulsory bets: Alice is the dealer. Pre-flop: Alice deals two hole cards face down to each player, beginning with Bob and ending with herself. Ted must act first, being the first player after the big blind. Carol's blind is "live" see blind , so there is the option to raise here, but Carol checks instead, ending the first betting round.

On this round, as on all subsequent rounds, the player on the dealer's left begins the betting. Turn: Alice now burns another card and deals the turn card face up. Bob checks, Carol checks, and Alice checks; the turn has been checked around. Because of the presence of community cards in Texas hold 'em, different players' hands can often run very close in value.

As a result, it is common for kickers to be used to determine the winning hand and also for two hands or maybe more to tie. A kicker is a card which is part of the five-card poker hand, but is not used in determining a hand's rank. The following situation illustrates the importance of breaking ties with kickers and card ranks, as well as the use of the five-card rule.

After the turn, the board and players' hole cards are as follows. Bob and Carol still each have two pair queens and eights , but both of them are now entitled to play the final ace as their fifth card, making their hands both two pair, queens and eights, with an ace kicker.

Bob's king no longer plays, because the ace on the board plays as the fifth card in both hands, and a hand is only composed of the best five cards. They therefore tie and split the pot. However, if the last card is a jack or lower except an eight, which would make a full house, or a ten, which would give Carol a higher second pair , Bob's king stays in the game and Bob wins.

Most poker authors recommend a tight- aggressive approach to playing Texas hold 'em. This strategy involves playing relatively few hands tight , but betting and raising often with those that one does play aggressive. Almost all authors agree that where a player sits in the order of play known as position is an important element of Texas hold 'em strategy, particularly in no-limit hold'em.

As a result, players typically play fewer hands from early positions than later positions. Because of the game's level of complexity, it has received some attention from academics. One attempt to develop a quantitative model of a Texas hold'em tournament as an isolated complex system has had some success, [43] although the full consequences for optimal strategies remain to be explored.

In addition, groups at the University of Alberta and Carnegie Mellon University worked to develop poker playing programs utilizing techniques in game theory and artificial intelligence. Although it does not win every hand, it is unbeatable on average over a large number of hands.

The program exhibits more variation in its tactics than professional players do, for instance bluffing with weak hands that professional players tend to fold. Because only two cards are dealt to each player, it is easy to characterize all of the starting hands. Because no suit is more powerful than another , many of these can be equated for the analysis of starting-hand strategy.

Because of this equivalence, there are only effectively different hole-card combinations. Thirteen of these are pairs, from deuces twos to aces. There are 78 ways to have two cards of different rank 12 possible hands containing one ace, 11 possible hands containing one king but no ace, 10 possible hands containing one queen but no ace or king, etc. Both hole cards can be used in a flush if they are suited, but pairs are never suited, so there would be 13 possible pairs, 78 possible suited non-pairs, and 78 possible unsuited "off-suit" non-pairs, for a total of possible hands.

Because of the limited number of starting hands, most strategy guides include a detailed discussion of each of them. This distinguishes hold 'em from other poker games where the number of starting card combinations forces strategy guides to group hands into broad categories. Another result of this small number is the proliferation of colloquial names for individual hands. Texas Hold'em is commonly played both as a "cash" or "ring" game and as a tournament game. Strategy for these different forms can vary.

Before the advent of poker tournaments , all poker games were played with real money where players bet actual currency or chips that represented currency. Games that feature wagering actual money on individual hands are still very common and are referred to as "cash games" or "ring games". The no-limit and fixed-limit cash-game versions of hold 'em are strategically very different. Doyle Brunson claims that "the games are so different that there are not many players who rank with the best in both types of hold 'em.

Many no-limit players have difficulty gearing down for limit, while limit players often lack the courage and 'feel' necessary to excel at no-limit. Because one is not usually risking all of one's chips in limit poker, players are sometimes advised to take more chances. Lower-stakes games also exhibit different properties than higher-stakes games.

Small-stakes games often involve more players in each hand and can vary from extremely passive little raising and betting to extremely aggressive many raises. This difference of small-stakes games has prompted several books dedicated to only those games. Texas hold 'em is often associated with poker tournaments largely because it is played as the main event in many of the famous tournaments, including the World Series of Poker 's Main Event, and is the most common tournament overall.

Standard play allows all entrants to "buy-in" for a fixed amount and all players begin with an equal value of chips. Play proceeds until one player has accumulated all the chips in play or a deal is made among the remaining players to " chop " the remaining prize pool. The money pool is redistributed to the players in relation to the place they finished in the tournament.

Only a small percentage of the players receive any money, with the majority receiving nothing. As a result, the strategy in poker tournaments can be very different from a cash game. Proper strategy in tournaments can vary widely depending on the amount of chips one has, the stage of the tournament, the amount of chips others have, and the playing styles of one's opponents. In tournaments the blinds and antes increase regularly, and can become much larger near the end of the tournament.

This can force players to play hands that they would not normally play when the blinds were small, which can warrant both more loose and more aggressive play. One of the most important things in Texas hold'em is knowing how to evaluate a hand. The strategy of playing each hand can be very different according to the strength of the hand.

For example, on a strong hand, a player might want to try to appear weak in order to not scare off other players with weaker hands, while on a weak hand, a player might try to bluff other players into folding. There are several ways to evaluate hand strength; two of the most common are counting outs and using calculators.

Such cards are called "outs", and hand strength can be measured by how many outs are still in the deck if there are many outs then the probability to get one of them is high and therefore the hand is strong. The following chart determines the probability of hitting outs bettering the player's hand based on how many cards are left in the deck and the draw type.

There are several other poker variants which resemble Texas hold 'em. Hold 'em is a member of a class of poker games known as community card games , where some cards are available for use by all the players. There are several other games that use five community cards in addition to some private cards and are thus similar to Texas hold 'em. Royal hold 'em has the same structure as Texas hold 'em, but the deck contains only Aces, Kings, Queens, Jacks, and Tens.

Just as in no-limit games, raises which come after an initial bet in a betting round can be no smaller than the previous bet or raise, so as each bet or raise is made during a betting round, that bet or raise becomes the new minimum for that round. The minimum bet size is "reset" at the start of the next betting round. The most difficult part of pot-limit games is figuring out the maximum bet size. It involves simple math but is often difficult to do in your head.

Even experienced players often cannot calculate the maximum bet size very quickly. The formula is:. The Amount Of Bet To You is the amount it would take to call all previous bets in the current betting round. If there have been no bets before it gets to you, this amount is zero. The Total Amount of Chips In Pot And In Previous Bets On This Round is the total amount of money already bet and in the pot; it's the amount in the pot from previous betting rounds, plus the sum of all current bets and raises in this round.

Some people find it easier to consider the first part of the equation as the equivalent of "first, calling the bet to you", followed by "betting the total amount now in the pot". Because the math can be somewhat tricky to work out in one's head, especially if previous bet sizes haven't been clear, you may indicate you want to bet or raise the size of the pot by just saying "Pot", or "I raise the pot".

If you're playing in a card room, the dealer can usually tell you the current pot size, and the amount you'll need to put in. If a player is first to act on a betting round, then the amount of money currently in the pot is the maximum bet possible.

Subsequent players may choose to fold , call , or raise. If a later player wants to raise the pot, you do the same math.

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This means that regardless of how chips are purchased, when cashing them in it is typically not possible to sell them back to the dealer since s he has no access to any cash. Poker chips must therefore be taken to the cashier to be exchanged for cash.

Dealers who handle buy-ins will often be willing and sometimes encourage departing players to "color up" their stacks by exchanging them for the highest-available denominations, both for the convenience of the player and to minimize the number of times casino staff must deliver fresh chips to the poker table - a time-consuming process.

On the other hand, casinos that expect players to buy chips from the cashier will usually furnish players with chip trays typically designed to handle chips each to ease the handling of large numbers of chips. Chips given by players or otherwise retained by the dealer for tips, rake and other fees where applicable are usually placed in separate locked boxes by the dealer, although in some casinos the rake is kept in a separate row in the dealer's tray.

Public cardrooms have additional rules designed to speed up play, earn revenue for the casino such as the "rake" , improve security and discourage cheating. All poker games require some forced bets to create an initial stake for the players to contest, as well as an initial cost of being dealt each hand for one or more players.

The requirements for forced bets and the betting limits of the game see below are collectively called the game's betting structure. An ante is a forced bet in which all players put an equal amount of money or chips into the pot before the deal begins. Often this is either a single unit a one-value or the smallest value in play or some other small amount; a proportion such as a half or a quarter of the minimum bet is also common. An ante paid by every player ensures that a player who folds every round will lose money though slowly , thus providing all players with an incentive, however small, to play the hand rather than toss it in when the opening bet reaches them.

Antes are the most common forced bet in draw poker and stud poker but are uncommon in games featuring blind bets see next section. However, some tournament formats of games featuring blinds impose an ante to discourage extremely tight play. Antes encourage players to play more loosely by lowering the cost of staying in the hand calling relative to the current pot size, offering better pot odds. With antes, more players stay in the hand, which increases pot size and makes for more interesting play.

This is considered important to ensure good ratings for televised tournament finals. Most televised high-stakes cash games also use both blinds and antes. Televised cash games usually have one of the players, normally the dealer, pay for everyone to accelerate play. If there are six players for example, the dealer would toss six times the ante into the pot, paying for each person. In live cash games where the acting dealer changes each turn, it is not uncommon for the players to agree that the dealer or some other position relative to the button provides the ante for each player.

This simplifies betting, but causes minor inequities if other players come and go or miss their turn to deal. During such times, the player can be given a special button indicating the need to pay an ante to the pot known as "posting"; see below upon their return.

Some cardrooms eliminate these inequities by always dealing all players into every hand whether they are present or not. In such cases casino staff or neighboring players under staff supervision will be expected to post antes and fold hands on behalf of absent players as necessary. A blind bet or just blind is a forced bet placed into the pot by one or more players before the deal begins, in a way that simulates bets made during play.

The most common use of blinds as a betting structure calls for two blinds: the player after the dealer blinds about half of what would be a normal bet, and the next player blinds what would be a whole bet. This two-blind structure, sometimes with antes, is the dominating structure of play for community card poker games such as Texas hold-em. Sometimes only one blind is used often informally as a "price of winning" the previous hand , and sometimes three are used this is sometimes seen in Omaha.

In the case of three blinds usually one quarter, one quarter, and half a normal bet amount , the first blind goes "on the button", that is, is paid by the dealer. A blind is usually a "live bet"; the amount paid as the blind is considered when figuring the bet to that player the amount needed to call during the first round.

However, some situations, such as when a player was absent from the table during a hand in which they should have paid a blind, call for placing a "dead blind"; the blind does not count as a bet. If there have been no raises when action first gets to the big blind that is, the bet amount facing them is just the amount of the big blind they posted , the big blind has the ability to raise or check.

This right to raise called the option occurs only once. As with any raise, if their raise is now called by every player, the first betting round closes as usual. Similarly to a missed ante, a missed blind due to the player's temporary absence e. Upon the player's return, they must pay the applicable blind to the pot for the next hand they will participate in.

The need for this rule is eliminated in casinos that deal in absent players as described above. Also the rule is for temporary absences only; if a player leaves the table permanently, special rules govern the assigning of blinds and button see next subsection. In some fixed-limit and spread-limit games, especially if three blinds are used, the big blind amount may be less than the normal betting minimum.

Players acting after a sub-minimum blind have the right to call the blind as it is, even though it is less than the amount they would be required to bet, or they may raise the amount needed to bring the current bet up to the normal minimum, called completing the bet. When one or more players pays the small or big blinds for a hand, then after that hand permanently leaves the game by "busting out" in a tournament or simply calling it a night at a public cardroom , an adjustment is required in the positioning of the blinds and the button.

There are three common rule sets to determine this:. In tournaments, the dead button and moving button rules are common replacement players are generally not a part of tournaments. Online cash games generally use the simplified moving button as other methods are more difficult to codify and can be abused by players constantly entering and leaving. Casino card rooms where players can come and go can use any of the three rulesets, though moving button is most common.

When a player immediately takes the place of a player who leaves, the player may have the option to either pay the blinds in the leaving player's stead, in which case play continues as if the player never left, or to "sit out" until the button has moved past him, and thus the chair is effectively empty for purposes of the blinds.

Many card rooms do not allow new players to sit out as it is highly advantageous for the new player, both to watch one or more hands without obligation to play, and to enter the game in a very "late" position on their first hand they see all other player's actions except the dealer's.

For these reasons, new players must often post a "live" big blind to enter regardless of their position at the table. The normal rules for positioning the blinds do not apply when there are only two players at the table. The player on the button is always due the small blind, and the other player must pay the big blind. The player on the button is therefore the first to act before the flop, but last to act for all remaining betting rounds.

A special rule is also applied for placement of the button whenever the size of the table shrinks to two players. If three or more players are involved in a hand, and at the conclusion of the hand one or more players have busted out such that only two players remain for the next hand, the position of the button may need to be adjusted to begin heads-up play. The big blind always continues moving, and then the button is positioned accordingly. For example, in a three-handed game, Alice is the button, Dianne is the small blind, and Carol is the big blind.

If Alice busts out, the next hand Dianne will be the big blind, and the button will skip past Dianne and move to Carol. On the other hand, if Carol busts out, Alice will be the big blind, Dianne will get the button and will have to pay the small blind for the second hand in a row.

A kill blind is a special blind bet made by a player who triggers the kill in a kill game see below. It is often twice the amount of the big blind or minimum bet known as a full kill , but can be 1. This blind is "live"; the player posting it normally acts last in the opening round after the other blinds, regardless of relative position at the table , and other players must call the amount of the kill blind to play.

As any player can trigger a kill, there is the possibility that the player must post a kill blind when they are already due to pay one of the other blinds. Rules vary on how this is handled. A bring-in is a type of forced bet that occurs after the cards are initially dealt, but before any other action. One player, usually chosen by the value of cards dealt face up on the initial deal, is forced to open the betting by some small amount, after which players act after them in normal rotation.

Because of this random first action, bring-ins are usually used in games with an ante instead of structured blind bets. The bring-in is normally assigned on the first betting round of a stud poker game to the player whose upcards indicate the poorest hand. For example, in traditional high hand stud games and high-low split games, the player showing the lowest card pays the bring-in. In low hand games, the player with the highest card showing pays the bring-in.

The high card by suit order can be used to break ties, but more often the person closest to the dealer in order of rotation pays the bring-in. In most fixed-limit and some spread-limit games, the bring-in amount is less than the normal betting minimum often half of this minimum. The player forced to pay the bring-in may choose either to pay only what is required in which case it functions similarly to a small blind or to make a normal bet.

Players acting after a sub-minimum bring-in have the right to call the bring-in as it is, even though it is less than the amount they would be required to bet, or they may raise the amount needed to bring the current bet up to the normal minimum, called completing the bet. In a game where the bring-in is equal to the fixed bet this is rare and not recommended , the game must either allow the bring-in player to optionally come in for a raise, or else the bring-in must be treated as live in the same way as a blind, so that the player is guaranteed their right to raise on the first betting round the "option" if all other players call.

Some cash games, especially with blinds, require a new player to post when joining a game already in progress. Posting in this context means putting an amount equal to the big blind or the minimum bet into the pot before the deal.

This amount is also called a "dead blind". The post is a "live" bet, meaning that the amount can be applied towards a call or raise when it is the player's turn to act. If the player is not facing a raise when the action gets to them, they may also "check their option" as if they were in the big blind. A player who is away from their seat and misses one or more blinds is also required to post to reenter the game. In this case, the amount to be posted is the amount of the big or small blind, or both, at the time the player missed them.

If both must be posted immediately upon return, the big blind amount is "live", but the small blind amount is "dead", meaning that it cannot be considered in determining a call or raise amount by that player. Some house rules allow posting one blind per hand, largest first, meaning all posts of missed blinds are live. Posting is usually not required if the player who would otherwise post happens to be in the big blind. This is because the advantage that would otherwise be gained by missing the blind, that of playing several hands before having to pay blinds, is not the case in this situation.

It is therefore common for a new player to lock up a seat and then wait several hands before joining a table, or for a returning player to sit out several hands until the big blind comes back around, so that they may enter in the big blind and avoid paying the post. For this same reason, only one set of missed blinds can be accumulated by the player; old missed blinds are removed when the big blind returns to that player's seat because the player was never in any position to gain from missing the blinds.

In online poker it is common for the post to be equal in size to a big blind and to be live, just like the big blind. This can create a tactical advantage for the player if they choose not to play during the time they would otherwise spend in the blind in full ring games. A straddle bet is an optional and voluntary blind bet made by a player after the posting of the small and big blinds, but before cards are dealt. Straddles are typically used only in cash games played with fixed blind structures.

Some jurisdictions and casinos prohibit live straddles. Straddles are normally not permitted in tournament formats and are rarely allowed online. The purpose of a straddle is to "buy" the privilege of last action, which on the first round with blinds is normally the player in the big blind.

A straddle or sleeper blind may count as a raise towards the maximum number of raises allowed, or it may count separately; in the latter case this raises the maximum total bet of the first round. For example, straddling is permitted in Nevada and Atlantic City but illegal in other areas on account of differences in state and local laws.

The player immediately to the left of the big blind "under the gun", UTG may place a live straddle blind bet. The straddle must be the size of a normal raise over the big blind. A straddle is a live bet; but does not become a "bigger blind". The straddle acts as a minimum raise but with the difference being that the straddler still gets their option of acting when the action returns to them.

In a No-Limit game if any other player wants to make a raise with a straddle on board, the minimum raise will be the difference between the big blind and the straddle. The minimum raise would be 10, for a total of 30, it doesn't need to double to Action begins with the player to the left of the straddle.

If action returns to the straddle without a raise, the straddle has the option to raise. This is part of what makes a straddle different from a sleeper because a sleeper does not have the option to raise if everyone folds or calls around to him.

Some casinos permit the player to the left of a live straddle to re-straddle by placing a blind bet raising the original straddle. Depending on house rules, each re-straddle is often required to be double the previous straddle, so as to limit the number of feasible re-straddles. Straddling is considered poor long-term strategy by most experts, since the benefit of obtaining last action is more than offset by the cost of making a blind raise.

Because straddling has a tendency to enrich the average pot size without a corresponding increase in the blinds and antes if applicable , players who sit at tables that allow straddling can increase their profits considerably simply by choosing not to straddle themselves. Straddling is voluntary at most cardrooms that allow it, however house rules can make straddling obligatory at times by using a special token called "the rock" at the table. Whoever is in possession of the "rock" is obliged to place a live straddle for double the big blind when they are in the UTG position.

The winner of the ensuing pot takes possession of the "rock" and is obliged to make a live straddle when the UTG position comes around to him. If the pot is split the "rock" goes to the winner closest to the left i. This is very similar in principle to the "kill blind" of a kill game, but does not necessarily occur in the same circumstances, and the betting amounts do not have to be affected beyond the first round as in a kill game.

A Mississippi straddle is similar to a live straddle, but instead of being made by the player "under the gun", it can be made by any player, depending on house rules one common variation is to allow this left of big blind or on the button. House rules permitting Mississippi straddles are common in the southern United States. Like a live straddle, a Mississippi straddle must be at least the minimum raise. Action begins with the player to the left of the straddle in a common variation, action starts left of the big blind, skips over the straddle who is last.

If action gets back to the straddle the straddle has the option of raising. The player to the left of a Mississippi straddle may re-straddle by placing a blind bet raising the original straddle. A sleeper is a blind raise, made from a position other than the player "under the gun".

A sleeper bet is not given the option to raise if other players call, and the player is not buying last action; thus the sleeper bet simply establishes a higher minimum to call for the table during the opening round and allows the player to ignore their turn as long as no one re-raises the sleeper bet. Sleepers are often considered illegal out-of-turn play and are commonly disallowed, but they can speed up a game slightly as a player who posts a sleeper can focus their attention on other matters such as ordering a drink or buying a tray of chips.

It can also be an intimidation tactic as a sleeper raise makes it unfeasible to "limp in" a situation where a player with a mediocre starting hand but acting late only has to call the minimum to see more cards , thus forcing weaker but improvable starting hands out of the play. Alice is in the small blind, Dianne is in the big blind, Carol is next to act, followed by Joane, with Ellen on the button. Betting limits apply to the amount a player may open or raise, and come in four common forms: no limit , pot limit the two collectively called big bet poker , fixed limit , and spread limit.

All such games have a minimum bet as well as the stated maximums, and also commonly a betting unit , which is the smallest denomination in which bets can be made. It is also common for some games to have a bring-in that is less than the minimum for other bets.

In this case, players may either call the bring-in, or raise to the full amount of a normal bet, called completing the bet. In a game played with a fixed-limit betting structure, a player chooses only whether to bet or not—the amount is fixed by rule in most situations. To enable the possibility of bluffing and protection , the fixed amount generally doubles at some point in the game.

This double wager amount is referred to as a big bet. Some limit games have rules for specific situations allowing a player to choose between a small or big bet. For example, in seven-card stud high , when a player has a face-up pair on the second round 4th street , players may choose a small or big bet e.

Most fixed-limit games will not allow more than a predefined number of raises in a betting round. The maximum number of raises depends on the casino house rules , and is usually posted conspicuously in the card room. Typically, an initial bet plus either three or four raises are allowed. Once Player A has made their final bet, Players B and C may only call another two and one bets respectively ; they may not raise again because the betting is capped.

A common exception in this rule practiced in some card rooms is to allow unlimited raising when a pot is played heads up when only two players are in the hand at the start of the betting round. Usually, this has occurred because all other players have folded, and only two remain, although it is also practiced when only two players get dealt in. Many card rooms will permit these two players to continue re-raising each other until one player is all in. Sometimes a fixed-limit game is played as a kill game.

In such a game, a kill hand is triggered when a player wins a pot over a certain predetermined amount, or when the player wins a certain number of consecutive hands. The player triggering the kill must post a kill blind , generally either 1. In addition, the betting limits for the kill hand are multiplied by 1. The term kill , when used in this context, should not be confused with killing a hand , which is a term used for a hand that was made a dead hand by action of a game official.

A game played with a spread-limit betting structure allows a player to raise any amount within a specified range. These limits are typically larger in later rounds of multi-round games. Playing spread-limit requires some care to avoid giving easy tells with one's choice of bets.

Beginners frequently give themselves away by betting high with strong hands and low with weak ones, for instance. It is also harder to force other players out with big bets. There is a variation of this known as "California Spread," where the range is much higher, such as or California Spread, as the name implies, is played in California, Colorado, and Minnesota, where local laws forbid no limit.

In a half-pot limit game, no player can raise more than the half of the size of the total pot. Half-pot limit games are often played at non-high-low games including Badugi in South Korea. In a pot-limit game no player can raise more than the size of the total pot, which includes:. This does not preclude a player from raising less than the maximum so long as the amount of the raise is equal to or greater than any previous bet or raise in the same betting round.

Making a maximum raise is referred to as "raising the pot", or "potting", and can be announced by the acting player by declaring "Raise pot", or simply "Pot". These actions, with additional follow-up wagering, are laid out in Table '1' on the right. Only pot limit games allow the dealer, on request, to inform the players of the pot size and the amount of a pot raise before it's made. The dealer is also required to push any amount over the maximum raise back to the offending player.

Keeping track of those numbers can be harrowing if the action becomes heated, but there are simple calculations that allow a dealer or player to keep track of the maximum raise amount. Here is an example:. There may be some variance between cash and tournament play in pot limit betting structures, which should be noted:.

There can be some confusion about the small blind. Some usually home games treat the small blind as dead money that is pulled into the center pot. A game played with a no-limit betting structure allows each player to raise the bet by any amount up to and including their entire remaining stake at any time subject to the table stakes rules and any other rules about raising.

Hands in a cap limit or "capped" structure are played exactly the same as in regular no limit or pot limit games until a pre-determined maximum per player is reached. Once the betting cap is reached, all players left in the hand are considered all-in , and the remaining cards dealt out with no more wagering. Cap limit games offer a similar action and strategy to no limit and pot limit games, but without risking an entire stack on a single hand.

All casinos and most home games play poker by what are called table stakes rules, which state that each player starts each deal with a certain stake, and plays that deal with that stake. A player may not remove money from the table or add money from their pocket during the play of a hand. In essence, table stakes rules creates a maximum and a minimum buy-in amount for cash game poker as well as rules for adding and removing the stake from play.

A player also may not take a portion of their money or stake off the table, unless they opt to leave the game and remove their entire stake from play. Players are not allowed to hide or misrepresent the amount of their stake from other players and must truthfully disclose the amount when asked. In casino games, an exception is customarily made for de minimis amounts such as tips paid out of a player's stack.

Common among inexperienced players is the act of "going south" after winning a big pot, which is to take a portion of one's stake out of play, often as an attempt to hedge one's risk after a win. This is also known as "ratholing" or "reducing" and, while totally permissible in most other casino games, is not permitted in poker. If a player wishes to "hedge" after a win, the player must leave the table entirely—to do so immediately after winning a large pot is known as a "hit and run" and, although not prohibited, is generally considered in poor taste as the other players have no chance to "win some of it back".

In most casinos, once a player picks up their stack and leaves a table, they must wait a certain amount of time usually an hour before returning to a table with the same game and limits unless they buy in for the entire amount they left with. This is to prevent circumvention of the rule against "ratholing" by leaving the table after a large win only to immediately buy back in for a lesser amount.

Table stakes are the rule in most cash poker games because it allows players with vastly different bankrolls a reasonable amount of protection when playing with one another. They are usually set in relation to the blinds. This also requires some special rules to handle the case when a player is faced with a bet that they cannot call with their available stake. A player faced with a current bet who wishes to call but has insufficient remaining stake folding does not require special rules may bet the remainder of their stake and declare themselves all in.

They may now hold onto their cards for the remainder of the deal as if they had called every bet, but may not win any more money from any player above the amount of their bet. In no-limit games, a player may also go all in, that is, betting their entire stack at any point during a betting round. A player who goes "all-in" effectively caps the main pot; the player is not entitled to win any amount over their total stake. If only one other player is still in the hand, the other player simply matches the all-in retracting any overage if necessary and the hand is dealt to completion.

However, if multiple players remain in the game and the bet rises beyond the all-in's stake, the overage goes into a side pot. Only the players who have contributed to the side pot have the chance to win it. In the case of multiple all-in bets, multiple side pots can be created.

Players who choose to fold rather than match bets in the side pot are considered to fold with respect to the main pot as well. Player C decides to "re-raise all-in" by betting their remaining stake. Player A is the only player at the table with a remaining stake; they may not make any further bets this hand.

As no further bets can be made, the hand is now dealt to completion. It is found that Player B has the best hand overall, and wins the main pot. Player A has the second-best hand, and wins the side pot. Player C loses the hand, and must "re-buy" if they wish to be dealt in on subsequent hands. For every one bet you give up due to a mistake, you must win two back before seeing a profit. That means every error you commit makes it twice as difficult to make money at the game. A poorly played hand in No-Limit can cost you your entire stack, while a well-played hand can double up your stack.

A poorly played hand in Limit can equate to losing multiple bets. If you're playing on a win rate of one bet per hour, this single misplayed hand can cost you multiple hours of your time. Working half a session for free is never a good time.

With the turn and river betting rounds using the higher betting limit, these betting rounds become the most valuable rounds in a Limit Hold'em game. A single bet on the turn is equal to two bets on the flop; this obvious information becomes valuable when figuring how to play your hand.

For simplicity's sake, let's say you're first in position and flop the absolute, un-counterfeitable nuts. Your only goal in this hand is to build as large a pot as possible. You're heads-up, and your opponent has bet out the flop probably with a pair, or a hand strong enough to want to see the river. Your opponent is good enough that once you raise he will have an idea that you may have something strong. You are as sure as you can be that after you raise your opponent will shut down into check-call mode.

To make the most money, you want to hold out until the turn to make your raise. Here's a chart of total bets made from raising the flop and having your opponent check-call you to showdown afterward:. In the same scenario, you call your opponent's flop bet, and raise them on the turn. They call, and check-call the river:.

By waiting until the turn to make your single raise, you've gained yourself one full big bet. As you can see in the following chart, waiting to raise until the river yields the same result as the turn:. The obvious advantage to making the raise on the turn is forcing your opponent to pay more to see a river.

Since it's rare to have a hand on the flop or turn that's impossible to beat, letting your opponent see a free or cheap river is not always in your best interest. If your goal in every hand of Limit Hold'em is to maximize your big bets, it's important to take a look at three-betting. Just as waiting until the turn to raise makes you money, so does three-betting. The difference is that the increase in betting size geometrically increases the difference in big bets, depending on when you make the move.

As soon as you three-bet, your opponent stops raising, and only calls from that point on.

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If three or more players are involved in a hand, and at the conclusion of the hand one or more players have busted out such that only two players remain for the next hand, the position of the button may need to be adjusted to begin heads-up play. The big blind always continues moving, and then the button is positioned accordingly. For example, in a three-handed game, Alice is the button, Dianne is the small blind, and Carol is the big blind.

If Alice busts out, the next hand Dianne will be the big blind, and the button will skip past Dianne and move to Carol. On the other hand, if Carol busts out, Alice will be the big blind, Dianne will get the button and will have to pay the small blind for the second hand in a row. A kill blind is a special blind bet made by a player who triggers the kill in a kill game see below. It is often twice the amount of the big blind or minimum bet known as a full kill , but can be 1.

This blind is "live"; the player posting it normally acts last in the opening round after the other blinds, regardless of relative position at the table , and other players must call the amount of the kill blind to play. As any player can trigger a kill, there is the possibility that the player must post a kill blind when they are already due to pay one of the other blinds. Rules vary on how this is handled.

A bring-in is a type of forced bet that occurs after the cards are initially dealt, but before any other action. One player, usually chosen by the value of cards dealt face up on the initial deal, is forced to open the betting by some small amount, after which players act after them in normal rotation. Because of this random first action, bring-ins are usually used in games with an ante instead of structured blind bets.

The bring-in is normally assigned on the first betting round of a stud poker game to the player whose upcards indicate the poorest hand. For example, in traditional high hand stud games and high-low split games, the player showing the lowest card pays the bring-in. In low hand games, the player with the highest card showing pays the bring-in. The high card by suit order can be used to break ties, but more often the person closest to the dealer in order of rotation pays the bring-in.

In most fixed-limit and some spread-limit games, the bring-in amount is less than the normal betting minimum often half of this minimum. The player forced to pay the bring-in may choose either to pay only what is required in which case it functions similarly to a small blind or to make a normal bet. Players acting after a sub-minimum bring-in have the right to call the bring-in as it is, even though it is less than the amount they would be required to bet, or they may raise the amount needed to bring the current bet up to the normal minimum, called completing the bet.

In a game where the bring-in is equal to the fixed bet this is rare and not recommended , the game must either allow the bring-in player to optionally come in for a raise, or else the bring-in must be treated as live in the same way as a blind, so that the player is guaranteed their right to raise on the first betting round the "option" if all other players call.

Some cash games, especially with blinds, require a new player to post when joining a game already in progress. Posting in this context means putting an amount equal to the big blind or the minimum bet into the pot before the deal. This amount is also called a "dead blind". The post is a "live" bet, meaning that the amount can be applied towards a call or raise when it is the player's turn to act.

If the player is not facing a raise when the action gets to them, they may also "check their option" as if they were in the big blind. A player who is away from their seat and misses one or more blinds is also required to post to reenter the game. In this case, the amount to be posted is the amount of the big or small blind, or both, at the time the player missed them.

If both must be posted immediately upon return, the big blind amount is "live", but the small blind amount is "dead", meaning that it cannot be considered in determining a call or raise amount by that player.

Some house rules allow posting one blind per hand, largest first, meaning all posts of missed blinds are live. Posting is usually not required if the player who would otherwise post happens to be in the big blind. This is because the advantage that would otherwise be gained by missing the blind, that of playing several hands before having to pay blinds, is not the case in this situation.

It is therefore common for a new player to lock up a seat and then wait several hands before joining a table, or for a returning player to sit out several hands until the big blind comes back around, so that they may enter in the big blind and avoid paying the post. For this same reason, only one set of missed blinds can be accumulated by the player; old missed blinds are removed when the big blind returns to that player's seat because the player was never in any position to gain from missing the blinds.

In online poker it is common for the post to be equal in size to a big blind and to be live, just like the big blind. This can create a tactical advantage for the player if they choose not to play during the time they would otherwise spend in the blind in full ring games. A straddle bet is an optional and voluntary blind bet made by a player after the posting of the small and big blinds, but before cards are dealt. Straddles are typically used only in cash games played with fixed blind structures.

Some jurisdictions and casinos prohibit live straddles. Straddles are normally not permitted in tournament formats and are rarely allowed online. The purpose of a straddle is to "buy" the privilege of last action, which on the first round with blinds is normally the player in the big blind.

A straddle or sleeper blind may count as a raise towards the maximum number of raises allowed, or it may count separately; in the latter case this raises the maximum total bet of the first round. For example, straddling is permitted in Nevada and Atlantic City but illegal in other areas on account of differences in state and local laws.

The player immediately to the left of the big blind "under the gun", UTG may place a live straddle blind bet. The straddle must be the size of a normal raise over the big blind. A straddle is a live bet; but does not become a "bigger blind". The straddle acts as a minimum raise but with the difference being that the straddler still gets their option of acting when the action returns to them.

In a No-Limit game if any other player wants to make a raise with a straddle on board, the minimum raise will be the difference between the big blind and the straddle. The minimum raise would be 10, for a total of 30, it doesn't need to double to Action begins with the player to the left of the straddle.

If action returns to the straddle without a raise, the straddle has the option to raise. This is part of what makes a straddle different from a sleeper because a sleeper does not have the option to raise if everyone folds or calls around to him. Some casinos permit the player to the left of a live straddle to re-straddle by placing a blind bet raising the original straddle.

Depending on house rules, each re-straddle is often required to be double the previous straddle, so as to limit the number of feasible re-straddles. Straddling is considered poor long-term strategy by most experts, since the benefit of obtaining last action is more than offset by the cost of making a blind raise. Because straddling has a tendency to enrich the average pot size without a corresponding increase in the blinds and antes if applicable , players who sit at tables that allow straddling can increase their profits considerably simply by choosing not to straddle themselves.

Straddling is voluntary at most cardrooms that allow it, however house rules can make straddling obligatory at times by using a special token called "the rock" at the table. Whoever is in possession of the "rock" is obliged to place a live straddle for double the big blind when they are in the UTG position.

The winner of the ensuing pot takes possession of the "rock" and is obliged to make a live straddle when the UTG position comes around to him. If the pot is split the "rock" goes to the winner closest to the left i. This is very similar in principle to the "kill blind" of a kill game, but does not necessarily occur in the same circumstances, and the betting amounts do not have to be affected beyond the first round as in a kill game.

A Mississippi straddle is similar to a live straddle, but instead of being made by the player "under the gun", it can be made by any player, depending on house rules one common variation is to allow this left of big blind or on the button. House rules permitting Mississippi straddles are common in the southern United States. Like a live straddle, a Mississippi straddle must be at least the minimum raise. Action begins with the player to the left of the straddle in a common variation, action starts left of the big blind, skips over the straddle who is last.

If action gets back to the straddle the straddle has the option of raising. The player to the left of a Mississippi straddle may re-straddle by placing a blind bet raising the original straddle. A sleeper is a blind raise, made from a position other than the player "under the gun". A sleeper bet is not given the option to raise if other players call, and the player is not buying last action; thus the sleeper bet simply establishes a higher minimum to call for the table during the opening round and allows the player to ignore their turn as long as no one re-raises the sleeper bet.

Sleepers are often considered illegal out-of-turn play and are commonly disallowed, but they can speed up a game slightly as a player who posts a sleeper can focus their attention on other matters such as ordering a drink or buying a tray of chips. It can also be an intimidation tactic as a sleeper raise makes it unfeasible to "limp in" a situation where a player with a mediocre starting hand but acting late only has to call the minimum to see more cards , thus forcing weaker but improvable starting hands out of the play.

Alice is in the small blind, Dianne is in the big blind, Carol is next to act, followed by Joane, with Ellen on the button. Betting limits apply to the amount a player may open or raise, and come in four common forms: no limit , pot limit the two collectively called big bet poker , fixed limit , and spread limit.

All such games have a minimum bet as well as the stated maximums, and also commonly a betting unit , which is the smallest denomination in which bets can be made. It is also common for some games to have a bring-in that is less than the minimum for other bets. In this case, players may either call the bring-in, or raise to the full amount of a normal bet, called completing the bet.

In a game played with a fixed-limit betting structure, a player chooses only whether to bet or not—the amount is fixed by rule in most situations. To enable the possibility of bluffing and protection , the fixed amount generally doubles at some point in the game.

This double wager amount is referred to as a big bet. Some limit games have rules for specific situations allowing a player to choose between a small or big bet. For example, in seven-card stud high , when a player has a face-up pair on the second round 4th street , players may choose a small or big bet e.

Most fixed-limit games will not allow more than a predefined number of raises in a betting round. The maximum number of raises depends on the casino house rules , and is usually posted conspicuously in the card room. Typically, an initial bet plus either three or four raises are allowed.

Once Player A has made their final bet, Players B and C may only call another two and one bets respectively ; they may not raise again because the betting is capped. A common exception in this rule practiced in some card rooms is to allow unlimited raising when a pot is played heads up when only two players are in the hand at the start of the betting round. Usually, this has occurred because all other players have folded, and only two remain, although it is also practiced when only two players get dealt in.

Many card rooms will permit these two players to continue re-raising each other until one player is all in. Sometimes a fixed-limit game is played as a kill game. In such a game, a kill hand is triggered when a player wins a pot over a certain predetermined amount, or when the player wins a certain number of consecutive hands. The player triggering the kill must post a kill blind , generally either 1.

In addition, the betting limits for the kill hand are multiplied by 1. The term kill , when used in this context, should not be confused with killing a hand , which is a term used for a hand that was made a dead hand by action of a game official. A game played with a spread-limit betting structure allows a player to raise any amount within a specified range. These limits are typically larger in later rounds of multi-round games.

Playing spread-limit requires some care to avoid giving easy tells with one's choice of bets. Beginners frequently give themselves away by betting high with strong hands and low with weak ones, for instance. It is also harder to force other players out with big bets.

There is a variation of this known as "California Spread," where the range is much higher, such as or California Spread, as the name implies, is played in California, Colorado, and Minnesota, where local laws forbid no limit. In a half-pot limit game, no player can raise more than the half of the size of the total pot.

Half-pot limit games are often played at non-high-low games including Badugi in South Korea. In a pot-limit game no player can raise more than the size of the total pot, which includes:. This does not preclude a player from raising less than the maximum so long as the amount of the raise is equal to or greater than any previous bet or raise in the same betting round. Making a maximum raise is referred to as "raising the pot", or "potting", and can be announced by the acting player by declaring "Raise pot", or simply "Pot".

These actions, with additional follow-up wagering, are laid out in Table '1' on the right. Only pot limit games allow the dealer, on request, to inform the players of the pot size and the amount of a pot raise before it's made. The dealer is also required to push any amount over the maximum raise back to the offending player. Keeping track of those numbers can be harrowing if the action becomes heated, but there are simple calculations that allow a dealer or player to keep track of the maximum raise amount.

Here is an example:. There may be some variance between cash and tournament play in pot limit betting structures, which should be noted:. There can be some confusion about the small blind. Some usually home games treat the small blind as dead money that is pulled into the center pot. A game played with a no-limit betting structure allows each player to raise the bet by any amount up to and including their entire remaining stake at any time subject to the table stakes rules and any other rules about raising.

Hands in a cap limit or "capped" structure are played exactly the same as in regular no limit or pot limit games until a pre-determined maximum per player is reached. Once the betting cap is reached, all players left in the hand are considered all-in , and the remaining cards dealt out with no more wagering. Cap limit games offer a similar action and strategy to no limit and pot limit games, but without risking an entire stack on a single hand. All casinos and most home games play poker by what are called table stakes rules, which state that each player starts each deal with a certain stake, and plays that deal with that stake.

A player may not remove money from the table or add money from their pocket during the play of a hand. In essence, table stakes rules creates a maximum and a minimum buy-in amount for cash game poker as well as rules for adding and removing the stake from play.

A player also may not take a portion of their money or stake off the table, unless they opt to leave the game and remove their entire stake from play. Players are not allowed to hide or misrepresent the amount of their stake from other players and must truthfully disclose the amount when asked. In casino games, an exception is customarily made for de minimis amounts such as tips paid out of a player's stack. Common among inexperienced players is the act of "going south" after winning a big pot, which is to take a portion of one's stake out of play, often as an attempt to hedge one's risk after a win.

This is also known as "ratholing" or "reducing" and, while totally permissible in most other casino games, is not permitted in poker. If a player wishes to "hedge" after a win, the player must leave the table entirely—to do so immediately after winning a large pot is known as a "hit and run" and, although not prohibited, is generally considered in poor taste as the other players have no chance to "win some of it back".

In most casinos, once a player picks up their stack and leaves a table, they must wait a certain amount of time usually an hour before returning to a table with the same game and limits unless they buy in for the entire amount they left with. This is to prevent circumvention of the rule against "ratholing" by leaving the table after a large win only to immediately buy back in for a lesser amount.

Table stakes are the rule in most cash poker games because it allows players with vastly different bankrolls a reasonable amount of protection when playing with one another. They are usually set in relation to the blinds. This also requires some special rules to handle the case when a player is faced with a bet that they cannot call with their available stake. A player faced with a current bet who wishes to call but has insufficient remaining stake folding does not require special rules may bet the remainder of their stake and declare themselves all in.

They may now hold onto their cards for the remainder of the deal as if they had called every bet, but may not win any more money from any player above the amount of their bet. In no-limit games, a player may also go all in, that is, betting their entire stack at any point during a betting round. A player who goes "all-in" effectively caps the main pot; the player is not entitled to win any amount over their total stake. If only one other player is still in the hand, the other player simply matches the all-in retracting any overage if necessary and the hand is dealt to completion.

However, if multiple players remain in the game and the bet rises beyond the all-in's stake, the overage goes into a side pot. Only the players who have contributed to the side pot have the chance to win it. In the case of multiple all-in bets, multiple side pots can be created. Players who choose to fold rather than match bets in the side pot are considered to fold with respect to the main pot as well. Player C decides to "re-raise all-in" by betting their remaining stake.

Player A is the only player at the table with a remaining stake; they may not make any further bets this hand. As no further bets can be made, the hand is now dealt to completion. It is found that Player B has the best hand overall, and wins the main pot. Player A has the second-best hand, and wins the side pot.

Player C loses the hand, and must "re-buy" if they wish to be dealt in on subsequent hands. There is a strategic advantage to being all in: such a player cannot be bluffed , because they are entitled to hold their cards and see the showdown without risking any more money. Opponents who continue to bet after a player is all in can still bluff each other out of the side pot, which is also to the all in player's advantage since players who fold out of the side pot also reduce competition for the main pot.

But these advantages are offset by the disadvantage that a player cannot win any more money than their stake can cover when they have the best hand, nor can an all in player bluff other players on subsequent betting rounds when they do not have the best hand. Some players may choose to buy into games with a "short stack", a stack of chips that is relatively small for the stakes being played, with the intention of going all in after the flop and not having to make any further decisions.

However, this is generally a non-optimal strategy in the long-term, since the player does not maximize their gains on their winning hands. If a player does not have sufficient money to cover the ante and blinds due, that player is automatically all-in for the coming hand. Any money the player holds must be applied to the ante first, and if the full ante is covered, the remaining money is applied towards the blind.

Some cardrooms require players in the big blind position to have at least enough chips to cover the small blind and ante if applicable in order to be dealt in. In cash games with such a rule, any player in the big blind with insufficient chips to cover the small blind will not be dealt in unless they re-buy.

In tournaments with such a rule, any player in the big blind with insufficient chips to cover the small blind will be eliminated with their remaining chips being removed from play. If a player is all in for part of the ante, or the exact amount of the ante, an equal amount of every other player's ante is placed in the main pot, with any remaining fraction of the ante and all blinds and further bets in the side pot.

If a player is all in for part of a blind, all antes go into the main pot. Players to act must call the complete amount of the big blind to call, even if the all-in player has posted less than a full big blind. At the end of the betting round, the bets and calls will be divided into the main pot and side pot as usual.

All remaining players fold, the small blind folds, and Dianne folds. If a player goes all in with a bet or raise rather than a call, another special rule comes into play. There are two options in common use: pot-limit and no-limit games usually use what is called the full bet rule , while fixed-limit and spread-limit games may use either the full bet rule or the half bet rule. The full bet rule states that if the amount of an all-in bet is less than the minimum bet, or if the amount of an all-in raise is less than the full amount of the previous raise, it does not constitute a "real" raise, and therefore does not reopen the betting action.

The half bet rule states that if an all-in bet or raise is equal to or larger than half the minimum amount, it does constitute a raise and reopens the action. If the half bet rule were being used, then that raise would count as a genuine raise and the first player would be entitled to re-raise if they chose to creating a side pot for the amount of their re-raise and the third player's call, if any.

In a game with a half bet rule, a player may complete an incomplete raise, if that player still has the right to raise in other words, if that player has not yet acted in the betting round, or has not yet acted since the last full bet or raise.

The act of completing a bet or raise reopens the betting to other remaining opponents. For example, four players are in a hand, playing with a limit betting structure and a half bet rule. Alice checks, and Dianne checks. But if Joane completes, either of them could raise. When all players in the pot are all-in, or one player is playing alone against opponents who are all all-in, no more betting can take place.

Some casinos and many major tournaments require that all players still involved open , or immediately reveal, their hole cards in this case—the dealer will not continue dealing until all hands are flipped up. Likewise, any other cards that would normally be dealt face down, such as the final card in seven-card stud , may be dealt face-up. Such action is automatic in online poker. This rule discourages a form of tournament collusion called "chip dumping", in which one player deliberately loses their chips to another to give that player a greater chance of winning.

The alternative to table stakes rules is called "open stakes", in which players are allowed to buy more chips during the hand and even to borrow money often called "going light". Open stakes are most commonly found in home or private games. In casinos, players are sometimes allowed to buy chips at the table during a hand, but are never allowed to borrow money or use IOUs.

Other casinos, depending on protocol for buying chips, prohibit it as it slows gameplay considerably. Open stakes is the older form of stakes rules, and before "all-in" betting became commonplace, a large bankroll meant an unfair advantage; raising the bet beyond what a player could cover in cash gave the player only two options; buy a larger stake borrowing if necessary or fold.

This is commonly seen in period-piece movies such as Westerns, where a player bets personal possessions or even wagers property against another player's much larger cash bankroll. In modern open-stakes rules, a player may go all in as in table stakes if they so choose, rather than adding to their stake or borrowing.

Because it is a strategic advantage to go all in with some hands while being able to add to your stake with others, such games should strictly enforce a minimum buy-in that is several times the maximum bet or blinds, in the case of a no-limit or pot-limit game. A player who goes all in and wins a pot that is less than the minimum buy-in may not then add to their stake or borrow money during any future hand until they re-buy an amount sufficient to bring their stake up to a full buy-in.

If a player cannot or does not wish to go all-in, they may instead choose to buy chips with cash out-of-pocket at any time, even during the play of a hand, and their bets are limited only by the specified betting structure of the game.

Finally, a player may also borrow money by betting with an IOU, called a "marker", payable to the winner of the pot. To bet with a marker, all players still active in the pot must agree to accept the marker. Some clubs and house rules forbid IOUs altogether. If the marker is not acceptable, the bettor may bet with cash out-of-pocket or go all-in.

A player may also borrow money from a player not involved in the pot, giving them a personal marker in exchange for cash or chips, which the players in the pot are then compelled to accept. A player may borrow money to call a bet during a hand, and later in the same hand go all-in due to further betting; but if a player borrows money to raise, they forfeit the right to go all-in later in that same hand—if they are re-raised, they must borrow money to call, or fold.

A player may also buy more chips or be bought back in by any other player for any given amount at any given time. Just as in table stakes, no player may remove chips or cash from the table once they are put in play except small amounts for refreshments, tips, and such —this includes all markers, whether one's own or those won from other players.

Players should agree before play on the means and time limits of settling markers, and a convenient amount below which all markers must be accepted to simplify play. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the common terms, rules, and procedures of betting in poker only. For the strategic impact of betting, see poker strategy.

That means every error you commit makes it twice as difficult to make money at the game. A poorly played hand in No-Limit can cost you your entire stack, while a well-played hand can double up your stack. A poorly played hand in Limit can equate to losing multiple bets. If you're playing on a win rate of one bet per hour, this single misplayed hand can cost you multiple hours of your time.

Working half a session for free is never a good time. With the turn and river betting rounds using the higher betting limit, these betting rounds become the most valuable rounds in a Limit Hold'em game. A single bet on the turn is equal to two bets on the flop; this obvious information becomes valuable when figuring how to play your hand. For simplicity's sake, let's say you're first in position and flop the absolute, un-counterfeitable nuts.

Your only goal in this hand is to build as large a pot as possible. You're heads-up, and your opponent has bet out the flop probably with a pair, or a hand strong enough to want to see the river. Your opponent is good enough that once you raise he will have an idea that you may have something strong. You are as sure as you can be that after you raise your opponent will shut down into check-call mode.

To make the most money, you want to hold out until the turn to make your raise. Here's a chart of total bets made from raising the flop and having your opponent check-call you to showdown afterward:. In the same scenario, you call your opponent's flop bet, and raise them on the turn. They call, and check-call the river:.

By waiting until the turn to make your single raise, you've gained yourself one full big bet. As you can see in the following chart, waiting to raise until the river yields the same result as the turn:. The obvious advantage to making the raise on the turn is forcing your opponent to pay more to see a river. Since it's rare to have a hand on the flop or turn that's impossible to beat, letting your opponent see a free or cheap river is not always in your best interest.

If your goal in every hand of Limit Hold'em is to maximize your big bets, it's important to take a look at three-betting. Just as waiting until the turn to raise makes you money, so does three-betting. The difference is that the increase in betting size geometrically increases the difference in big bets, depending on when you make the move.

As soon as you three-bet, your opponent stops raising, and only calls from that point on. As you can see, three-betting the flop only earned you the same amount of money as a simple raise on the turn would have.