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Home: Poker: Pot-Limit and No-Limit

Pot-Limit and No-Limit: Set-Up and Play

Pot-Limit

When playing Pot-Limit, all bets are restricted to the size of the pot. This means that if there is $100 in the pot, a player can bet anything between the size of the big blind (the minimum bet unless a player is forced to move all-in) and $100.

Example

The game is $1-$2 Pot-Limit Texas Hold'em or Pot-Limit Omaha (these games are identical in terms of betting procedures). In a $1-$2 Pot-Limit or No-Limit game the small blind is $1 and the big blind is $2. The first player can either raise the minimum $2 (making it $4 to go), raise the pot, or raise any amount in between the minimum raise and a pot raise. A pot raise would be $7 (the small blind ($1) + the big blind ($2) + the call ($2) = $5. The pot raise then becomes $5 more, so the call ($2) + the raise ($5) makes it $7 to go). If the next player decides to raise the pot, he can raise it to $24 (the small blind ($1) + the big blind ($2) + the raise $7 + the call ($7) = $17. The pot re-raise now becomes $17 more, so the call ($7) + the re-raise ($17) makes it $24 to go).

A re-raise in Pot-Limit must be a minimum of double the previous raise, unless the player does not have enough money and is forced to move all-in.

A bet in Pot-Limit must be at least the size of the big blind, unless the player does not have enough money and is forced to move all-in.

No-Limit

In No-Limit you may bet whatever you have in front of you at any time, no matter what the pot is.

A re-raise in No-Limit must be a minimum of double the previous raise, unless the player does not have enough money and is forced to move all-in.

A bet in No-Limit has to be the size of the big blind, unless the player does not have enough money and is forced to move all-in.

Table Stakes in Pot-Limit and No-Limit

Table stakes are used in almost all poker games today. It provides protection so that a player can play with any amount he has in front of him. This means that if two players are involved in a hand and one has $100 and the other has $50, the player with $100 can bet, at the most, $50 (consequently, he can only lose $50 on the hand).

Example

It is a No-Limit game and three players (players A, B, and C) are involved in a hand. Player A has $300, player B has $200 and player C has $100. Player C goes all-in and bets $100, player B calls and must put in $100 out of his $200, player A chooses to raise all-in and bets $300 and player B decides to call all-in with his last $100.

In a situation like this, a side pot is created. The main pot contains what player C can win ($100 from C + $100 from B + $100 from A = $300) and the side pot contains (B's last $100 + $100 from A = $200). As such, player A has to take $100 back.

Once all the cards are dealt, player C wins the main pot ($300) if he holds the best hand. Player A or player B will win the side pot ($200), depending on which of them has the best hand. If player A or B hold the best hand, that player will then win both the side pot and the main pot ($300 + $200 = $500).

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