Pot Limit in Poker


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If you are familiar with poker, then you must be well aware that all cash games and tournaments in poker generally use three key betting structures namely – fixed limit, no limit and pot limit. Since fixed limit and no limit are the most popular betting variants, it is perhaps the pot limit that needs some context. Therefore, in this post, we have covered everything from the meaning to the procedure for calculating the size of the pot in poker.

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What does the term pot limit mean in poker?

The term pot limit is often used in reference to a betting structure that limits the maximum size of the bet to the current amount in the pot. In other words, in a pot limit game, players are allowed to bet or raise any amount between the minimum bet and the current size of the pot. Vital to this, the minimum bet in any game of pot limit is usually the value of the big blind. In a pot limit, the size of the blinds is indicated as $4/$8, where $4 is the value of the small blind and $8 is the value of the big blind.

Since the amount of maximum bet is restricted by the pot limit, therefore players do not have the option to over bet in this poker variant. The pot limit betting structure is most commonly followed in community poker games like Omaha and Texas Holdem.

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How to calculate size of the pot in poker?

Having understood what pot limit means in poker, if you are wondering how you are supposed to know the maximum bet or the raise amount during a game of pot limit that can be put on a particular street. Then, don’t you worry, in this section we are going to explain the exact process that you must follow for calculating the size of the pot in pot limit games with the help of a short example:

Let’s assume you are playing a $10/$10 pot limit Holdem game wherein you are the first person to act in the current betting round, herein total amount of money currently in the pot will be the size of the maximum bet possible. So, let’s say there are only $30 in the pot after the flop round. Now, you can bet anywhere between $10 and $30 in the current round. So, say, you decided to bet $20. The action moves to another player, who instead of calling decides to raise the amount of the bet.

Here, the current pot size has now become $50. How? The initial value in the pot was $30, thereafter you placed a bet worth $20. Now to raise as per poker betting rules Mike will first have to call your bet of $20, thereafter he can raise the amount of your bet by the same value i.e., $20. But, let’s say Mike decides to raise the maximum which in this case will be limited by the current size of the pot. So here Mike will be allowed to place a maximum bet worth $30 (initial size of the pot) +$20(the bet you placed) +$20 (the amount Mike called) +$20 (the amount Mike raised) = $90 and nothing more.

Now, if the third player, say Lisa decides to raise, then the maximum amount she will be allowed to raise is $90+$140=$230. How? Here, the size of the pot = $30 (the initial amount in the pot) + $20 (the amount that you had bet) + $90 (the maximum raise that Mike had placed) = $140. So, if Lisa just decides to raise then she will first call Mike’s bet = $90 and then raise it by $90 = $180. But if she decides to raise maximum then she will be allowed to bet max $230.

Since the pot limit maths can get a bit tricky, therefore most online poker rooms highlight the current pot size throughout the game and oftentimes indicate the amount of maximum bet as well for the player’s convenience.

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