Poker Betting Limits
Each game of poker, whether you are playing Texas holdem, Omaha or 7 Card Stud, is structured by an amount that may be bet on each round of play. These are generally referred to as "limits". There are three types, called limit, pot limit and no limit, and it is important to understand what each means before choosing a table. Here is an explanation of what each stands for.
The most common form of poker is limit, usually referred to with numbers, like 2 / 4 Texas holdem or 5 / 10 Omaha. The numbers represent the size that bets must be on certain rounds of betting. In Texas holdem and Omaha, the bets the first two rounds are the first number and the bets the last two rounds are the second number. In 7 Card Stud, the first number is the betting limit for the first two rounds and the second number is the limit for the last three. This is best illustrated by an example.
Using 2 / 4 limit Texas holdem, all bets on the first two rounds must be 2 and all bets on the last two rounds must be 4. The 2 also represents the size of the big blind, so in the first round of betting, each player may fold, call the big blind of 2 or raise by placing a bet equal to the size of the last bet plus 2. The first raise would be a total bet of 4, 2 to call the big blind and 2 for the raise.
|On the Flop||$2|
|On the Turn||$4|
|On the River||$4|
Most poker rooms have a limit of three raises per round in limit poker.
Pot Limit Poker
The least common form of betting limits is pot limit. In pot limit, any player may bet any amount up to and including the size of the pot. This can be confusing to players who haven't played pot limit because of the way the size of the pot is determined. When a player places a bet the size of the pot, it includes the amount necessary to call a previous bet. For example, if there is 10 in the pot and a player bets 5, the next player can either fold, call the bet of 5 or raise up to 20. This is computed by adding the 10 plus 5 plus 5 to call, which makes the pot 20, so the pot sized raise is 20.
|$10||Assume Pot is $10 from previous rounds|
|Player #1||Bets "Pot"
|$20||As the first player to bet, Player #1 bets the maximum amount allowed. This is called 'betting the pot' or $10 in this example.|
|Player #2||Raises $30
($40 total bet)
|$60||Player #2 is permitted to call the $10 and raise $30 because the pot is now $30 ($20 pot + his $10 call). Therefore, this player places a total of $40 into the pot.|
|Player #3||Raises $100
($140 total bet)
|$200||Player #3 is permitted to call the $40 and raise $100 because the pot is now $100 ($60 pot + his $40 call). Therefore, this player places a total of $140 into the pot.|
|Player #1 (b)||Calls $130||$330||Player #1 must fold or call the combined raises of $30 from Player #1 and $100 from Player #2|
|Player #2 (b)||Calls $100||$430||Player #2 must fold or call the raise of $100 by Player #3|
|$430||After a bet and two pot-sized raises, the pot ballooned from $10 to $430.|
No Limit Poker
No limit poker is the betting limit for most televised poker tournaments and is becoming more popular in individual poker rooms. In a no limit game, any player may bet any amount up to and including the amount of chips he or she has on the table any time they act. There are only two betting limit guidelines in no limit poker, both dealing with the minimum amount you can raise. Any raise must be at least the size of the last bet on the round of betting and any bet must be at least as much as the big blind.
Note: All references using dollar signs ($) are for illustration only. Betting on PokerStars.net involves zero cash value 'play money' chips only.