Fixed Limit Poker
In Fixed Limit games, as the name implies, the betting is limited by the rules of the casino or poker room. In a $2/$4 limit game, the first two rounds are tied up in a $2 step. A player can either bet $2 or raise/rebet in increments of $2. In the next two rounds, players bet raise or rebet in increments of $4. Consider the first round of the trade. The small blind in this example is $1, so the under the gun player (the first player to the left of the big blind) can:
- Support the big blind $2;
- Raise his bet, but only by $2;
- Drop his cards and wait for a new deal.
- He has no right to say “check in poker” – the blinds have been bet.
After the first round of dealing, the first three common cards on the board appear. Players are still limited to a maximum poker bet of $2. After the turn appears, the minimum bet in our example goes up: if you now want to keep playing, the poker bet must be $4, and you can only raise the maximum bet by $4, too.
In limit Texas Hold’em games, the number of possible raises is also usually limited. Most of the time, you can raise three times per round. Therefore, in limit types of poker, the pot-limit raise odds are the lowest.
In Pot-Limit games, the amount of bankroll determines the extent of the increase, hence the name. Playing with Pot-Limit can cost you a lot more than playing with Limit. As the pot grows, so do the stakes in poker.
In a pot-limit game, a UTG player has the same options as a limit poker player: he can back the bet, fold, or raise. What is the minimum amount he can raise? $2, which is the amount of the previous bet. What’s the max? At $5: There is a $1 small blind in the pot + a $2 big blind + the player sitting after the big blind is kind of responding to the big blind, which gives another $2.
Let’s see what might happen after the flop in a pot-limit if the first player does raise to $7 and the other three back up and both blinds drop their cards. The pot would be $31 – this amount is made up of a small blind of $1, a big blind of $2, plus the first raise, $7 plus three backers of $7 each ($1 + $2 + $7 + $7 + $7 + $7 = $31).
After the flop, the first player has the choice of making any of the bets between $2 and $31 (the size of the pot). If he bets $31, then the next player to whom the turn passes can back $31 or raise a maximum of $93 ($62 in the pot, plus a $31 call size), implying that his final bet will be $93 + $31 = $124.
As you can see, the pot and stakes in pot-limit hold’em grow faster than in limit play. This is where playing after the flop requires special attention. The pre-flop odds are not huge, but the post-flop odds can spike.
No Limit (No Limit Poker)
In no limit poker, a player can back up, fold, or raise, and the maximum amount of the raise is limited only by the player’s stack. If, in this example, the player sitting after the big blind wants to raise, he can raise $2 (the lower limit of the raise is the previous bet) or, if he has enough chips, $10,000. The pot growth rate in no-limit poker is limited only by the players’ stacks.
In this poker lesson we’d like to cover another subject: what do you do if you don’t have enough chips for a bet? The answer is all-in.
“Going all-in” or “going all-in” means betting all your remaining chips. The right to go all-in is always there. For example, a player bets $50, goes all-in, and everyone folds except the player who has only $30 to spare.
He can’t respond to the $50 bet, of course, but he can go all-in and bet his $30. As long as no new players are in play, the first player takes back the extra $20 (to equalize his bet with his opponent’s).
Players cannot take back their bets, but they can take back the extra money when another player goes all-in with a smaller amount. Just like in our no-limit Hold’em example, where a player could bet $10,000. If the player next to him only has $10, and he backs, and everyone else folds, then the player with $10,000, would take $9,990. The trade stops there, because the player going all-in has no more money to spare, and the winner is declared (after the river).
On various poker forums, the question is often asked: what happens if there are more than two people left in the hand? This complicates the game a bit, and extra pots are created for this purpose. Look at Figure 3, which shows three players left in a hand. Two players have $50, and the third player only has $10. In this example, the pot is already $40. Player 3, who has $50, bets $20.
If player 7 decides to call and thereby go all-in on his $10, the last active player (player 9), who has $50, can also call, but only on $20 – this is the original bet, he can also raise. If he calls, an additional pot is created.
The main pot is now $70 (the $40 he already had and plus $10 x 3). Player 7 has played the all-in, and now he can only win this main pot. The extra pot containing the extra $20 can only be played between the players who created that pot (players 3 and 9).
With the next card, a new round of bets begins. Thereafter, bets are added to this extra pot, not to the main pot. Players 3 and 9 can win both the main pot and the extra pot if their combinations beat those of the players who went all-in. If player 7 has a winning hand after the final betting round, he will win the $70 prize, but the extra pot will go to player 3 or player 9, depending on which player has the stronger hand.
Sometimes there can be many extra banks per hand if a large number of players are involved. Because not everyone has enough chips, players who have fewer chips can’t win more chips from another player than they bet.