• July 31, 2021

Online Poker Dictionary: Side Pot

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Do you know what a Side Pot is?
A separate pot created to deal with the situation of one player going “all in”, while other players still have money remaining that may be bet.
In poker, a side game often develops when a player decides to go all-in. This normally happens when there are three or more players competing for the pot and one of them decides to go all in. if the player happens to have lesser chips than the other players still in the hand, then her/his bet can be called, and raised further, by any of the other players. The amount that is bet in excess of the first player’s all-in bet, is placed in a side pot and competed over by the players other than the all-in player, i.e. every player who has contributed to the side pot by betting over the all-in bet value.
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Virtually all casino poker games are table stakes games. This means that only cash or chips which are on the table prior to the start of the hand are in play. Some casinos even have specific rules against cash playing on the table and require a conversion to chips. A table stakes game does not allow for chips to be added to a stack while the hand is in play, and it also does not allow for chips to be removed from play (other than a nominal amount for food and sundries), for the entire session.
Since players are limited to the chips they have in front of them when the hand begins, from time to time a player will run out of chips while the hand is in play. When this happens a player is allowed to go “all-in” by placing his remaining chips into the pot. This means that he will still have a live hand, but will be unable to win any money that he cannot cover, which includes all future betting for the remainder of the hand. If a player cannot cover the full amount of the bet that he is facing, or if there is future betting he cannot cover after he is all in, the dealer must create a side pot. The all in player would only be eligible to win the amount he could cover, which is called the main pot, while the players with chips remaining would be eligible to win both the main pot as well as the side pot. The side pot money is sometimes referred to as “money on the outside.”
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Here is an example of a side pot:
Three players are involved in a hand. Players A and B each have $200 and player C has $100. If player C goes all in and is called by both other players, the pot will be $300, which is the maximum amount that player C can win. If the other two players decide to bet their remaining $100, a new pot containing only $200 will be created. The side pot of $200 can be won only by players A or B. It is possible to win a “side pot”, while still losing the original or “main” pot.
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Steve Carr

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