• June 18, 2021

Poker dictionary: Bet the Pot


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Speak poker as well as you play it: Bet the Pot
This term is used in games whereby the betting is limited to the size of the pot, such as is the case with Pot Limit Omaha (PLO). That means your bet matches the current amount in the pot. If, when it is your turn to bet, the pot was $100 and you bet the pot, your bet is $100.
To make a raise or reraise equal to the amount of money or chips in the pot, including any amount of money that would be required to call as though that amount were already in the pot.
To bet an amount of chips approximately equal to the amount of chips in the pot.
Usage: In Pot Limit games, this is the maximum bet; however, the pot size in Pot-Limit games is calculated in an unintuitive way: all the money in the pot, plus (if you have been raised) the amount you would bet if you reraised. Also known as Pot-Sized Bet.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: When reraising by betting the pot, the amount required to call the initial raise is contributed to the pot before determining how large the pot is. In order to avoid a string bet, players should announce their intention to bet the pot before making the initial call. Example: There is $20 in the pot. Player A raises $4. Player B reraises by betting the pot. This means Player B contributes $4 to the pot to match the initial raise, then contributes an additional $28 for the reraise. The $28 is from $20 initially in the pot, $4 from Player A raising, and $4 from Player B’s call.
EXAMPLE: “We were playing pot limit Hold’em. I had the nuts and decided not to slowplay my hand, so I bet the pot.”
APPLIES TO: Online and Land-based Venues
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Calculating the Pot Bet in Poker
In pot-limit poker, the amount you can bet when it’s your turn is limited by the size of the pot.
The rule is:
You can raise the amount that is in the pot after you have called the previous bet.
This is quite complicated to be sure. Let’s see if a few examples can make things clearer.
Some pot bet examples
Let’s look at a few examples.
Example 1: There’s $10 in the pot. You’re first to act. In this case you can bet $10.
Example 2: There’s $10 in the pot and a player has bet $3. To calculate your maximum bet, first pretend that you call that last bet. The total pot then contains 10 + 3 + 3 = $16. This is your maximum raise. With the $3 call, your total maximum bet would be $19.
Example 3: There’s $10 in the pot, one player has bet $3 and another player has raised to $10. First pretend that you call the last bet of $10. The pot then contains 10 + 3 + 10 + 10 = $33. Your pot raise is $33, and your total bet $43.
How to make a pot bet
In online poker, the poker client will tell you exactly how much you’re allowed to bet. In live poker, the common way to do this is to just pronounce the word “pot”.
This establishes that you intend to bet the maximum, and then you can take your time to figure out how much that is.
Easy rule for pot bets
Here’s another really helpful trick that you can use to calculate the correct size of a pot bet:
To get your maximum bet, multiply the last bet by three and add all other bets, including the original pot.
Does that sound insane to you? That’s probably a sane reaction. But the truth is, it actually works! Let’s do the same examples again.
Example 1: Three times the last bet is zero (no one has bet yet), and then you add the rest of the bets including the pot, which amounts to $10.
Example 2: Three times the last bet is 9, plus 10 is 19.
Example 3: Three times the last bet is 30, plus 10 + 3 is 43.
Luckily, this thumb rule works just as well in the first betting round, when the blinds are on the table.
If the small blind is $1 and the big blind $2, the max bet is 3*2 + 1 = 7.
With two limpers before you, the pot bet is 3*2 + 1 + 2 + 2 = 11.
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Steve Carr

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