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       Pot-limit rules differ somewhat from limit poker. Having full knowledge of the rules can make a difference in your results. Here are the rules of pot-limit play, as used in most public poker card rooms. The first four rules also apply to no-limit play.

  1. There is no limitation on the number or raises. The reason is at big-bet poker the pot size grows so quickly no restriction is necessary. (I have never seen more than a bet and four raises on any pot-limit deal, and I have seen four raises only once.)
  2. The amount raised must at least equal the amount of the previous bet or raise, unless a player is going all-in. (If Player A bets $100 and Player B raises $200, Player C wishing to reraise must wager at least $200 more. The total bet to Player C was $300, but the minimum amount he could reraise was only $200, the amount of previous raise.)

Some cardrooms (particularly in Britain) require that a raise in this situation be $300, thus doubling the total bet. This may actually be the better rule for multihanded pots, as it protects the player from being whipsawed with a series of small raises. 
A few places (again, particularly in Britain) allow short raises in heads-up play. I feel strongly there should be no exceptions. We must avoid any misunderstanding, and protect inexperienced poker players from facing peculiar situations that have no counterpart at limit play. It is unfair to let a player who announces “raise” to simply throw one more chip into the pot if it looks like he’s getting called, and sometimes simply saying “raise” causes the opponent to fold without finding out how much the raise is.

(3)       A short bet or raise –possible when someone goes all-in –does not reopen the betting. (This contrasts with limit poker, where a bet or raise need only be half a full bet to reopen the betting.) Example: Player A bets $100, Player B raises all-in for $80 more (the total bet is now $180), and Player C call the $180. At big-bet poker, Player A may not reraise.
(4)          A player is entitled to know approximately how much money an adversary is playing. For this reason, it is a good idea to require that all cash be converted into chips, which are easier to eyeball and count. Unfortunately, these days outside factors such as government regulation of large cash transactions may prevent this ideal from being achieved. Even so, any bill other than the largest denomination in regular circulation $100’s for Americans should not be permitted.

       In most situations, it suffices for the opponent to simply move his arms out of the way so you can get an approximation of his money. In exceptional circumstances involving a multihanded pot where you need to know if an all-in wager will be reopening the poker betting, an opponent may be asked to furnish an exact count.
       Chips of an unusually high value should no be permitted. For example, I have seen costly mistakes in a $1,000 buy-in game when someone had a $5,000 chip among his holdings. Higher-denomination chips that are allowed should be kept where they are visible to opponents, and not concealed behind other chips to bushwhack an unaware adversary. 

  1. The pot size may be rounded off, to make maximum allowable bet a convenient number according to the denomination of chips used in the game. An odd amount rounds off upward to the nearest smooth number. For example, suppose the blinds are $5, $10, and $25, and the minimum bring-in is $25. Player A calls, the middle blind calls, and the big blind wishes to raise the maximum amount. The pot size is now $80 ($25 from Player A’s call, and $25 from Player B’s call prior to raising). If the rules of the game call for all bets to be in $25 increments, Player B may raise $100, even though the pot actually contains only $80. The odds $5 is counted as $25. (Some places prefer to use a rounding off rule that says the odd amount must be more than half a bet to be rounded upwards.)
  2. No one may overbet the pot, even in heads-up situations. The reasoning is simple. If the cardroom’s floor personnel tell a prospective player the game is pot-limit, he is entitled to play without having to face a bet greater than the pot size. Therefore, the dealers should be instructed to call attention to an overbet and trim the amount down to proper size in all situations. Some people say the overbet can only work in favor of the person bet into, because that person has the option of calling the whole thing or requiring the bet to be trimmed down. They would leave it up to the target to call down an overbet. This reasoning is incorrect. First, the player may not realize an overbet has occurred. Second, asking the bet be trimmed down looks weak, conveying information about your hand to which the opponent is not entitled. (Stewart has been known to require an opponent’s bet be trimmed down to legal size in observance of the rules, and then raise the bettor.)
  3. If the dealer and other players fail to call attention to an overbet, and the opponent calls, the bet stands. The reason is to prevent a player who violated the poker rules by overbetting the pot from profiting thereby. For example, suppose the pot is $300, and Player A bets $500 at Player B. Nobody says anything. Player B thinks it over and calls the full amount. Player A should not be permitted to retrieve $200 from the pot by now calling attention to his own overbet. Obviously, it is unfair to let Player A confront his opponent with what looks like a large bet, and then take money out of the pot if the  full amount gets called. This can be a difficult situation for the decision-maker, because Player B is not supposed to speedily call the full amount before the dealer has had any opportunity to call attention to the overbet. It is up to the decision-maker to determine who is trying to shoot an angle. In a close situation, I would rule in favor of Player B, because his opponent was the one who clearly broke the rules.

There should be a point where a wager has been acted on condoned by sufficient number of players that it should stand, even though there is someone who has not yet acted. When something improper happens in a game there is an obligation to speak up about it as soon as possible, and not gain information by delaying the complaint. The rule in Stewart’s game is when two players have acted on a wager, its size is accepted by all


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