Pot Limit is a popular poker limit structure, especially favored by professional poker players. Most games that are less commonly found in No-Limit betting structures will be offered in Pot-Limit (and/or Fixed-Limit). Omaha Hi-Lo, for instance, is one of the most frequently played Pot-Limit poker games, found in major live events like the World Series of Poker.
Pot-Limit is a lot like No-Limit, but with a few distinct differences that set them apart. We will define each of the Pot-Limit rules below.
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1 The stakes of a poker game determine the amounts of each Blind Bet – the Small Blind and Big Blind. Like No-Limit poker, Pot-Limit requires the Small Blind to match the low-end stakes, while the Big Blind must meet the high-end stakes. (Example: At $2/$4 PL stakes, the Small Blind would be $2, the Big Blind $4.)
2 Pot-Limit rules require the minimum bet or raise at all times to be equal to the high-end stakes. The only purpose of the low-end stakes is to determine the Small Blind. At stakes of $2/$4, the minimum bet or raise at any given time would be $4. The only time a player may wager less than the minimum, low-end stakes, is if his chip stack is not sufficient to cover the bet. In this case, the player may go all-in, betting the remainder of his chip stack.
3 The maximum bet at any time is always equal to the current pot size. This is where Pot-Limit and No-Limit betting structures vary.
4 When raising the pot, the maximum raise is equal to the current pot size, bet the previous bet has been called. For example, if a pot has $50 in it, and Player-1 bets $50, Player-2 may call the $50 bet, bringing the pot up to $150, then place a raise of $150 at most. The total bet is then $200 ($50 call + $150 raise). There would now be $350 in the pot. To stay in the hand, Player-3 would be required to call $200, increasing the pot to $550. Therefore the maximum raise allowed by Player-3 would be $550.
5 The opening bet in pot-limit games is most often allowed a maximum of 4x the Big Blind. The Small Blind is assumed to count towards the pot the same as the Big Blind, and if the opening bettor chooses to raise the Big Blind, this would be equal to 4x higher. For instance, at $2/$4 stakes, the opening blinds are counted as $8 total, not $6. The opening bet would be a maximum of $16 (4x $4 Big Blind). This rule may vary from one poker room to the next.
6 In live poker games, the pot size is generally rounded up to keep the game pace active. For instance, an $80 pot may be considered $100, so that player do not have to drag out various chip denominations to place a pot-size bet. Again, this rule may vary from one poker room to the next.
7 There is no limit placed on Raises in a single betting round or hand.
8 A raise must be equal to or greater than the previous bet/raise in the current betting round. If a player bets $50, the next player cannot raise $25. He must raise anywhere from $50 up to the current pot size.
9 If a player does not place enough chips in the pot to meet the minimum bet/raise requirement, he will be forced to do so (or push all-in if he does not have enough chips).
10 If a player bets higher than the pot-size, the excessive amount will be returned to him if it is noticed by the dealer. All other players have the option to make it known to the dealer. If no one reports the bet before all players have acted, the bet is considered to meet pot size.
11 A verbal statement has more power than an actual bet placement. For example, if a player says “I Raise”, but only puts enough chips into the pot to Call, he will be forced to raise the minimum amount.
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