Betting Structures

Limit, Pot-Limit and No-Limit (Structure)

There are three betting structures in poker: limit, pot limit and no limit. These structures determine the rules of the betting in the game.

Limit

Limit poker is where you can only bet a fixed amount per round of betting. These fixed limits are often written as “lower limit – upper limit.” For example, $5-$10 limit hold’em means that the lower limit is $5 and the upper limit is $10. In hold'em and omaha, the lower limit applies to the preflop and flop bets/raises and the upper limits applies to all bets/raises made on the turn and river.

For example, if you were playing $30-$60 hold'em or omaha, the bets pre-flop and on the flop are $30. The bets on the turn and river are $60.

Pot Limit

Pot limit is more complicated. In a nutshell, a player at any time is allowed to bet any amount up to the size of the pot, hence the name ‘pot limit.’ However, the complication arises because it is difficult to keep track of the size of the pot and therefore keep track of the maximum allowable bet. Fortunately, with internet poker, this complication is eliminated as the computer calculates the size of the pot in an instant and provides you with this information.

For example, if there is $400 in the pot before the flop, a player can bet anything up to $400 on the flop. If a player bets $100 into a $400 pot on the flop, the pot would be $500 in total. If you wanted to raise, you could raise anything up to $600. You may be wondering why the pot limit raise is $600 and not $500. Well the reason is this: Before the flop there was $400 in the pot. On the flop, your opponent bet $100. To raise, you must theoretically call his $100 and then raise. As such, the pot was $500 but because you are effectively calling the $100 before raising, the pot limit increases to $600. Therefore, your raise can be anything up to $600. In online poker, though, you simply choose how much to raise when, so you don't need to do all the maths yourself.

No-Limit

No-limit poker is actually fairly simple. In no limit, there is…no limit. You can bet whatever you want at anytime. You can even bet your entire stack if you want to. No-limit hold’em is becoming a highly popular form of tournament poker. It is the most complex form of poker.

If you are a bit confused by all this, watching a game of online poker will assist your understanding. One of the great things about online poker is that you are allowed to visit a game and watch how it works without sitting down at the table. Anyone in an online poker site is free to watch any online game as mere spectator.

All-in

If a player bets more chips than you have in front of you, you are not forced out of the hand. You are allowed to call for whatever number of chips you have - this is called All-in. If no one else is in the pot, the bettor simply takes back his excess chips, and the hand is played to conclusion without any additional betting. If there are other players remaining in the pot, it is possible that a side pot may be created. The player is eligible for the portion of the pot to the point of his final wager. All further action involving other players takes place in the side pot, which is ineligible to the All-In player.