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How to host a no-limit Texas Hold'em poker tournament in your home

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Poker Betting Help

Here is an example of a betting round in no-limit hold'em. Pay particular attention to the minimum bets and raises. Remember that unless going all-in, any bet must be at least equal to the big blind and any raise must be at least equal to the previous bet or raise on that betting round.

Pre-flop Betting

Seat 1 posts 200 small blind.
Seat 2 posts 400 big blind.
Seat 3 may fold, call 400, or raise to at least 800 (400 + a minimum raise of 400). He raises to 1000 (raise of 600).
Seat 4 may fold, call 1000, or raise to at least 1600 (1000 + a minimum raise of 600). He calls.
Seat 5 and 6 have the same options as seat 4. Both fold.
Seat 1 may fold, call by adding 800, or raise to at least 1600. He calls.
Seat 2 may fold, call by adding 600, or raise to at least 1600. He calls.

Flop Betting

Seat 1 may fold, check, or bet at least 400 (the bring-in). He checks.
Seat 2 has the same options as Seat 1. He bets 500.
Seat 3 may fold, call 500, or raise to at least 1000 (500 + a minimum raise of 500). He raises to 1200 (raise of 700).
Seat 4 may fold, call 1200, or raise to at least 1900 (1200 + a minimum raise of 700). He folds.
Seat 1 has the same options as Seat 4. He folds.
Seat 2 may fold, call by adding 700, or raise to at least 1900.

Turn and River Betting are Similar to the Flop


Here are poker betting rules pertaining to a No-limit Texas Hold'em Poker Tournament. Please note these rules apply to "No-limit", "Hold'em", "Tournament" poker games - they may not apply to your typical dealer's choice home game. All rules are quoted verbatim from Robert's Rules of Poker (Version 5).

No-limit Rules

1.  The number of raises in any betting round is unlimited.

2.  All bets must be at least equal to the minimum bring-in, unless the player is going all-in. (A straddle bet sets a new minimum bring-in, and is not treated as a raise.)

3.  All raises must be equal to or greater than the size of the previous bet or raise on that betting round, except for an all-in wager. A player who has already acted and is not facing a full-size wager may not subsequently raise an all-in bet that is less than the minimum bet (which is the amount of the minimum bring-in), or less than the full size of the last bet or raise. (The half-the-size rule for reopening the betting is for limit poker only.)

Example: Player A bets $100 and Player B raises $100 more, making the total bet $200. If Player C goes all in for less than $300 total (not a full $100 raise), and Player A calls, then Player B has no option to raise again, because he wasn’t fully raised. (Player A could have raised, because Player B raised.)

4.  At non-tournament play, a player who says "raise" is allowed to continue putting chips into the pot with more than one move; the wager is assumed complete when the player’s hands come to rest outside the pot area. (This rule is used because no-limit play may require a large number of chips be put into the pot.) In tournament play, the TDA rules require that the player either use a verbal statement giving the amount of the raise or put the chips into the pot in a single motion, to avoid making a string-bet.

5.  A wager is not binding until the chips are actually released into the pot, unless the player has made a verbal statement of action.

6.  If there is a discrepancy between a player's verbal statement and the amount put into the pot, the bet will be corrected to the verbal statement.

7.  If a call is short due to a counting error, the amount must be corrected, even if the bettor has shown down a superior hand.

8.  Because the amount of a wager at big-bet poker has such a wide range, a player who has taken action based on a gross misunderstanding of the amount wagered needs some protection. A bettor should not show down a hand until the amount put into the pot for a call seems reasonably correct, or it is obvious that the caller understands the amount wagered. The decision-maker is allowed considerable discretion in ruling on this type of situation. A possible rule-of-thumb is to disallow any claim of not understanding the amount wagered if the caller has put eighty percent or more of that amount into the pot.

Example: On the end, a player puts a $500 chip into the pot and says softly, "Four hundred." The opponent puts a $100 chip into the pot and says, "Call." The bettor immediately shows the hand. The dealer says, "He bet four hundred." The caller says, "Oh, I thought he bet a hundred." In this case, the recommended ruling normally is that the bettor had an obligation to not show the hand when the amount put into the pot was obviously short, and the "call" can be retracted. Note that the character of each player can be a factor. (Unfortunately, situations can arise at big-bet poker that are not so clear-cut as this.)

9.  A bet of a single chip or bill without comment is considered to be the full amount of the chip or bill allowed. However, a player acting on a previous bet with a larger denomination chip or bill is calling the previous bet unless this player makes a verbal declaration to raise the pot. (This includes acting on the forced bet of the big blind.)

10. If a player tries to bet or raise less than the legal minimum and has more chips, the wager must be increased to the proper size. (This does not apply to a player who has unintentionally put too much in to call.) The wager is brought up to the sufficient amount only, no greater size.

11. All wagers may be required to be in the same denomination of chip (or larger) used for the minimum bring-in, even if smaller chips are used in the blind structure. If this is done, the smaller chips do not play except in quantity, even when going all-in.

12. In non-tournament games, one optional live straddle is allowed. The player who posts the straddle has last action for the first round of betting and is allowed to raise. To straddle, a player must be on the immediate left of the big blind, and must post an amount twice the size of the big blind.

13. In all no-limit and pot-limit games, the house has the right to place a maximum time limit for taking action on your hand. The clock may be put on someone by the dealer as directed by a floorperson, if a player requests it. If the clock is put on you when you are facing a bet, you will have one additional minute to act on your hand. You will have a ten-second warning, after which your hand is dead if you have not acted.

14. The cardroom does not condone "insurance" or any other "proposition" wagers. The management will decline to make decisions in such matters, and the pot will be awarded to the best hand. Players are asked to refrain from instigating proposition wagers in any form. The players are allowed to agree to deal twice (or three times) when someone is all-in. "Dealing twice" means the pot is divided in two, with each portion being dealt for separately.

Tournament Rules

18. A player who declares all in and loses the pot, then discovers that one or more chips were hidden, is not entitled to benefit from this. That player is eliminated from the tournament if the opponent had sufficient chips to cover the hidden ones (A rebuy is okay if allowable by the rules of that event). If another deal has not yet started, the director may rule the chips belong to the opponent who won that pot, if that obviously would have happened with the chips out in plain view. If the next deal has started, the discovered chips are removed from the tournament.

19. If a player lacks sufficient chips for a blind or a forced bet, the player is entitled to get action on whatever amount of money remains. A player who posts a short blind and wins does not need to make up the blind.

23. At pot-limit and no-limit play, the player must either use a verbal statement giving the amount of the raise or put the chips into the pot in a single motion. Otherwise, it is a string bet.

Betting and Raising

1.  Check-raise is permitted in all games, except in certain forms of lowball.

2.  In no-limit and pot-limit games, unlimited raising is allowed.

6.  Any wager must be at least the size of the previous bet or raise in that round, unless a player is going all-in.

8.  A verbal statement denotes your action and is binding. If in turn you verbally declare a fold, check, bet, call, or raise, you are forced to take that action.

9.  Rapping the table with your hand is a pass.

10. Deliberately acting out of turn will not be tolerated. A player who checks out of turn may not bet or raise on the next turn to act. An action or verbal declaration out of turn may be ruled binding if there is no bet, call, or raise by an intervening player acting after the infraction has been committed.

The Showdown

1.  A player must show all cards in the hand face-up on the table to win any part of the pot.

2.  Cards speak (cards read for themselves). The dealer assists in reading hands, but players are responsible for holding onto their cards until the winner is declared. Although verbal declarations as to the contents of a hand are not binding, deliberately miscalling a hand with the intent of causing another player to discard a winning hand is unethical and may result in forfeiture of the pot. (For more information on miscalling a hand see “Section 11 - Lowball,” Rule 15 and Rule 16.)

3.  Any player, dealer, or floorperson who sees an incorrect amount of chips put into the pot, or an error about to be made in awarding a pot, has an ethical obligation to point out the error. Please help us keep mistakes of this nature to a minimum.

4.  All losing hands will be killed by the dealer before a pot is awarded.

5.  Any player who has been dealt in may request to see any hand that has been called, even if the opponent's hand or the winning hand has been mucked. However, this is a privilege that may be revoked if abused. If a player other than the pot winner asks to see a hand that has been folded, that hand is dead. If the winning player asks to see a losing player’s hand, both hands are live, and the best hand wins.

6.  Show one, show all. Players are entitled to receive equal access to information about the contents of another player’s hand. After a deal, if cards are shown to another player, every player at the table has a right to see those cards. During a deal, cards that were shown to an active player who might have a further wagering decision on that betting round must immediately be shown to all the other players. If the player who saw the cards is not involved in the deal, or cannot use the information in wagering, the information should be withheld until the betting is over, so it does not affect the normal outcome of the deal. Cards shown to a person who has no more wagering decisions on that betting round, but might use the information on a later betting round, should be shown to the other players at the conclusion of that betting round. If only a portion of the hand has been shown, there is no requirement to show any of the unseen cards. The shown cards are treated as given in the preceding part of this rule.

7.  If everyone checks (or is all-in) on the final betting round, the player who acted first is the first to show the hand. If there is wagering on the final betting round, the last player to take aggressive action by a bet or raise is the first to show the hand. In order to speed up the game, a player holding a probable winner is encouraged to show the hand without delay. If there is a side pot, players involved in the side pot should show their hands before anyone who is all-in for only the main pot.

Ties

1.  The ranking of suits from highest to lowest is spades, hearts, diamonds, clubs.  Suits never break a tie for winning a pot. Suits are used to break a tie between cards of the same rank (no redeal or redraw).

5.  If two or more hands tie, an odd chip will be awarded as follows:

(a) In a button game, the first hand clockwise from the button gets the odd chip.

(d) All side pots and the main pot will be split as separate pots, not mixed together.


NEW How Much Do I Have to Raise?NEW

6.  Any wager must be at least the size of the previous bet or raise in that round, unless a player is going all-in.
 

Situation 1 ...
Seat 1 posts small blind of 5.
Seat 2 posts big blind of 10.
Seat 3 may fold, call 10, or raise to at least 20.

In Situation 1, the minimum bet is the amount of the big blind (10). This is known as the "bring-in". The minimum raise is at least the amount of the previous bet (10). Pre-flop, the previous bet is considered to be equal to the big blind.

The minimum bet is the same for all betting rounds (pre-flop, flop, turn, river). This means that a player in Situation 1 cannot open betting on the flop, turn, or river with a bet of 8 because the minimum bet is at least 10.
 

Situation 2 ...
Seat 1 posts small blind of 5.
Seat 2 posts big blind of 10.
Seat 3 may fold, call 10, or raise to at least 20. Seat 3 raises to 25.
Seat 4 may fold, call 25, or raise to at least 40 (25 + 15).

In Situation 2, Seat 3 raises to 25. This is a raise of 15. If Seat 4 wants to raise, he must raise by at least 15 (the amount of the previous bet or raise). Take note that Seat 4 does not have to raise to 50. He does not have to double the amount of the previous bet, he only needs to match the amount of the previous raise. In this situation, the previous raise was 15.

Please note that this is a common raising error made by many players. The minimum raise does not have to be double the amount of the previous bet - it only has to be an amount equal to the previous bet/raise.
 

Situation 3 ...
Seat 1 posts small blind of 5.
Seat 2 posts big blind of 10.
Seat 3 may fold, call 10, or raise to at least 20. Seat 3 raises to 25.
Seat 4 may fold, call 25, or raise to at least 40 (25 + 15). Seat 4 raises to100.
Seat 5 may fold, call 100, or raise to at least 175.

In Situation 3, Seat 3 raises to 25 - this is a raise of 15. Seat 4 raises to 100 - this is a raise of 75. Seat 5 must raise by at least 75 to 175.
 

All-in For an Amount Less Than The Minimum Bet

1.  The minimum bring-in and allowable raise sizes for the opener are specified by the poker form used and blind amounts set for a game. They remain the same even when the player in the blind does not have enough chips to post the full amount. Robert's Rules - Section 4 - Button and Blind Use

2.  The minimum bet size is the amount of the minimum bring-in, unless the player is going all-in. The minimum bring-in is the size of the big blind unless the structure of the game is preset by the house to some other amount (such as double the big blind). The minimum bet remains the same amount on all betting rounds. If the big blind does not have sufficient chips to post the required amount, a player who enters the pot on the initial betting round is still required to enter for at least the minimum bet (unless going all-in for a lesser sum) and a preflop raiser must at least double the size of the big blind. At all other times, when someone goes all-in for less than the minimum bet, a player has the option of just calling the all-in amount. If a player goes all-in for an amount that is less than the minimum bet, a player who wishes to raise must raise at least the amount of the minimum bet. For example, if the minimum bet is $100, and a player goes all-in on the flop for $20, a player may fold, call $20, or raise to at least a total of $120. Robert's Rules - Section 14 - No Limit and Pot Limit

Re-opening The Betting (When Can a Player Re-raise?)

Situation 4 ...
Seat 1 posts small blind of 5.
Seat 2 posts big blind of 10.
Seat 3 folds.
Seat 4 raises by 10 (to 20).
Seat 5 goes all-in for 26.
Seat 6 may fold, call 26, or raise to 36 (previous full raise was 10). Seat 6 calls (26).
Seat 7 folds.
Seat 8 may fold, call 26, or raise to 36. Seat 6 calls (26).
Seat 1 folds.
Seat 2 folds.
Seat 3 may fold, or call 26.

In Situation 4, Seat 4 may not re-raise because the bet to him is only 6 above his previous raise of 10. The raise would have had to have been at least 10 in order for him to re-raise his previous raise of 10.
 

Situation 5 ...
Seat 1 posts small blind of 5.
Seat 2 posts big blind of 10.
Seat 3 folds.
Seat 4 raises by 10 (to 20).
Seat 5 goes all-in for 26 (a raise of 6).
Seat 6 goes all-in for 28 (a raise of 2).
Seat 7 folds.
Seat 8 may fold, call 28, or raise to 38 (the previous full raise was 10). Seat 8 calls (28).
Seat 1 folds.
Seat 2 folds.
Seat 4 may fold, or call (28).

In Situation 5, Seat 4 may not raise because the raise to him is only 8. The raise to him would have to be at least 10 in order for him to re-raise.
 

Situation 6 ...
Seat 1 posts small blind of 5.
Seat 2 posts big blind of 10.
Seat 3 folds.
Seat 4 raises by 10 (to 20).
Seat 5 goes all-in for 26.
Seat 6 goes all-in for 31.
Seat 7 folds.
Seat 8 may fold, call 31, or raise to 42 (previous raise was 11). Seat 8 calls (31).
Seat 1 folds.
Seat 2 folds.
Seat 4 may fold, call 31, or raise to at least 42.

In Situation 6, Seat 4 may re-raise because the raise to him (11) is at least equal to his previous raise of 10.
 

Situation 7 ...
Seat 1 posts small blind of 5.
Seat 2 posts big blind of 10.
Seat 3 folds.
Seat 4 raises by 10 (to 20).
Seat 5 goes all-in for 36 (a raise of 16).
Seat 6 goes all-in for 28.
Seat 7 folds.
Seat 8 may fold, call 36, or raise to 52 (the previous full raise was 16). Seat 8 calls (36).
Seat 1 folds.
Seat 2 folds.
Seat 4 may fold, call 36, or raise to at least 52.

In Situation 7, Seat 4 may raise because the raise to him (16) is at least equal to his previous raise of 10.
 

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