Before you take your place at a cash game table or in a tournament you should check the betting rules that apply to the specific game. There are differences between fixed limit, no limit and pot limit games.
In fixed limit games the amount one can bet is set. Raises can only be made in certain amounts.
In the first two rounds, after the deal and after the flop, bets can only be placed up to the amount of the small bet. This is normally the big blind.
In the third and fourth rounds, after the turn and river, players can place bets up to the amount of the so-called big bet. This is normally double the big blind.
For example: a player takes part in a game with the limit €1/€2, then the small bet is 2 euros and the big bet is 4 euros.
There is another difference in fixed limit games: there is a maximum of four bets per round. This means in total one bet and three raises are possible, where the last raise is a cap.
Attention: As soon as it comes to "Heads Up", i.e. there are only two participants left in the game, there is no longer a limit on bets.
As the name implies, in no limit games there is no limit to the bets. Each player can place a bet of their desired amount in every round when it is their turn. This means that in the no limit variants there is often an all-in situation, where a player bets all of their chips.
Although there is no upper limit on bets, there is still a certain value that must not be fallen short of. The minimum amount that must be raised, in no limit games, is the big blind. If a player has already made a raise in the current round then the next raise must be at least this amount.
Important in all-in situations:
A player can go "all-in" at any time, i.e. they can play all their chips at any point in the game. This is also possible when the sum of their remaining chips is lower than the necessary bet.
It must be noted however that a player can only win as much as they have actually bet. The rest of the pot goes back to the player who went "all-in" with more chips.
Pot limit games do not have strict limits on bets like in fixed limit games. However there are still some limits, unlike in no limit games. This kind of poker is of interest to players who would like to take a certain risk but still keep their bets manageable.
Like in no limit games the amounts of raises are generally unlimited; however the bets may not be more than is currently in the pot.
The minimum bet amount is the same as in no limit games; in pot limit games the first matched bet is the big blind. The last bet determines the amount.
Let's say you have a really good hand and someone on the table just made a raise to 100 euros. What do you do if you really want to call, but you only have 20 euros worth of chips? No problem, just go all-in!
You can however only win as many chips from the other players as you have put in yourself. In our example, if you were successful, you would win 20 euros from each opponent, even though the raise was 100 euros.
If a player plays all their chips (all-in) and other players continue and bet more chips in the following rounds then a "side pot" is created.
The all-in player cannot win this pot, even if they have the best hand at the end. A player can only win a pot that they have also paid into.
Due to differences in how many chips players have, particularly in the later phases of tournaments, it is also possible that several side pots must be created.