Rules for Poker All-In Situations | Poker Side Pot Calculator

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Not exactly sure what happens in poker all in situations? Confused about how to calculate poker side pots?

You’re in the right place. Here we’ll answer all of your questions about all in bets, rules for side pots (and how to calculate them), mutli-way all ins, tournament all ins and more.

There are a lot of different scenarios that can materialize in home poker games, poker tournaments or cash games so we’ll do our best to walk you through the most common all in situations you’ll find.

We’ve also created the perfect tool to end any confusion about side pots and all ins in your poker home games – the Side Pot Calculator.

Just enter the numbers into the calculator and it does all the work for you, explaining who wins what amount from the pot.

If you’re still confused about all-in situations from time to time, you’re not alone. Even the best players in the world can get mixed up and they have professional tournament directors/staff to call in to sort it all out.

Unlike "open stakes," like in the movies, table stakes limit players to just the chips in front of them.

Any specific questions you might have let us know in the comments below and we’ll do our best to solve the dilemma for you. Read more:

Rules for All-In Situations in Poker

While No-Limit or “All In” poker on the surface seems like a game designed for the most wealthy players or punters in the world, the actual rules for all-in poker situations do the exact opposite.

They give each player the chance to only bet what’s in front of them at the poker table.

Called “table stakes,” it means that in a poker hand you can only bet whatever money or chips you had on the table when the hand started.

You can’t reach for your wallet and bet more money, or put your car keys in the middle, or drop in the deed to your last 40 acres in South Texas.

What’s on the table is the only money you can put “all in” – even if it doesn’t match up exactly with the amount your opponent has.

All In Rules – Two Players

As you might imagine, in cash games, tournaments and poker home games everywhere, there are always situations where one player has more money (or chips) at the table than another.

With just two players in the pot, this is an easy situation to resolve. A player can always call an “all in” with the rest of his or her chips.

He or she is only eligible to win the portion of the pot that totals his or her entire stack at the start of the hand, though.

Eg: There's $100 in the pot. You have $25 left and your opponent bets $50. You are not “priced out” of the pot so to speak. If you want to call, you can put your $25 in the pot.

In this case, if no other players match the $50 bet, the opponent gets $25 back immediately - the amount you couldn't match. The player who shows down the best hand picks up the full pot in the middle of the table.

More Players = Side Pots

All-in rules for two players are pretty straightforward.

Even if you don’t have enough in your stack to match the full all in bet you can always put whatever you have left into the middle and be eligible to win that portion of the pot.

5-Way All In
More players, more pots.

When three or more players are involved, things can get a little more complicated.

Not “impossible to figure out” complicated, but you will need to create “side pots” that match up with what each player has is his stack/put into the middle.

RULE: The golden, overarching rule to keep in mind is that each player matches each opponents' bet with as much as is left in his stack.

All players still in the pot are obligated to match whatever the smallest stack has contributed to the pot. This is the "main pot.”

The player with the next smallest stack then is required to match remaining bets from players with bigger stacks, and so on.

This is put into a “side pot” with each respective player.

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How to Calculate Side Pots

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Say there are three players left in a hand with stacks as follows:

  • Player A: $25
  • Player B: $50
  • Player C: $100

All players have gone all in. Based on the size of the smallest stack, the main pot has $75 in it - $25 from each player.

This is the total amount Player A can win in the hand. The remaining chips of Player B ($25) are then matched up against the all-in bet from Player C.

As he only has $25 more, Player C is only required to put in $25 to "cover" his extra bet.

The "side pot," contested only between Players B and C, is $50. As Player C has $50 no other player can match, that $50 is returned to his or her stack immediately.

At showdown all players are eligible to win the main $75 pot.

If Player A has the best hand, he wins the main pot and the main pot only. Players B and C then compare their hands. The best hand between those two then takes the $50 side pot.

If Player B or C has the best hand between all three players, that player takes the money in both the main pot and the side pot.

If more than three players go All-In during a hand side pots are contested between individual players based on the exact same formula.

Important note: Only players who have contributed to a side pot can win the money in that side pot.

Try out our Side Pot Calculator right here to see it in action.

Betting Rules for All-In Situations

What happens if a player goes all in with a bet or a raise but it's not enough for a full raise to be completed?

There are two common rules: the "full bet" rule or the half bet rule. 

If the "full bet" rule is in effect, as it usually is in No-Limit games, and the amount of an all-in is less than the minimum bet or the full amount of the previous raise, it's now a "real" raise and doesn't reopen the betting. If the "half bet" rule is in play if the amount is over half the minimum bet it is a raise and reopens the action.

Eg. Player 1 bets $50 into the pot and the player that acts next goes all in for $65.

As the extra $15 is not enough to constitute a "full raise" on Player 1's original bet, a third player can still raise instead of call as he has not yet had the option to raise.

Player 1 would then be able to call or raise the amount of Player 3's raise.

If the third player just calls, however, Player 1 can't re-raise as it would essentially be re-raising his own original bet. Player 1 can only call the extra $15 from both players and would contest an extra side pot of $30 with Player 3.

The main pot would have $50 from all three players in it for a total of $150.

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Blur 2017-09-26 00:19:57

For example player 1 raised $50 then player 2 raised $20 that makes him in the status all-in and he still on the game and still has a chance to win a side pot then player 3 has $100 on table, isn't it unfair for player 3 because the only choice the player 3 got is to raise $50 or fold which will remove him/her from the round while the player 2 still has a chance to win a side pot? Why don't the poker game has a choice which the player 3 can raised $20 too and fight with player 2 to win the side pot? I find it unfair for the player who still has a big money on the table if there is an all-in player on the table.

Psyklosion 2017-09-17 00:41:58

My comment from 2 years ago is incorrect. I have had this situation come up many times and the ruling I have always been given was that everyone can just call the $25. This only applies after the flop though. If this happened preflop and there was a live big blind "50" in play, the remaining players would be required to call the big blind "50," and there would be a sidepot for the extra 25's.

Another example would be if someone bet 50 "minimum" after the flop, and another player went all in for 75 total. The players remaining in the hand would only need to call 75. Now depending on the casino in this example, the player who originally bet may or may not be able to reraise when the action comes back around. Some places say a full raise can only reopen the action, and some places only require 50% of a full raise to reopen the action. That is a different issue entirely however.

Vito Ugenti 2017-09-16 02:57:45

I would like to know what the real answer is for this question as it just happened in my home game. Blinds were 2500/5000, and post-flop player 1 goes all-in for 2k. I am in second position and tried to call the 2k bet, and they said I had to make it 5k which I didn't think was correct for this situation.

Brian Galebach 2017-05-03 15:37:40

Player 4 should take back $600, because the highest other player is at $1200, compared to their all-in of $1800. The main pot is $2000, comprised of $500 from all four players (including player 2, who folded). The side pot is $1700, comprised of $700 each from players 1 and 4, plus $300 in dead money from player 2, who folded. So players 1 and 4 can win up to $3700 (main pot plus side pot), and player 5 can win up to $2000 (main pot only).

Mke 2017-03-22 23:22:26

We had confusion at a game today please help clarify.
Player 1 posts a $400 small blind
Player 2 posts an $800 big blind
Player 4 goes all in with $1800
Player 5 goes all in with $500
Player 1 goes all in with $1200
Player 2 folds

What are the pot calculations?

My calculations:
Player 5 should get $500 x 3/1500 + 500 from big blind that folded=$2000
Player 1 + 4 should get 1100 + 1300 + 300=2700
Player 4 takes back 200
Is this correct?

disqus_yWKTV6ieOW 2017-03-02 16:00:45

Please could anyone explain the under bet or under raise rule. I need hard proof

James Stevens 2017-01-24 22:25:36

Near as I can tell, Player 3 owes $1000 to the main pot, and $1000 to Player 2, assuming Player 3 matched Player 2's All In.

Larry 2017-01-19 01:05:51

I have a question I hope someone can answer..there are 3 players in the hand and $500 in the pot. After the turn player #1 goes all in he has $1000. Left in his stack..player #2 goes all in he has $2,000. In his stack player #3 has $4000.. player #1 & 2 have the same hand and split the hand.. my question is how much more does player #3 have to pay.

賣洋蔥 2016-12-18 03:35:39

I have a question about betting rule on all in situations. E.g. Player 1 bet $50, player 2 called $50, then player 3 all in with $65. In your explanation above, player 1 has no option to reraise, but does he has the option to all in the rest of his stake? It is a no limit game.

Diana 2016-08-30 11:07:57

Oops typo, correct, Player 4 wins all.

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