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No Limit vs Pot Limit

The Latecomer’s Guide to Understanding the Difference Between No Limit and Pot Limit Texas Hold ‘Em
March 2014 // PKR
Once you master the actual rules of Texas Hold ‘Em, you must next choose the game variant you want to play – No Limit or Pot Limit.

What’s the difference? Every poker player asks that question at some point in their careers. And it’s important to know the answer …
No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em
As the name implies, there is no limit on the size of bets placed when playing No Limits Texas Hold Em poker.
This means that the pot can get very big, very quickly, making for an extremely exciting game.
It’s no surprise that the game is sometimes called the ‘Cadillac of poker’.
No Limit games allow you to bet any amount up to your total amount of chips, at any point, according to the table stakes in place.
Each subsequent bet must be at least the same as the bet placed before it – if the player before you bets $5, your own bet must be at least $5.
Similarly No Limit games have a minimum raise limit which is defined by the last player on your right to make a raise. Say they throw a $50 raise into the pot, if you want to re-raise, then it must be at least double that amount … you can’t raise to $55.
Pot Limit Texas Hold ‘Em
The Pot Limit form of Texas Hold ‘Em helps slow each hand down by placing a limit on the maximum raise.
You can best understand the maximum raise limit by using an example –

  • The small blind is $1.
  • The big blind is $2.

Assuming there are not yet any bets on the table, the maximum you can bet is $7, based on:

  • The $2 you need to call.
  • Plus $5 to match the rest of the money on the table (small blind + big blind + the money from your call).

Obviously the pot limit will increase if other people have placed bets before you.Again, maximum bets and pot sizes are governed by the table stakes.
There is also a minimum eligible raise, set by the previous player in any round of betting. If the player to your right raised by $5, then your own raise must also be $5 or more.
Which is right for you?
Pot limit poker remains the most common form of the game availableboth online and in real world casinos.
It is also the ideal form for new players to get used to playing poker for money.
New Hold ‘Em players should also remember that they don’t have to raise every round – they can instead choose to ‘call’, allowing them to match the previous raise, or ‘check’ to place no new bets (assuming no one has already bet that round).
Once you have the confidence, skills and cash - you can then move onto the excitement of a No Limits game. But be warned, the thrill of No Limits is unbeatable.
Hopefully, this should give you the background info you need to choose the right poker games from You can find out more about playing (and winning) Texas Hold ‘Em at

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