Table Stakes

In public cardrooms, both brick-and-mortar and online, poker is always played for table stakes, meaning that you cannot put additional money in play, or take money out of play during a hand. All your playing money must be on the table at the start of the hand. If you run out of money during the course of a hand, you are tapped out, and are allowed to go all-in. When you go all-in, you do not have to call any more bets to stay in the hand. If only one opponent remains, he or she cannot bet more money. The remaining cards are dealt and the person with the highest hand wins the pot. If you go all-in against two or more opponents, they may continue betting. The money they bet goes into a separate pot, the side pot, for which you cannot compete. If one of your opponents has the highest-ranked hand at showdown, that person wins both pots. If you have the highest hand, you win only the main pot. The side pot goes to the person with the second highest hand. You may purchase chips after going all-in, but it must be for at least the table minimum. You are allowed to buy-in (put more cash on the table or purchase more chips) any time between hands, but not during a hand.