In a game of limit poker, the amount you are allowed to bet is limited to a specific size. This limit is in the name of the poker game ($3/6, $20/40, etc.).
So, for example, if you're playing in a '$1/2 limit' game, the minimum sizes of the bets would be:
- Pre-flop (before the flop): $1
- On the flop (when the three first community cards have been dealt): $1
- On the turn (when the fourth community card has been dealt): $2
- On the river (when the fifth and last community card has been dealt): $2
Note that you can't make a smaller bet than the big blind. Furthermore, all raises must be done in increments of the betting amounts.
For example, in a $1/2 limit game, the raises will be as follows, limited to four times the first bet that was made:
- Pre-flop: $1, $2, $3 up to $4
- On the flop: $1, $2, $3 up to $4
- On the turn: $2, $4, $6 up to $8
- On the river: $2, $4, $6 up to $8
In this type of game, there is no limit to the maximum bet that you can make in any betting round. However, there is a minimum bet that is equivalent to the big blind.
The minimum raise amount must be at least as much as the previous bet or raise in the same round. For example, if the first player to act bets $10 then the second player must raise a minimum of $10 (total bet of $20). There is no maximum raise - you can raise as much as you want. However, if you wish to call a bet but don't have the chips to cover it, you'll be 'all-in'. At this point, you can only win the portion of the pot covered by your chips.
Pot-limit is the most popular variety of poker game in Europe. It is quite similar to no-limit poker but there are certain key differences.
In pot-limit poker, players may bet any amount from the size of the blind to the size of the pot. The pot includes the sum of all bets and raises made during the current round.
Here's an example: The pot in the center of the table contains $100. On a subsequent round, one player bets $20, and two following players each call this $20 bet. The fourth player could call the $20 bet and then raise by a maximum of $180. This raise matches the $100 in the pot, the first $20 bet, the two additional $20 calls and the player’s own $20 call, which together add up to a $180 raise. Play a few practice games and you'll soon get the hang of the math!