You Don't Have to Mortgage Your House to Call: Table Stakes

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What happens if you don’t have enough to call a bet?

You Don't Have to Mortgage Your House to Call: Table Stakes

A lot of times when you see a poker movie, there's a dramatic moment something like this: Villain: I raise $10,000! Hero: I don't have that much. Villain: Then I guess you'll have to fold – hahahaha! Hero: No, wait! I can get the money. This is all very dramatic, and it's also completely false. Legitimate poker rooms never play by that rule (if you plan on going in the poker room hoping to do this, think again).

If you don't have enough chips on the table to call a full bet, you can still call it - you just can't win any of the pot that's beyond your bet amount. When there are only two people left, you just reduce the bet amount to whatever the guy has. The problem is that this scene is just a little less dramatic: Villain: I raise $10,000! Hero: I call. I have $1,200 left. Villain: Oh, ok, I'll just take $8,800 back. This rule is called table stakes, and it's a universal rule of poker. Otherwise Bill Gates could win every poker game easily.



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