What Is A Side Pot In Poker?

1 minute

Last Updated: December 19, 2023

What Is A Side Pot In Poker

In poker, a side pot is a pot that is created when one or more players go all-in but don’t have enough chips in their stack to cover the bets of other players that are still in the hand.

The side pot is only open to the players who still have chips and remain in the hand. The player who doesn’t have enough chips to cover other players' bets can’t win money from the side pot.

To calculate the side pot, you must add all the bets made by the players who still have chips and continue to bet on the hand. It is important to note that multiple side pots can be created if there are more than two players remaining, and the process of calculating each additional side pot remains the same.

Poker Side Pot Example:

Imagine you are playing Texas Holdem and are in a situation in which three players are involved in a hand on the flop, and they have the following stacks:

  • Player A: $100
  • Player B: $200
  • Player C: $200

There is $90 in the pot, and Player A goes all in, Player B and Player C call, resulting in a $390 main pot ($90 from preflop action and $100 from each player).

At this point in the hand, Player A has invested all of his chips, and the maximum amount of money he can win is $390.

We go to the turn, where Player B goes all in for his remaining $100, and Player C makes the call, resulting in a $200 side pot.

At this point in the hand, Player B and Player C have invested all of their chips, and the maximum amount of money they can win is $590 (main pot + side pot).

To understand the logic behind this, imagine that all of the money went into one pot. If this was the case, all three players would fight for the same pot ($590) while risking different amounts of money.

This would give Player A a huge advantage and would be unfair to players B and C.

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