What are Table Stakes in Poker?
Table stakes is a standard poker rule limiting every player to betting only the amount that they have in front of them for the current hand. This rule sets a ceiling on how much all other players may have to bet.
Without the table stakes rule, players with big bankrolls could just bully the small bankrolls out of the game early on. Moreover, the table stakes rule is generally accompanied by a provision that players can’t remove their chips from the table during the game.
Table Stakes Poker Example:
Let’s say that you started a hand with $1,000, while your two opponents have $500 and $200, respectively. If the latter player runs out of chips, they can’t add any more chips before the ongoing hand is complete. If you and your opponent continue betting, a side pot will be created, in which the player who doesn’t have any more chips won’t have any interest.