Half or full bet rule, which is correct?
3 players betting pre-flop.
Player 1 = small blind $10
Player 2 = big blind $20
Player 3 calls the big blind
Player 1 calls
Player 2 (the big blind pushes all in) but only has another $10 ($30 in total)
Player 3 calls the $10
Player 1 raises all in = $150
I ruled that player 1 couldn't go all in.
My reason was that the big blind couldn't raise the minimum ($20) so I ruled that this wasn't a raise and that players 1 and 3 could only match player 2 (the big blind all in), then continue betting after the flop.
Was this right?
Yes and no. There are two different rules for this situation: The full bet rule and the half bet rule.
- If you use the full bet rule, an all-in must be equal to the previous bet to be considered as a real raise. If not, the other players can only call the extra money but the action is not reopened. In consequence, player 3's all in is not allowed.
- If you use the half bet rule, the action is reopened when the raise is at least half of the previous bet. In consequence, player 3's all-in is allowed.
Traditionally, the full bet rule has been standard in pot and no limit games whereas the half bet rule has been used in fixed-limit games. However, more and more poker rooms use the half bet rule also in no limit games. So if you would ask an old-timer, he would say that you are right, but I would say that in most games, online and live, player 3's raise is allowed. But you could argue that either way is the correct procedure.
Regards - Clark L-T-H