09-16-09, LearnTexasHoldem:

Half or full bet rule, which is correct?

Hi, This happened today at a game I was hosting and I would like to know if my decision was right:

Top 3 Beginner Rooms

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?

Thanks, Kevin


Hi Kevin

Yes and no. There are two different rules for this situation: The full bet rule and the half bet rule.

  1. 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.
  1. 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


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