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Strip Poker - Table Stake Rules

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All casinos and many home games play poker by what are called table stakes rules, which state that each player starts each deal with a certain stake, and plays that deal with that stake. He may not remove money from the table or add money from his pocket during the play of a hand. Nor is a player allowed to hide the amount of his stake from other players; he must disclose the amount when asked. This requires some special rules to handle the case when a player is faced with a bet that he cannot call with his available stake. This article does not cover other aspects of betting in strip poker such as Forced Bets, Betting Limits and Bluffing.

Strip Poker - Table Stake Rules - All In

When a player is faced with a current bet amount that he has insufficient remaining stake to call and he wishes to call (he may of course fold without the need of special rules), he bets the remainder of his stake and declares himself all in. He may now hold onto his cards for the remainder of the deal as if he had called every bet, but he may not win any more money from any player above the amount of his bet.

For example, let's assume that the first player in a betting round opens for $20, and the next player to bet has only $5 remaining of his stake. He bets the $5, declaring himself all in, and holds onto his cards. The next player in turn still has the $20 bet facing him, and if he can cover it he must call $20 or fold. If he calls $20, thus ending the betting round, instead of collecting all bets into the central pot as usual, the following procedure is applied: since there is an all in player with only $5 bet, his $5, and $5 from each of the other players, is collected into the central pot (now called the main pot), as if the final bet had been only $5. This main pot (which may include any antes or bets from previous rounds) is the most the all in player is eligible to win. The remaining money from the still-active bettors, in this case $15 apiece, is collected into a side pot that only the players who contributed to it are eligible to win. If there are further betting rounds, all bets are placed into the side pot while the all in player continues to hold his cards but does not participate in further betting. Upon the showdown, the players eligible for the side pot—and only those players—reveal their hands, and the winner among them takes the side pot, regardless of what the all in player holds (indeed, before he even shows). After the side pot is awarded, the all in player then shows his hand, and if it is superior to all others shown, he wins the main pot (otherwise he loses as usual).

There is a strategic advantage to being all in: you cannot be bluffed, because you are entitled to hold your cards and see the showdown without risking any more money. The players who continue to bet after you are all in can still bluff each other out of the side pot, which is also to your advantage since they reduce your competition without risk to you. But these advantages are more than offset by the disadvantage that you cannot win any more money than what your stake can cover. After all, the object of poker is not to win hands; it is to win money or make the other players have to strip off their clothes.

If a player goes all in with a raise rather than a call, another special rule comes into play. There are two options in common use here: pot limit and no limit games always use what is called the full bet rule, while fixed limit or spread limit games use either the full bet rule or the half bet rule. The full bet rule states that if the amount of an all in raise does not equal the full amount of the previous raise, it does not constitute a "real" raise, and therefore does not reopen the betting action. The half bet rule states that if an all in raise is equal to or larger than half the bet being raised, it does constitute a raise and reopens the action. You can practice these and other betting techniques by playing video strip poker online here at Naughtynightlife.com!

For example, a player opens the betting round for $20, and the next player has a total stake of $25. He may raise to $25, declaring himself all in, but this does not constitute a "real" raise, in the following sense: if a third player now calls the $25, and the first player's turn to act comes up, he must now call the additional $5, but he does not have the right to re-raise further. The all in player's pseudo-raise was really just a call with some extra money, and the third player's call was just a call, so the initial opener's bet was simply called by both remaining players, closing the betting round (even though he must still equalize the money by putting in the additional $5). If the half bet rule were being used, and the all in player had raised to $30 instead of $25, then that raise would count as a genuine raise and the first player would be entitled to re-raise if he chose to (this would create a side pot for the amount of his re-raise and the third player's call, if any).

When all players are all-in, or one player is playing only against opponents who are all-in, no more betting can take place. In a tournament, when this occurs, it is required that all players still playing flip up their hole cards even though the game may not be over yet. Likewise, any other cards that would normally be dealt face down, such as the final card in seven-card stud, are dealt face-up. This rule discourages a form of collusion called "chip dumping", in which one player deliberately loses his chips to another to give that player a greater chance of winning the tournament. This rule is never used in non-tournament games (and should not be).

Strip Poker - Table Stake Rules - Open Stakes

The alternative to table stakes rules is called "open stakes", in which players are allowed to buy more chips during the hand and even to borrow money (often called "going light"). This may be appropriate for home or private games but is never allowed in casinos.

First, a player may go all-in in exactly the same manner as in table stakes if he so chooses, rather than adding to his stake or borrowing. Because it is a strategic advantage to go all-in with some hands while being able to add to your stake with others, such games should strictly enforce a minimum buy-in that is several times the maximum bet (or blinds, in the case of a no-limit or pot-limit game). A player who goes all-in and wins a pot that is less than the minimum buy-in may not then add to his stake or borrow money during any future hand until he rebuys an amount sufficient to bring his stake up to a full buy-in.

A player may instead choose to buy chips with cash out-of-pocket at any time, even during the play of a hand, and his bets are limited only by the specified betting structure of the game.

Finally, a player may also borrow money by betting with an IOU, called a "marker", payable to the winner of the pot. In order to bet with a marker, all players still active in the pot must agree to accept the marker. If any player refuses to accept a marker, the bettor may bet with cash out-of-pocket or go all-in. A player may also borrow money from a player not involved in the pot, giving him a personal marker in exchange for cash or chips, which the players in the pot are then compelled to accept. A player may borrow money in order to call a bet during a hand, and later in the same hand go all-in in the face of further betting; but if a player borrows money in order to raise, he forfeits the right to go all-in later in that same hand--if he is re-raised, he must borrow money to call, or fold.

Just as in table stakes, no player may remove chips or cash from the table once they are put in play (except small amounts for refreshments, tips, and such)--this includes all markers, whether one's own or those won from other players.

Players should agree before play on the means and time limits of settling markers, and a convenient amount below which all markers must be accepted to simplify play.

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