POKER TOURNAMENT RULES QUESTIONS & DISCUSSIONS > Poker TDA Rules & Procedures Questions, General

All in with less than BB


So, this discussion has been a bit agressive around here.
Blinds are 2k/4K
Post flop first to speak goes all in with 3k. Can the player after him just call? Or he needs to put at least 4K which is the Bb?
What if, pre flop, the Bb have less than the Bb? The answer remains the same?
Thanks, Mateus

Boris Mauboussin:
Hello mateuslp,

I might be a bit conservative on this case, but players having more chips than the Big Blind should not be allowed to call for an amount less than this Big Blind if other players are involved. This is because the Big Bling is the minimum wage to see what's coming next (street or showdown)

Also, this brings back the discussion about the minimum raise which always refers to the last highest bet in the current betting round.

Someone showed me an argument, about how that would be an unfair advantage to the player who is all in for less than a Big Blind. He could be expelling the next player of the hand, since he would be forced to call the entire big blind. As for the player who acts afterwards, since he is the only one left to act, could pay the all in for less than the big blind.
So, in this situation, where a single big blind ( or even less, when the tournament is short-stacked ) matters so much, wouldn't that be an important thing to consider? If the blinds are 500k/1M, and say, stacks avg are 1M, forcing a player to put another 500k against his will isn't wrong? And that is also a strategical advantage the player with few chips can use to force a heads-up pot.
To add up for this: I recreated this situation on PokerStars and they allowed the call for less than a BB.


--- Quote from: mateuslp on October 31, 2017, 02:02:03 PM ---
Blinds are 2k/4K, Post flop first to speak goes all in with 3k.

Can the player after him just call? Or he needs to put at least 4K which is the Bb?

What if, pre flop, the Bb have less than the Bb? The answer remains the same?

--- End quote ---
Hi Mateus. You ask re post-flop and pre-flop The answers are different.

The answer is a long-standing conventional rule, probably best described in RRoP. Your answer depends in large part on whether the stakes of the game are limit or no-limit.

In no-limit there is no such thing as "completing" the bet to 4k. Every bet in no-limit (and pot limit) is considered a complete bet. You can find this rule in RRoP Version 11, Section 14 (No-Limit and Pot Limit), No-Limit Rules Paragraph 2:
 ....At all other times, when someone goes all-in for less than the minimum bet, a player has the option of just calling the all-in amount. If a player goes all-in for an amount that is less than the minimum bet, a player who wishes to raise must raise at least the amount of the minimum bet. For example, if the minimum bet is $100, and a player goes all-in on the flop for $20, a player may fold, call $20, or raise to at least a total of $120. and also Paragraph 5:
5. “Completing the bet” is a limit poker wager type only, and not used at big-bet poker.
See the entire RRoP here:

If you are playing limit, then it's handled a bit differently. See RRoP, Section 3 General Rules, Betting and Raising, Paragraph 7:

...A player... facing an all-in wager of less than half a bet, may fold, call, or complete the wager. An all-in wager of a half a bet or more is treated as a full bet, and a player may fold, call, or make a full raise. (An example of a full raise on a $20 betting round is raising a $15 all-in bet to $35.)...

So, in your case the minimum bet is 4k, and the short all-in of 3k amounts to more than 50% of the minimum, so it is considered a complete bet even in limit. The next player can either smooth call the 3k or make a full minimum raise of 4k for a total of 7k.

SECOND question: pre-flop. Everyone with chips must put in at least the BB, even if one or more of the blinds is all-in for less.

Thanks for the great questions. BTW, this forum has a sticky thread that is focused on nothing but min-bets, re-opening the bet, etc. etc. which are frequent questions, you might find that thread useful too:

Nick C:

 To give a simple answer to your first question post flop:  YES the next player can call the short all-in.

 Your second question regarding preflop: because the required minimum bet must be made, the short all-in, in the big blind position, must be at least completed to the correct BB...unless that player is also all-in or the short all-in is facing one opponent.

 Mike covered all of the rules regarding raises and the difference between various limit games, but I don't believe those rules are different in your questions without raises.


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