A bring-in is a forced bet found in some variants of poker, such as Seven-card stud or Razz. A bring-in is always some amount smaller than a normal minimum bet would be in the betting round where the bring-in occurs (usually the first betting round).
In variants that use a bring-in, one player is selected (using a method specified by the variant) after the initial deal to bet the bring-in. This player cannot check or fold, but they do have the option to "raise themselves", after a fashion, by betting a full bet instead of the bring-in amount.
The act of betting the bring-in is sometimes calling bringing it in, or bringing in the pot.
In Seven-card stud, the player with the lowest upcard after the initial deal has to bet the bring-in. In case of a tie, the card with the lowest rank and the lowest suit (using bridge suits) is the lowest, and that player must bet the bring-in.
For example, in a 3-player $4/$8 game of 7-Stud with a $1 bring-in and a $1 ante, the play of a hand might go like this:
- All three players play the $1 ante into the pot; the pot is now $3
- The dealer deals each player their initial two downcards and one upcard (the upcard is shown last in each of the hands):
- The player showing the lowest upcard is Player 1 (both players 1 and 3 have a deuce showing, but Player 1 has the lowest deuce, since hearts are lower than spades).
- This player must decide whether to bet only the bring-in ($1) or bet a full small bet ($4). Player 1 cannot check or fold. In this case, having a medium hand, she decides to only bet the bring-in, and puts $1 into the pot, making it $4.
- Play continues to Player 2, who has a three-flush but decides to merely call and see where they go. He calls the bring-in by putting $1 into the pot. The pot is now $5.
- Play continues to Player 3, who has a pair of deuces and decides to raise. In the case where a hand was brought in for the bring-in, the raise is not a true $4 raise as would be normal in a fixed-limit game, but is instead called completing the bet, and allows Player 3 to bring the bet amount to $4 total, a full small bet (note that the $4 to which Player 3 raised it is the same amount to which Player 1 could have "raised" it if they had wanted to do so).
- Player 1 now may choose to call the raise (by placing another $3 in the pot), fold, or raise the bet to $8. In this case, she chooses to call, and place another $3 in the pot, bringing her total bet to $4 and the total pot to $12.
- Player 2 now decides to build the pot by raising; this is not yet called re-raising since Player 2 is only raising a completion, not a raise. The raise in a fixed-limit $4/$8 game must be $4 in this betting round, so they raise it to $8.
- Player 3 slows down since they only have one pair of deuces, and merely calls the bet of $8
- Player 1 calls as well.
- The total pot is now $27.
- The dealer deals all players their second upcard, and the next betting round follows.
- ... the hand continues ...