A pot is the total collection of money being wagered on a single hand of poker by all participants in the hand.
Generally, the pot is maintained (kept together, or counted if necessary) by the dealer, and is usually kept in the center of the poker table. Players, when they place their bets, should place their bets directly in front of them, and not in the pot directly, so the dealer and all other players can see the amount of the bet . Once all the betting has closed in a betting round, the dealer scoops all the chips into the pot that had been bet that round, which had been still stacked in front of the players who bet.
Players who throw their bets directly into the pot are said to be splashing the pot, a practice that is both against the rules and rude. If players splash the pot when no one is looking, they may be ruled to have not bet the proper amount (or at all!) and may be forced to bet again. Occasionally, a dealer will be asked to, or required to, count the pot down, a practice by which the dealer reconstructs the size of the pot by replaying the actions which created it. Sometimes this can be nigh impossible if a pot has been created from multiple betting rounds with varied action.
A pot is also occasionally used in a slightly broader meaning to refer to a hand of poker; players speak about "playing a pot" or "entering the pot". But in most cases, players speak about the pot as the prize to be won, as in "I want to play for a big pot" or "I'm keeping the pot small".
Common phrases that use the term pot Edit
- Usually a reason for not calling, or not raising, or not even entering a pot.
- "Splash the pot"
- The unseemly practice of throwing one's bet into the pot directly instead of placing it in front of you