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Poker Dictionary (106) > Pot

What Constitutes the 'Pot' in Poker

The 'Pot' is the collective sum of money or chips from all players in the hand and is what players are playing to win. This includes all antes, blinds and bets made in a particular hand. If 10 player all contribute £5, there would be £50 in the pot, plus any blinds and antes. The larger the pot, the more aggressive and riskier the attempts to take it down. Pot size is also important as it drives the amount players bet, in an attempt to win it. Generally speaking, players would bet a proportion of the pot - the aim being to get other players to fold and win.

For instance, if the pot was £20, you wouldn't want to be betting (risking) more than £20 to win £20. The reason usually is that a bet of £11 would achieve the same result as a bet of £20 (at less risk). If your opponent is going to fold, they will fold with a far smaller bet than 100% of the pot size. Where a player has a monster hand, they also want to build the pot, so betting smaller amounts will keep opponents interested. It will also let some opponents chase cards - for a price. As the pot builds, some players tend to find it difficult to get away from marginal hands, which can add considerably more value to a premium hand.

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