I was light on a hand, namely six dollars short. I took six chips out of the pot (agreed to by the players) and lost the hand. I gave the winner six dollars cash (representing my short in the hand) and then the player wanted the chips as well. Didn't I just give him $12?

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    What does "light on the hand" mean? Are you saying your opponent bet $12 but your stack was only $6 in chips?
    – Buh Buh
    Commented Jul 30, 2018 at 15:38
  • You borrowed $6 in chips, and then bet them and lost to the winner. So give the chips you lost to the winner, and then pay back the $6 you borrowed. Yes, you are "giving him $12". $6 that he won from you, and $6 to pay back what you borrowed.
    – Paul
    Commented Aug 1, 2018 at 17:32
  • Can you lay out the whole hand in text format? That would make it a bit clearer, thanks.
    – Toby Booth
    Commented Aug 10, 2018 at 18:46

1 Answer 1


In low-stakes home games it is sometimes allowed, as you point out, for a player to "go light", meaning to borrow money from the pot itself to make a call. This is never allowed in Casinos or more serious games of course, which are always "table stakes", where a player simply goes all in and can only win the bets he can cover.

To signal going light, as you say, you drag chips from the pot in the amount you are borrowing, leaving them in front of you as a marker. But the money still belongs to the pot. If you win the pot, all is well--you just drag the chips. If you lose the pot, your friend is right--he gets all the chips AND you must cover your lights. Think of it this way--you're borrowing from the pot to make the call, and you're buying $6 worth of chips from the winner to cover your debt. You are out exactly $6 more than you would be if you had gone all-in.

If you had split the pot with him, you can short-cut the process by just giving him your lights and splitting the remainder, but that's for the advanced class. :-)

  • Nice answer. Never have experienced something like this, thanks for the insights here.
    – Grinch91
    Commented Jul 31, 2018 at 10:45

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