# Side pot rules on not equal hands

I've played Texas Hold'em and came to next situation. This were the community cards (I can't remember the cards but this was more or less the situation):

7♠K♦A♦9♦6♣

There were 3 players playing:

• Player A got T♣ and 8♣ → straight
• Player B got K♥ and A♥ → two pair
• Player C got 6♦ and 2♣ → one pair

Even though player A has the best hand, Player B was awarded part of the pot. How is that possible?

this is only possible if player A was all in, and player B had more chips in the pot after he bet with a third player (player C). Player A can only win the amount of his all-in from each player, then the rest of the chips in the pot forms a side pot. The side pot is then awarded to the player with the next best hand, in this case player B.

as an example:

Player A has 100 chips and is all in preflop, players B and C call and both have 50 chips remaining.

The flop comes and players B and C get it in for their last 50 chips.

The turn and river are dealt and player A has the best hand, he is awarded 300 chips (100 from each of the other players).

Player B has the next best hand, so he is rewarded the remaining chips (100) because there was no more action after his all-in.

• There was indeed a third player and player A was all-in. I've updated my question. – H. Pauwelyn Sep 7 '18 at 19:09
• But what in next situation with the cards from the question? Player A goes all-in with \$50. Player B and C calls also \$50. After the flop player B goes all-in with \$300 and player C calls. Total pot is \$750 (\$150 at pre-flop and \$600 after the flop). After the river was dealt, player A wons. He got \$150 from each other player. Player B wins the side pot that is \$600. In this case player B won more money than player A. Is that correct or did I mis a rule? – H. Pauwelyn Sep 7 '18 at 20:17
• that is correct, player A wins a total of \$150 and B wins a total of \$600. B wins more than A due to the stack sizes, this is one reason why having a big stack is advantageous. @H.Pauwelyn – Clarko Sep 7 '18 at 20:31
• And if players B and C both got the same hand (e.g. each a pair of aces), the side pot will be splitted to players B and C. Each got \$300 if side pot is \$600. Difficult but nice poker rules 😃. – H. Pauwelyn Sep 7 '18 at 20:38

It's very easy to understand if you think about it this way. You can only win as much money as you put in from each player. So if you win a three-way pot with \$100 investment into the pot, you get \$300 (minus rake) total.

It might seem funny to you that the side pot might be bigger than the real pot, for example, if the other two bigger stack bets \$2000 each, the side pot would be \$4000 and you would only win your \$300 with the best hand. But it's perfectly logical. You are only risking \$100 against 2 players, why would you win \$4000? If the winner always takes the whole pot, then it would be logical to play smallest stack possible. If I all-in with \$1 into high stake poker with 1 million dollar pots every hand, I will eventually come out a multi-millionaire easy.

You only win what you put in, you have no stake in the side pot if you are already all in with the main pot.