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So the title might be confusing, here's the scenario assuming a standard Texas Hold-Em game:

  1. Player 1 is All-In with 100 chips in play
  2. Player 2 is All-In with 200 chips in play
  3. Player 3 has raised to 400
  4. Player 4 has called

What happens when Players 1 and 2 end up having the same straight and beat Players 3 and 4.

I'd assume Player 3 and 4 get at least 200 chips back each, but are there any standard/de facto rules that determine where the rest go?

3

There are three different pots in this situation:

One contains 400 chips and involves all four players. This is split between players 1 and 2. It's 400 chips because Player 1 bet 100 and four players have called/raised over his all-in.

The second pot has 300 chips and involves players 2,3 and 4. Player 2 wins this pot. It's 300 chips because 100 is the amount player 2 has bet over Player 1's bet and 2 more players have called.

Finally, there's a 400 chip pot that is contested between players 3 and 4- Whoever has the stronger hand among the two takes this part of the money. It contains the bets that players 1 and 2 can't match.

The rules are thought so there's never a "mismatch" between the amount you can lose or win against a specific player. In other words, if someone has 150 chips, I'll never lose more than 150 chips against them in a single hand (because I can't win more than 150 either).

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Player 1 and 2 split 200, player 1 has only called/bet 100, that is all he is entitled to.

Player 2 wins 300 more out of the pot. 100 each from players 3 and 4, plus his 100. (assuming his straight is the best hand)

Players 3 and 4 are playing for the remainder of the pot.

A player wins what can cover. Anything past that goes on the side between the players that can cover the bet.

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  • So Player 1 and 2 split up to the amount Player 1 put in, then the rest goes to player 2 until the amount that they put in and the rest is given back to 3/4? When you say Player 1 is only entitled to 100, do you mean in total or per player? I would have thought the maximum they would stand to gain from that hand would be 300 because there are 3 other players in the hand with them. My initial thought was that maybe the rule is they get half of what they stood to gain and the rest goes back to the players 3/4 evenly
    – Scott
    Aug 31 at 5:41
  • Players 1 and 2 split 400 for 200 each. Player 1 bet 100 into that pot, as did three other players, not just Player 2 - the winner of that pot is entitled to 100 from every other player. Since there are two winners, it's split. Sep 1 at 19:47
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You win exactly those bets you can match: no more, no less. So, if player 2 starts the hand with 200 and wins, then he recovers from the pot his own 200, 200 each from players 3 and 4 that stayed, and 100 from player 1 (and any antes/blinds/small amounts from folded players, etc). He's done. The remainder goes to the better hand between 3 and 4.

Likewise, if player 1 had won, he'd recover his own 100, plus 100 each from each of 2, 3, 4, plus antes, etc.

It sometimes occurs (especially in tournaments) that even the antes and/or blinds are more than a player's whole stake: but the rule is the same. Whatever amount you put into the pot, you can win no more than that much from each of the other players. So, for example, with blinds of 100/200, you go all in for 50 and win: you get 50 from each player, and the remainder goes to the best remaining hand.

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The rule for splitting the pot can be given as the following:

  1. Find the remaining player with the highest hand. If there's a tie, pick the one with the smallest contribution to the pot. Call this "current player", and their contribution "current contribution".

  2. Subtract the current contribution from everyone's contribution. If this reaches or exceeds a player's contribution, take all of their contribution, and remove them from the hand. The total amount subtracted from all the contribution forms a side pot. If there was a tie in step 1, the tying players split this pot. Otherwise, the current player gets all of it. Remove the current player from the hand.

  3. If there are two or more players remaining in the hand, go to step 1.

In your example, the players with the highest hands are 1 and 2. Since there's a tie, we go by contribution. Player 1 has the smallest contribution, so we start with them. Since Player 1's contribution is 100, we subtract 100 from each player's contribution to form the side pot. This makes the side pot 400, Player 1's contribution is now 0, Player 2's is 100, and Player 3 and 4 are at 300. Player 1 and Player 2 split the pot of 400, so they get 200 each. Player 1 is no longer in the hand.

Player 2 is now the player with the highest hand of all the players remaining in the hand. Their remaining contribution is 100, so we subtract that from all the remaining contributions, giving a side pot of 300. Player 2 takes all of that pot.

Now Player 3 and Player 4 are the only players remaining, and they both have 200 contribution. Whichever of these two players have the higher hand take the 400 total remaining in the pot (unless there's a tie, in which case they each get 200).

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