# Decision Please: A player says "I bet the pot" in NLHE

Looking at this question "Ask for the size of the pot" were the general question the OP was asking is if he could ask another player how much was in the pot. In the comments section the question came up; In no limit is saying "I bet the pot" a binding/legitimate bet?

I have to say that in my whole time in the business I have never seen a player say I bet the pot at a NLHE game. If anybody has I would love to know how it was handled by the dealer, and if a floor was called, how the floor ruled.

Your either a dealer, the floor person or a player at a no limit table and a player says I bet the pot. What do you do now?

• They said bet. That is committed to bet. After that it was just idol chit chat. No way I would give them a chip count. That is coaching. If they don't know the count that is their problem. If the rule is you cannot ask the dear for a count then bet 1/2 the pot to get a count is not right. Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 20:16
• It's not coaching if his action is already committed. If anything, it's giving his opponent the advantage of a chip count on which to base his decision. Also note that a skilled dealer is perfectly capable of accomplishing the player's pot bet without counting the pot, by matching stacks. Commented Sep 5, 2016 at 23:54
• @LeeDanielCrocker So... stack the chips in the pot, match the stacks against the players chips, then knock the whole pile down again?
– user1934
Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 15:29

If I was the dealer I would tell the player I can't tell you what is in the pot so I don't know what you are betting. Hopefully he would then come up with a number and that would be the end of it. Of course with murphy's law in effect some player is likely to pipe up and say, he has to bet the pot. At this point I am done with it, there is no point to argue here, I call the floor for a decision.

If I was the floor coming over to make the decision, I would explain to the player that we do not count the pots in no limit games, the dealer, me and the other players are not allowed to tell you what is in the pot. If you know what is in the pot please go ahead and bet whatever you want based on that knowledge. If the player did not get it, I would explain it again. If the player just simply insisted we had to count the pot for him I would simply state it did not work that way again and tell him the decision is final time for him to act on his hand then I would walk away. If it went further then this I would invite the player to come talk to me away from the table.

If I was a player, rather or not I made an issue of this would be solely based on rather or not I want a pot sized bet from another player. If I was holding a big hand I would argue loudly that the player must bet the pot and the pot should be counted. If my hand was not so good I would dummy up and see what happens. Anything a player might argue here, whom is involved in the hand is very likely to be based on bias at this point. There is of course another type of player whom just like to argue the rules and we wish that player would STFU.

In the comments section of the post I referred to Lee said essentially he would hold the player to betting the pot, the other user arguing that it was not a legitimate bet. The comments section got a little ugly there, as they will tend to do when people argue which side of a paradox is the right side. Technically they are both right but it is a paradox so whatever is right is simply whatever works best at the time for someone.

I have not seen a rule that directly addresses this situation. If a rule was made I think it should be that saying I bet the pot in NLHE is saying nothing, IE meaning expressing a bet like that says nothing about the size of your bet. The reason I think it should be handled that way is because a player expressing a bet like that is simply angling the rule that says pots are not counted in no limit games. If you take the approach if saying the player has to bet the pot if they say I bet the pot, you have set precedence to nullify the rule about stating the size of the pot.

I currently work at a large Las Vegas strip casino with a big lake and water show in front which I am not a spokesperson for. Many players consider the poker room at this place to have an informal leadership role with poker rulings. I will ask around and see if this particular situation has come up and if so how it was handled.

I asked the shift supervisor were I worked. Said not a valid bet the player must come up with a number. Has only made the ruling once.

• The only reason there was an argument there is that my opponent unreasonably demanded some specific evidence for a rule, and there simply isn't any. I can only offer real experience, which is that I have been on the floor and ruled that a binding declaration. If you want more "evidence" than that, it simply doesn't exist, although you might certainly find more floorman opinions, probably on both sides. Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 15:51
• I am not looking for evidence of a rule, I doubt there is any. I like the question and thought that since it was only asked in the comments of another question, I would ask it. I am hoping you craft an answer for the question with some thoughts on why it should be ruled that way. I am wondering if the pot was counted for the player.
– Jon
Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 10:59
• I ruled that way because the player wasn't angling for a chip count....he had already committed to the bet, so counting wasnt giving him information, it was merely slowing the game down a bit. Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 14:29
• I guess also if you start allowing "I bet the pot" then some wise guy will decide to declare "I bet half the pot" etc...
– user1934
Commented Sep 3, 2016 at 23:32
• @LeeDanielCrocker I say what's wrong with a little follow up 4 years later. A one off decision here is fine. Done all the time and rightly so for almost everything that happens in a poker room besides homicide.
– Jon
Commented Jun 3, 2020 at 1:45

I found a rule

47: Pot Size & Pot-Limit
Bets Players are entitled to be informed of the pot size in pot-limit only. Dealers will not count the pot in limit and no-limit. Declaring “I bet the pot” is not a valid bet in no-limit but it does bind the player to making a valid bet (at least a minimum bet), and may be subject to penalty. If the player is facing a bet he must make a valid raise.

This is TDA. Not sure about cash games.

I think I bet the pot to get a pot size is coaching and should not be allowed in a cash game.

100% okay to bet the pot like this in NLHE.

It's the same as saying all in, you might not know how much your betting but it is a quantifiable amount, in this case, the pot.

SOURCE over 1 million hands of online poker and years of playing live