Say the BB is $100 and that this is post flop action. After the flop the SB is first to act (if they are still in the hand) Can the first player betting make a bet of $150 when they are not going all in (they still have chips). Meaning is that $50 amount over the big blind amount a legal bet because they are the first to act? Or is that an illegal bet because it is not a legal raise? Meaning the player should have bet $200.
This is the accepted answer but I think it is wrong.
The minimum bet is $100 and the minimum raise is $100. Since you put in 1/2 the min raise you would be forced to put in a full raise of $200. Unless you had announced call - then you would take back $50. If it is less than 1/2 the min raise the typical rule is you take it back (unless you announced raise).
When opening a round of betting after the flop, this is called a bet. In Robert's Rules of Poker, "bet" is defined as "The act of making a wager before anyone else on a betting round". Additionally, a "raise" is defined as "To increase the amount of a previous wager".
The important thing to note is that when you make the initial bet, your entire wager is considered the "bet". Nothing you do is defined as a "raise"--only players after you can increase a previous wager. In other words, just because you put in more chips than the minimum bet, those additional chips aren't a raise; it's considered in its entirety as one "bet". To support that, at Pokerlisting's Poker Rules under No-Limit Texas Hold'em,
3.If there has been no bet made yet, you have the option to bet. Once a bet is made, players to follow now have the option to raise the bet.
Because of that distinction, the rules about raising, such as Robert's
All raises must be equal to or greater than the size of the previous bet or raise on that betting round, except for an all-in wager
don't apply to your bet, only to the following people if they wish to raise.
That leaves us with wondering what are acceptable wagering sizes for your "bet". According to Robert's:
The minimum bet size is the amount of the minimum bring-in, unless the player is going all-in. The minimum bring-in is the size of the big blind unless the structure of the game is preset by the house to some other amount (such as double the big blind). The minimum bet remains the same amount on all betting rounds...
At Pokerlistings, it's a little more explicit:
4.In No-Limit a minimum bet is equal to the size of the big blind, while a maximum bet is the total amount of all of your chips
And at the Texas Hold'em Wiki page, under Betting Structures, phrased a little differently:
In no-limit hold 'em, players may bet or raise any amount over the minimum raise up to all of the chips the player has at the table
Since the minimum bet is size of the big blind, you can bet any amount over this. So a bet of $150 where the big blind is $100 is perfectly acceptable. In fact, if it wasn't there would essentially have to be written two different "minimums" for "bets" as defined above. Instead, we have one hard minimum rule and all the other rules about allowed wager sizes apply to "raises" as defined above.
its a legal bet. betting is done in rounds and the previous rounds have no bearing on current betting in a no-limit game of poker. we could go bananas and both bet $1500 on the flop but come the turn and the river i can drop back and bet $101 if i want. First to act is first to act, he's betting so any amount over the BB is legal.
A 150 dollar bet here is legitimate in size.
Two things generally determine the minimum size of a bet and the minimum granularity of a bet, the size of the big and small blinds. The minimum bet on all rounds of betting is the size of the big blind. The minimum granularity is the size of the small blind.
That's the basic technical answer, but there are some exceptions more steeped in practicalities and custom then strict adherences to the procedure that are more dependent on the blind size.
2-5 NL is one game were the players just hate 7 dollar bets and argue that the players can't make bets that are not $5 in granularity. While technically a player can make a seven dollar bet, they just don't, and they believe that it is not a legitimate bet. A common blatant point of disregard for the rule is when the small blind raises by throwing in a few more red chips and not doing anything about the two dollar small blind. Technically the small blind is part of the raise, however it is more practicable for the dealer to simply just push the two dollars back, even though technically it is not "legal". Once I had a player wanting to make it 12 in a 2-5 game, and one of the players objected saying he can't bet 12, and I said sure he can. Before it got any further then that, the raiser said ok and made it ten, so I got away with no contest, which was just fine with me because I really had no ideal how the floor would rule. It should be noted that the peculiar thing about 2-5 that makes it different from most NL games is that the small blind does not divide into the big blind so the granularity of the small blind is not all that practical.
If you wanted to pick apart with technicalities how 2-5 players treat the rule remember that rules are supposed to make the game simple and fair. If the general understanding with 2-5 players is that we don't make 7 or 12 dollar bets, than what is technically correct can go out the window making it possible and correct for a floor person to rule that only bets of $5 can be made, as in the best interest of the game.
In the higher blind games the players prefer that the bets and raises would be made in increments of the big blind. For example raising to, or betting 25 in a 5-10 NL gets a slightly negative reaction from some players like a smirk or head shake. I think some players make the odd size raise like this to look a little green or get a reaction for whatever reason at higher limits. In a practical sense odd bets like this slow the game slightly and raise the chance that small mistakes can be made because there is more change to be made by the dealer. Not a real big deal, just a slight pain in the ass. However if push game to shove it would be a far fetched ruling saying that it would be in the best interest of the game not to allow a bet made to the small blind granularity in a 5-10 or most small blind sizes in a NL game.
And while the OP said this is about a bet not made as all-in, the minimum granularity of the bet becomes rather important with an all in bet. Technically when you go all in, it is to the granularity of the small blind. So by extension all in granularity and oddly granular bets are supposed to be handled the same way. That is to say that the granularity that these bets are allowed to be made in is the same, the size of the small blind.
This seems straight forward enough, you go all in in a 5-10 blind game, you go all in to the nearest $5 increment you have on the table, the three one dollar chips you have don't play. However, if when you get a little higher, or lower then other factors defined more by what seems right to one player or the other, one dealer or the other, or just does not seem right to anybody come into to play, leaving not much covered under simple rules.
In games were single dollar chips are used for the blinds like 1-2, 1-3 and 2-5 you go all in, the dollar chips play. In 1-2, 1-3 games odd bets are just fine, in 2-5 as discussed they are not, so you are now getting away from simple rules that cover everything, specifically with 2-5 were technically you should be able to keep an odd dollar, the granularity of the small blind being $2, since it does not play. However in 2-5 every dollar in your stack plays...
Which makes us think that the exception to the rule is now the rule, which it is not.
The rule about all in to the granularity of small blind works well in middle limits up to about 50-100 blinds. Then something happens in the minds of players when they are not getting action on fairly large sums, like say a thousand or 1500 dollars in a game where the blinds are 1-2 K, or even seventy five bucks in a 200-400 game. There is no real line here and you could fill up another whole volume of rule book codifying the granularity of all in. So the players can make exception, it might be by general consensus made on the day, might be the tradition of the game for weeks months or years, might be based on the smallest chip commonly used in play, but exceptions are made to the small blind granularity for being all in on a regular basis.
What is confusing for many, is that this minimum granularity that applies to all ins may or may not, should or should not, also apply to the granularity of betting. it is difficult for many players not to try and apply the same simple logic to both scenarios since they both come from the same simple basic rule that the granularity of bets and all ins are based on the small blind size.
Exceptions to the general rule are very common, because the rule is just not practical or justified in all situations. It can easily become a slippery slope. The OP's question is a great example of confusion with this, he confused a bet with a raise. While a raise is a bet, a bet is not always a raise. And the question is either about betting or raising. Both of which can be done to the granularity of the small blind, however bets must be the size of the big blind or larger, raise must be the size of the bet or larger. I read it as betting and not raising, the first person to bet can't be raising anybody.
No, 150$ is not a legal opening bet preflop here. Because a BB exists which means, technically, a bet of 100$ has been made. Is 150$ a legal bet being first to act on the flop? Yes 100% legal.
Casinos have two sets of rules governing betting amounts, one of them is the TDA rules (which is essentially the modern rules and used in most places), and then the older rules where a minimum raise has to be twice the last bet.
So let me explain what the minimum legal bets are here under both rule systems:
- Minimum raise here is what the last player raised, i.e. the minimum raise would be to 200$.
- Let's assume the next player raises to 250$. The next legal raise under the TDA rules would be the amount of the raise plus the amount raised by, i.e. the player who raised to 250$ called the original 100$ and raised by 150$. Under the TDA rules the next player could make a legal raise of 400$, the amount the last player put in (250$) plus the amount that raising player raised by (150$)
Under the older rules:
- A minimum raise is twice the last raise. So again, the minimum legal raise would be the same as the TDA rules as stated above, to 200$.
- However the next legal raise is different to the TDA rules. Take the same situation, where the raising player makes it 250$. The next legal minimum raise here is 500$, i.e. twice the last bet, regardless how much that player actually raised by.
Some other tidbits as a dealer I have experienced that often stump or annoy players are the following:
- You throw in a single chip without saying raise or a figure you want to raise, regardless of the amount on that chip, it is a call.
- Say you throw in $175, this will often be made be an entire raise of 200$, I have never had a floor rule that the player can take their chips back and call. In general the rule of thumb here is if the amount of chips thrown in is more than 50% of the way to the minimum raise, it's a minimum raise.
- You say raise and put in a chip without saying an amount, can sometimes be interrupted as a minimum raise. Now I have never done this to a player who has said raise and say put in a 1k chip, because I like to pay attention. However be aware your dealer will sometimes make a mistake, so to be extra clear say the amount or put in the exact raise you want.
I hope that clears things up, now some rules for the TDA may have changed slightly, as I haven't dealt for the last 2 years. However if any changes exist on the TDA rules they would be minor as players in the WSOP tend to like those raising rules, as do many of the pros. These were the TDA rules I used and dealt under for about 3 years across the EU and States. However with that said often it is down to the floors discretion on what they want to do. There can be some leeway, especially if it was a genuine mistake, however this leeway is often only given to players once or twice.