I was playing in a AHL poker league tournament the other day. The person to my right bet 3000. I folded. The person to my left went all in with only 3700, with people still to her left to act between her and the original better. We were told by the tournament director that that she had made a dead raise and all players behind her could only call her raise. I argued that this was not right. I have never heard of some one not being able to secure their hand by re-raising if there were still other players in the hand.

Does this rule exist in any no-limit tournament structure?

  • Seems wrong to me. Could you provide betting detail and positions?
    – paparazzo
    Mar 2, 2018 at 7:18
  • Jon is right, it's often called an "incomplete raise", so for players who already called the initial raise, are not able to re-raise. Mar 2, 2018 at 9:30
  • 1. You're right. Players who haven't acted yet have the option either to call the dead raise, or to raise the original bet by another $3000 or more. 2. This is a comma: , Mar 2, 2018 at 17:58

2 Answers 2


Your right that ruling was wrong.

A raise is at minimum is double the bet, when someone goes all in for something less then a "full raise" it is not technically a raise. There is not really a good common phrase for what it is. What gets confusing for some people is that these *less then full raises do no reopen the possibility for the original bettor to raise, it also excludes players that have already called the original bet from raising. However it does not exclude players behind the all in from making a raise.

*(As an aside depending on local rules sometimes if the raise is half the bet or more it reopens the action for the original bettor).

  • I believe that aside usually applies in limit games.
    – Herb
    Mar 2, 2018 at 4:16
  • I don't like the term "dead raise" either. It's really a call with extra money. It affects the betting options of future players exactly as if it had been an ordinary call. So players who haven't acted may still raise the original bettor, and the original bettor may not reraise if it's still just $3700 to him. Mar 2, 2018 at 18:01

Same as other answer. It just has a different source.

It is typically referred to as an incomplete bet or raise.

In summary an incomplete raise does not open betting. When it gets back to the open bet or raise they can only call or fold. Fold to incomplete raise would be silly.

WIKI Poker Betting
WIKI is not the universal standard. Some house rules may deviate.

Incomplete bet or raise

If a player goes all in with a bet or raise rather than a call, another special rule comes into play. There are two options in common use: pot-limit and no-limit games usually use what is called the full bet rule, while fixed-limit and spread-limit games may use either the full bet rule or the half bet rule. The full bet rule states that if the amount of an all-in bet is less than the minimum bet, or if the amount of an all-in raise is less than the full amount of the previous raise, it does not constitute a "real" raise, and therefore does not reopen the betting action. The half bet rule states that if an all-in bet or raise is equal to or larger than half the minimum amount, it does constitute a raise and reopens the action.

For example, with the full bet rule in effect, a player opens the betting round for $20, and the next player has a total stake of $30. They may raise to $30, declaring themselves all in, but this does not constitute a "real" raise, in the following sense: if a third player now calls the $30, and the first player's turn to act comes up, they may now call the additional $10, but they do not have the right to re-raise further. The all-in player's pseudo-raise was really just a call with some extra money, and the third player's call was just a call, so the initial opener's bet was simply called by both remaining players, closing the betting round (even though they must still equalize the money by putting in the additional $10). If the half bet rule were being used, then that raise would count as a genuine raise and the first player would be entitled to re-raise if they chose to (creating a side pot for the amount of their re-raise and the third player's call, if any).

In a game with a half bet rule, a player may complete an incomplete raise, if that player still has the right to raise (in other words, if that player has not yet acted in the betting round, or has not yet acted since the last full bet or raise). The act of completing a bet or raise reopens the betting to other remaining opponents.

For example, four players are in a hand, playing with a limit betting structure and a half bet rule. The current betting round is $20. Alice checks, and Dianne checks. Carol goes all-in for $5. Joane, still to act, has the following options: fold, call $5, or complete the bet to a total of $20. If Joane calls the $5, Alice and Dianne only have the option of calling or folding; neither can raise. But if Joane completes, either of them could raise.

The tournament director (TD) was just confused. Yes it was an incomplete raise. And it does not open betting. The TD applied a misguided rule of close betting which is just wrong.

  • I don't like the term "incomplete raise" either. It's a call, with some extra money. I would use the term "overcall" except that already means something else. "Supercall" sounds too dramatic. Maybe "surplus call"? Mar 2, 2018 at 18:05
  • At the Las Vegas Hilton in the eighties they used the term "continuation bet".
    – Jon
    Mar 2, 2018 at 18:59

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