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Stealing the Pot in Poker

When a player tries to 'steal the pot' they are playing with an inferior hand whilst trying to represent a stronger hand than that of their opponents. Should their opponents fold their hand, the player would have pulled off a successful bluff and will have stolen the pot (as they didn't have the cards to win).

This is a common part of poker as players always have hole cards meaning that their opponents will only be able to judge on a players hand strength by their actions. This play is common when a player feels that their opponents have shown weakness, or the pot size warrants, knowing that if they put in a sizeable raise, that their opponents could fold and give them the pot.

Of course knowing when to bluff is also beneficial as particularly in no-limit games, trying to steal the pot can be devastating to your stack, particularly if you run into a big hand. The trick is really only to bet enough to get your opponent to fold without compromising your stack. When a player is short stacked, it is more common for a player to declare all-in which means they would either double up (at least) or be eliminated (unless a re-buy is available).

For more, check our our Texas Hold'em rules, see what other guides on poker we have or if you want to get into the action, check out the best poker sites of the month.

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Interesting Facts

Every country has its own version of poker. If you’re an avid player and enjoy traveling the world, prepare to learn about 130 variants of the game!

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