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What is the 'Pot'?

In poker, the pot means the chips that are in play during the game. It might be used to describe the amount of chips in the game, or to the place on the table where those chips should be placed. Players play into the pot in order to take part in the game. To take the pot is to win the game, and to pot means to share the cost of some casino service from the chips in play - usually a round of drinks or snacks for the players - done with the agreement of all at the table.

The 'Pot' Explained

The aim of poker is to win the game by taking all of the chips in play at the table. This is done in a series of rounds. Players pay into a pot to play - the prize for each particular round. At the end of the game, the winning hand, as determined by each game's rules, will take the pot. Some games will have multiple pots, into which different kinds of bets can be made. Others might split the pot between multiple players. For example, in high/low poker players aim to take either the high pot (for the best-ranked hand) or the low pot (for the worst-ranked hand).In casino poker, the pot is often used to pay for drinks and other services - if all players agree to this. The casino will also take its own cut from the pot, sometimes called the rake. This might be a set fee paid from each pot, or a percentage of the pot at any one time, subtracted at timed intervals during play. In some games there might be a side pot awarded either as a consolation prize to the losing player, or as a bonus to one player who meets certain conditions during play.
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