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Potting Out

What is ‘Potting Out’?

‘Potting out’ is a poker term and refers to the situation whereby two or more players agree to take a certain number of chips out of a pot. This practice is often encountered in high-stakes cash games where players have more control over the rules they play.

‘Potting Out’ Explained

In poker, cash games can get very intense, and pots can get very large; this is where the concept of potting out comes in. As an example, let’s say that, after the flop (the first three cards dealt), two poker players go all in, i.e. they both push all of their chips into the middle; this creates a pot of around one million dollars. The players then both turn over their hands.

Now, it could be that Player 1 has two pair (maybe 4s and 8s) and Player 2 has an Ace-high flush draw. The odds of both of these hands winning are fairly similar, given the fact that there are two cards left to be dealt. The player with the flush draw could hit the suit they need, or the player with two pair could manage to dodge the suit that their opponent needs to win. Simply put, these players are essentially flipping a coin for one million dollars. Poker players can often be heard saying the phrase “it’s a flip”.

It may well be that neither player wants to risk losing half a million dollars when their odds of winning are 50/50. If this is the case, then one of the players will suggest that they consider potting out, meaning that they take a portion (for example, half a million each) out of the pot. If all players at the table agree to let them do this, then this money will be removed, and the hand will be played out for the money remaining in the pot.