What is a ‘Split Pot’?
A ‘split pot’ in poker is a prize divided between two or more players, usually in the event of a tied hand where there is no tiebreak rule in place. Split pots also apply when the game is being played to ‘hi/lo’ rules, with two players splitting the pot based on the highest and lowest hands at the table.
‘Split Pot’ Explained
In poker, a ‘split pot’ is a pot which is shared between two (and occasionally more) of the players in a game. Not all games allow split pots, and it will be made clear at the start of the game if splits are allowed. The split pot is usually brought into action when two hands tie, which is unusual but can happen during a game.
Ties occur with pairs and below – after this, the value of the other cards in the hand can be used to determine who has won. If multiple decks are in play instead of the standard 52 cards, or if wildcards are in use, it is possible for more tie situations to come about.
For example, it is possible for two players to hold the hands K-K-8-5-2 and K-K-8-6-4. In some games, the tied hand would be broken using a high card – K-K with a 10 high beats K-K with a 6 high. In this situation, however, the highest card in the hand is also tied! Some card rooms might move to the next high card and break the tie – 6 would beat 5 in the above example, and player two gets the pot. In most cases, however, the pot would be split between the two players.
Split pots also occur in hi/lo games. Players must declare if they are going for the high hand or the low one, and both the best of the lowest hands and the best of the highest ones will share the pot for the game. In rare cases, the pot for a high or a low hand might also be split, creating a situation known as ‘quartering’.