Why is there a cap on betting in casino poker?

Cap betting is a poker rule that refers to limiting the amount of bets that can be made on any given round in Texas Hold’em poker. In fact, it could be in any game poker but is most often asked about from hold’em players, who frequent casinos to play live poker tables.

Cap betting is short for capping the bets, stopping the betting to move on to the next round. {Of course this is only found in limit type, poker games, as it wouldn’t make any sense to have such rule in no limit games}. Now cap betting refers to the amount of bets per round, and not the amount of money in a pot, which you would find in a pot limit poker game.

The common limit for capping the betting is four bets per round. So if you are at a \$2/\$4 hold’em table before the flop, the maximum you’ll be able to put in the pot is \$8, not accounting for blind money in there already. Fourth and fifth streets, you’ll be able to put in \$16. The pot gets larger though when more of the player at the table are involved. You may often hear at the table, especially in the lower limits, “cap it” as a result of raising and re-raising before the flop with marginal hands, and even more marginal players. Therein lies the real reason casinos have cap betting. It’s simply a matter of poker math. Don’t kid yourself into thinking they are protecting players from losing their stacks, they don’t care about that at all.

The reason casinos do have cap betting is simple. They earn more rake by inviting more weaker players into each and every pot. Keep in mind this is not a sit and go tournament, this is cash game strategy. This really boils down to the nature of low limit hold them players who simply crave action and want to participate in too many pots and then stay in a pot too long, typically calling. Pots generally become larger when more players enter them in increments rather than making big, one time decisions for their whole stack.

The Cap rule is often lifted in casinos when there are just two players left contesting for the pot. In that scenario, players can raise and re-raise each other until one of their stacks dries up. Yes you can, and guess why…. right. The casinos earn more. Since all the other players are out of the hand, the only way for the pot to grow bigger is as a result of aggressive betting by the remaining two combatants. These are some simple holdem rules you should understand before going to the casino – understanding them may very well save you some money.