Definition of Open Stakes
Most poker games, both casino and home, use table stakes rules, which dictate the stake for a given hand. Players start the hand with that amount, and must complete the hand with that amount, minus losses, plus winnings.
In other words, players cannot add money to or remove it from the table. In essence, this creates a maximum and minimum buy-in for the game, and it provides structure to the adding and removing of money from the table.
Open stakes is the alternative to table stakes. In an open stakes games, players can buy more chips during the hand. They can also bring money in from outside the table, including borrowing money from other players.
The issue with open stakes, which is the oldest format and precedes going “all in,” is that a large bankroll is an unfair advantage. Table stakes are much more popular because they put every player at the table on equal footing.
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