How Much is it To Go?

by Jesse Knight


To-Go in Poker
To Go - The amount of money it costs to enter the pot or continue on in the hand.

Most casinos instruct their poker dealers to call certain actions as a part of running the poker game. This keeps the game running smoothly and serves to alert any inattentive players that it may be their turn to act. One of the calls that a dealer may make is to let the players know how much it costs to enter the pot as it becomes their turn to act. Since there can be substantial action on the opening betting round, this amount can increase as the betting round progresses, and it keeps the action quick and crisp if the dealer reminds the players what it costs to enter the pot. If a player were facing a $10 opening bet, the dealer would often tell that player “$10 to go.” If a second player called the $10 and raised another $10, it would now be "$20 to go" to the players acting after. Since the first player already had $10 in the pot, for him it would be $10 more to go. This terminology is primarily used on the opening betting round of most poker games. It is also sometimes used on the post-flop betting round in flop games.

In addition to the term being used by poker dealers to facilitate the action, it is also used by players when they are discussing previous hands. This is because it is an easy way to accurately describe how the action occurred, which is often essential for a complete understanding of the situation being described. For example, a player who is recounting a tournament hand might start out by saying “The under the gun player made it three times the big blind to go.” Or possibly, “The preflop raiser made it fifty to go on the flop.”

When you are deciding on how much to make it to go, you are essentially deciding between calling the bet that you are facing, or raising the pot. This is not a decision to be taken lightly, as your choice can have a dramatic impact on the action throughout the course of the hand. Raising at the right time can build you the largest possible pot and even help you to win it, but raising at the wrong time, even preflop or on the flop when the bets are relatively small, can end up being a very expensive proposition. Some players are far too reckless and aggressive raising the pot early on in the hand, and others are too cautious. Both types of incorrect play will hurt your bottom line.

As previously mentioned, the term “To go” is frequently used by the poker dealer to call raises, as a way to alert any of the players who have not been paying attention that the pot has been raised. Keeping everyone alert and attentive to the game is one of the roles of the dealer and is part of “running the game.” When players don’t realize that the pot has been raised, it can lead to problems which can slow down or stop the game altogether until they are resolved. This is because casinos frequently have rules that any chips that enter the pot in turn must stay there, even if they were placed there unintentionally or in error. If one or more players do not realize that the pot has been raised, they may be bound to leave their chips in the pot or even part with an additional amount to match the raise. Since players are not required to announce their bets or raises, this can happen relatively frequently if the dealer is not calling the action. The amount that the dealer needs to call the action can vary depending on the attentiveness and sophistication of the players seated at the table. A good dealer knows how much of the action he needs to call in order to keep the game running smoothly. In addition to this, the dealer coordinator or other management may give the dealers guidelines about when and how to call the game.

House rules will typically address the specifics about when and how chips put into the pot in error are binding. These rules will vary widely from casino to casino. Some houses are very strict about chips put into the pot in error, and some are more liberal about allowing players to take back their bets. To protect yourself always closely follow the action, paying attention to how much it costs to go, and make sure you are familiar with the house rules before you play.

Usage: Makes It 30 To Go, How Much To Go

Previous Poker Term: Time
Next Poker Term: Toke


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