The first thing to note is that whatever betting limits you are using whilst playing poker, you can never lose more money than you have in front of you on the table, so all those films with people playing for a couple of dollars and someone suddenly loses their house/car/shirt etc, can’t pokerbros happen!
That said there are huge differences between the various betting structures utilized in poker, and these are outlined below.
This is the foremost common betting structure for Texas hold’em, and is far and away the foremost popular over all formats, cash, stt and mtt.
Basically it does exactly what it says on the tin - there is no betting limit, and you’ll bet anything from a minimum bet (the size of the large blind) up to all or any of your chips, during any betting round!
This means that at any point you can be put to the test for all of your chips at any point in a hand if your opponent has equal to your stack or more.
Some online poker sites offer capped no-limit cash games, where if a player wages a certain amount he is considered all-in, and can bet no extra over that amount, nor fold out of the hand. In this way the volatility of no limit is reduced.
This is the format most ordinarily used for Omaha and Omaha hilo games, both cash and tournaments. It is often used for stud games also , and infrequently for Texas hold’em.
Under this structure a player can bet anything up to the dimensions of the pot at that time . If a player features a bet to call when it’s his address act, he may raise by the dimensions of the pot after his call.
For example, pre-flop in a PL tournament, with blinds at 50/100, the first player to act could raise up to 250 more, putting in 350 total, but decides to just call the big blind. The next player to act may call 100, or agitate to 50+100+100+100= 350 more, 450 in total.
If there’s no bet for the player to call, then the utmost bet amount is just the present total of the pot.
In some cash games, for simplicity, the small blind is considered to have “completed” and made up the big blind, and for pot size calculations is treated as a big blind.
This betting structure involves fixed sized bets, and is used occasionally in all stud and flop based games, mainly for cash games, although tournaments are also run with this structure.
There are usually 2 set bet limits, one used in the earlier betting rounds and one used in the later ones. For instance a $10/20 fixed limit Texas Hold’em game will allow $10 bets and raises pre flop and on it, and $20 bets and raises for the turn and river bets and raises. This means that the blinds will be 5/10. This contrasts to a 10/20 PL or NL game where the blinds would be 10 and 20 respectively.
There is no option whatsoever of how much to bet or raise, players can either check, when available, fold, call or raise. There is usually a limit of 3 raises, meaning that when someone bets 10, the next player can raise to 20, the next can raise to 30, and finally the next player can raise to 40, thereafter players will only have the option of calling for 40 or folding.
Some live cash games allow an unlimited number of raises when the pot is heads up, until one player is all in.