To “kill a pot” is not a violent act; it simply means to post an overblind – a blind which is bigger than the big blind. In most games it is a voluntary act.
When placing an overblind a player increases the stakes of the game proportionally. For instance, A “full kill” is twice the size of the big blind. If a player posts a full kill then the betting limits of the game are doubled. A “half kill” is 1.5 times the big blind, and it increases the limits of the game by 1.5.
Kill pot is frequently used in lowball games. It provides the option of joining a game straight away without having to wait for the big blind.
Rules for killing pots
- One kill can be made for each deal.
- Kill blinds are part of the pot.
- In most poker games killing the pot is optional.
- Some games obligate players to kill pots under certain circumstances. For example, in Hi/Lo split games a player who wins a pot which is larger than a set amount must kill the following pot. In some games a player who has won two pots in a row will be obligated to kill the next pot.
- A player who must kill the pot needs to do so at his turn during that hand, even if he wishes to drop out of that hand. A player who doesn’t kill when he is suppose to will be allowed to continue playing only after he posts the kill.
- If a player wants to join in a killed pot game he must commit to killing the following pot.
- The player who needs to post a kill will be given a “kill button”, a marker that acts as a reminder for killing the pot.
- A “kill button” does not belong to any of the players:
A. During the first hand of a new game.
B. If the player who won the pot left the game.
C. If the pot was split (so the winners don’t have to kill the next pot).
- If a player doesn’t know that a pot has been killed and he makes a bet that is lower than the minimum limit, he may withdraw the money and reconsider his moves only if the kill button wasn’t faced-up. If it was, he must add chips to complete the minimum bet allowed.
- A “leg up” is a situation in which a player has won the previous pot and thus will have to kill the next pot if he wins the current pot.
- A player who has a “leg up” and leaves the table will still need to kill the pot upon rejoining the game.
- If player A, who has a “leg up”, wins the pot with player B and it is split between them, player A will need to kill the next pot. If player B was the kill in the prior hand, he will also need to kill the next pot.
- The first leg, as well as the first pot, have no minimum or maximum pot size limit.
- A player will have to kill pot after a second pot or second leg if he has won a minimum of one full bet, not including blinds.
- If in a game of split-pot a player wins the high and the low pot, he will be required to kill the next pot if the pot is five times or more the size of the maximum limit in that game.
- In some lowball games, players may look at their first two cards and decide according to them whether they wish to kill the pot. Once one player has received a third card, non of the players are allowed to kill the pot. In these games in order to be allowed to kill the pot a player must posses a sum of money which is four times the amount of the kill blind. When this rule is in use the player who kills is last to act in the first round of bets.