What does “Cap” Mean in Poker? – Full Guide 2021

Cap Mean in Poker

What does “Cap” Mean in Poker? – Full Guide 2021

Poker is a form of gambling game that requires both luck and skill. Players in poker place bets against one another based on the value of their poker hand.

Chips, which are normally made of plastic or ceramic, are used to place bets. Real money may be used to place bets, but chips are more popular because they are easier to manage and count.

At the end of the game, players can either exchange their chips for cash or have their chips counted to decide the winner’s order.

What is Cap in Poker?

Cap games is a format of poker in which a limit is placed on the maximum number of big blinds that can be used in a single hand. For example, in a game with a 20bb limit, once a player has bet 20bb, he can no longer invest any more chips in the pot (even if he has additional chips in his pile).


The term butt is slightly different and describes a player who cannot have a grip above a certain strength due to the line he took.

Explanation of Cap

Cap – In most cash games, the effective stacks change from hand to hand. The deeper we get, the deeper the effective stacks, provided our opponent has us covered. Not everyone likes deep stack poker though; cap games allow us to build a big stack without the need to play with deep effective stacks. 

In a cap game, there is a maximum limit on how many chips can be wagered in any given hand. In a 20bb cap game for example, if a player announces he is “all-in”, it means that he is all-in for 20bb. He might even have 200bb in his stack, but 180 of those big-blinds are essentially irrelevant during a single hand of cap poker.

Cap games are somewhat rare. They will occasionally be seen online or in live casinos, but they rarely generate a large amount of traffic.


Capped – Capped ranges occur when a player takes a line that precludes certain strong holdings from being in his range. The easiest example of this is when a player smooth-calls in a spot where he’d likely be raising if he held a premium. 

Imagine the following board texture in a NLHE match –

Board: T85

Imagine our opponent faces a continuation bet on such a texture. In most cases, due to the drawy nature of the board texture, strong hands such as sets (and perhaps two-pair) are getting raised, especially in single-raised pots. If our opponent opts to just call on this texture, we can generally assume that he is unlikely to have many hands stronger than a pair of Tens. 

Imagine the board texture runs out as follows after our opponent calls both a bet on the flop and the turn.

Board: T8522

Villain may have had draws on both the flop and the turn, but on a blank river, neither of these draws were completed. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that he will have a stronger stake than a peer. Therefore, we can say that “our opponent has a limit of one pair”.


Example of Cap used in a sentence -> We can definitely bet two-pair for value here because our opponent is usually capped at one pair holdings.

How to Use Cap as Part of Your Poker Strategy?

CAP: To be an effective capital game player you need to understand how strategy changes at that specific effective stack depth. For example, if we are mainly used to playing 100bb cash games, we will have to adjust our strategy if we want to sit at a table with a 50bb limit. We are likely to make significant changes to both our preflop ranges and our postflop lines.

CAPPED: In terms of poker theory, our opponent who has a limited range generally encourages us to use larger bet sizes, both as a bluff and for value. In terms of the exploitation game, limited ranges require a specific strategy adjustment to our opponent’s tendencies. This could include, but is not limited to, the following.

  1. Using large sizings as a bluff hoping to fold close to 100% of our opponent’s range.
  2. Using smaller value-bet sizings to elicit calls.

However, these are just examples, and the best approach could easily be reversed due to leveling. For example, if our opponent realizes that he has a cap and anticipates that we will bluff overbetting, now he becomes a great place to overbet for little value. In any situation, therefore, we must take into account our opponent’s tendencies and discover the best way to exploit them.


Why do poker players put a chip on their cards?

Our stop is actually a move where you physically “mark” your cards by placing a paperweight, token, coin, or some other small object on your cards face down. It’s called blocking because you put a “boundary” on top of your cards, that is, your “head.” The limitation is most often done in Texas Hold’em and Omaha poker.

There are two main reasons for capping your cards, depending on what you want with your downcards.

  1. The first reason is indicating to the dealer that you are not folding your downcards and are still intent on playing them. That is, a set of open cards with no limit that the player does not use generally indicates to the dealer that they have folded, that is, that they are returning the discovered cards to the dealer.

If a player covers his card face down, then the dealer will not touch him (there is an exception to this rule, but we will talk about that later), even if he is near the trash; the dealer can take uncovered cards and merge them with the trash, so it is also essential to put a cap on his cards if he does not want to lose them.


  1. The second reason is a more practical one.

That is, in poker, when an opponent’s card touches yours at any given time or for any reason, your hands are discarded as dead. An opponent may throw his cards at yours and they may touch each other by accident, or he may do so intentionally to hurt you; This is a known phenomenon in poker and is prohibited by the rules.

Can a dealer take your uncapped hand?

As we discussed earlier, a dealer regards an uncapped, unused face-down card game as his “prey.” He can consider his hand to be bent and can easily take it and put it in the mud. This is one of the reasons why players limit their hands because it is a clear signal to the dealer that the hands are active and out of bounds. If his hand accidentally touches any card inside the muck, his card is automatically considered dead, so a dealer can take it immediately.


There is also a situation where the dealer can touch and hold his hand even if it is covered. This happens when a player explicitly tips the dealer by sliding their hand back, face down, with the tip on top of the hand as if it was still covered. This can be done only after the hand is over when it is clear that the player is not holding his hand, but is simply returning his hand to further shuffle the tip to the dealer.

What’s the most you can bet at a casino?

Table maximums can be as low as $50 at the small local casino Poker Palace, but major strip casinos usually offer some tables with a $10,000 maximum. Exceptions are the Golden Nugget in downtown which permits $15,000 bets, and three tables at Caesars Palace which permit bets between $5,000 and $50,000.



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