Calculator to help count how many and how big are the side pots are on Poker when players are short stacked.

How do side pots work in poker?

If two players go all-in, and the bigger stack of chips wins, then the other player is out. On the other hand, if the shorter stack wins, they get double their chips from their opponent. However, if there are 3 or more players in a pot with at least one all-in, chips get added to both the main pot and side pot.

The all-in player can only win their stake - which in this case is the amount of their whole stack (all-in). So if the other two or more players are all-in with bigger stacks or alternatively continue to bet "on the side", these additional chips go into a SIDE POT. If the all-in player wins the hand, they can only win the main pot. The second best hand will take the side pot.

Who wins the side pot in poker?

Scenario 1

If player A has 100 chip stack, play B has 200 chips and player C has 300, there would be a side pot. Because the 100-chip stack can't win more than their stake. Who wins the round determines who wins the main pots and side pots. But say Player A has the best hand, they get their 100 back plus the 100 from player B and 100 from player C. If player C has the second-best hand, they get the extra 100 chips in the side pot from player B's all-in and Player B would be out. And vice versa if player B wins.

Scenario 2

One player is all-in pre-flop and two other players call the all-in, so all these chips go into the main pot. The other two players still have chips to bet with, unlike player A and continue to bet after the flop until the river. At showdown all three players show cards and player A is the winner. Player A can only win the main pot. So the second-best hand from Player B or C will take the side pot.