Pot Control

word type: verb

  1. While in a hand, the act of attempting to keep a pot smaller because a player is holding a marginal hand.


Notable poker writer Ed Miller roughly explains pot control as, "Big hands should have big pots, and small hands should have small pots." The term big and small are relative to gauging an opponent's hand strength and their probably to shove all-in with weaker hands.

Example with a Small Hand

In this example our Hero has QQ sitting on the button and is against a very tight player. Before him in mid position a villain makes a raise, and our hero re-raises (a 3bet). The villain calls and the flop comes A-8-2 rainbow. This ties into the Way Ahead/Way Behind concept, which is a great sport for pot control. If our hero bets, he doesn't get action from the hands he beats. By checking he will get bets from hands that are bluffing (like KJ or 99) and at the same time saves money against hands that are beating him (like AT).