What Does Table Stakes Mean?

What does the term "table stakes" mean in the world of poker? What is the definition of the term "table stakes"?

In poker, "table stakes" refers to a player only being able to bet what is in front of them.

For instance, let's say that a player is playing in a $1/$2 local No Limit Hold'em cash game with an unlimited buy-in. The player starts the hand with $400.

The definition of Table Stakes - Kings poker dictionary - Example.

Let's say that the player is dealt pocket Aces. Under the "table stakes" rules, this player would not be able to go into their pocket to bring up more chips. They started the hand with $400, and that is what they will be able to play.

If a player wants to add more chips, he can do so after the hand. It is important that the player notifies the rest of the table of his intentions, as a bigger stack could impact the decisions made by the other players at the table in subsequent hands.

In the movies, players will often bet their watches, cars and other items during big hands of poker. This is the movies, however, and regular poker games don't operate like this.

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