Players Poker Club Official Tournament Rules
These are the official tournament rules for Players Poker Club. These rules are provided to give all parties involved in our tournaments clear and concise rules for the orderly execution of those tournaments.
- Player Responsibilities:
- Verify they are at the proper seat
- Make clear their intentions when acting
- Act in turn
- Use proper terms and gestures when acting
- Keep all cards and chips visible
- Stay at the table with a live hand
- Comply with the rules of the tournament
- Practice proper poker etiquette at the table
- Call clock when warranted
- Speak up if an error is made
- Floor Decisions
Floor decisions are always made in fairness and the best interest of the game. Usual circumstances will occasionally arise that are not cover specifically by these rules. The floor will make the best call possible in those circumstances with a focus on fairness and the integrity of the game. All floor decisions are final.
- Terms and Gestures
Standard terms are gestures are to be used during action. These standard terms and gestures include:
- Tapping the table to signify a check
Using non-standard terms or gestures risks puts the player at risk for an unintended ruling.
- Electronic Devices
Players may use electronic devices while not in a hand if that device is inaudible to other players at the table. To make or receive a phone call, players must step at least one table length away from the table. The floor supervisor may suspend the use of an electronic device if that device is causing a nuisance to other players at the table.
- Languages Used at the Table
English only is to be spoken at table if there is any live hand in play.
- Seating and Breaking of Tables
- Players will be assigned seats randomly at the start the tournament
- Players who take the wrong seat will be move to their correct seat assignment
- Re-entries and late registers will be given a random draw from the available seats in the tournament
- Players from a broken table will receive a random new seat assignment
- Tables will be broken in preset order set prior to the start of the tournament
- Balancing Tables
The floor supervisor(s) will ensure that each table has within one player of all other active tables. If tables need to be balanced the next player to be the big blind will be the player moved from the table with the greatest number of players.
- Players Moving From Table to Table
- Players must move immediately to a new table from a broken table or when being moved from an active table
- Players must keep all chips visible while moving from table to table. Chips not visible may be taken out of play by the floor supervisor
- Players from a broken table may assume any position available at the new table. This includes the small blind and the button.
- Players moving from an active table may not any position other than the small blind or the button
- No player may ever come in between the button and the small blind
Showdown and Pot Rules
- Winning Hands
- Cards speak for themselves at showdown
- Verbal declaration of a hand is not binding
- Deliberate misdeclaration of a hand will result in a penalty
- Dealers should read and announce all tabled hands at showdown
- Any player, in or out of the hand, should speak up if they feel a hand is being improperly read or awarded the pot
- Tabling of Hands
- At showdown all down cards are to be tabled (placed face up on the table) so the hand can be clearly read by the dealer and all players.
- Players must protect their hands while waiting for them to be read
- Dealers are not to kill winning hands until the pot is awarded
- Players showing one card that would win the hand will be asked to table all down cards in their hand. If they refuse the dealer is to call for the floor.
- If a player makes a bet and discards their hand thinking they have won the hand, but there is still another player with a live hand who has not acted, the dealer is to hold the cards and call the floor. The floor will decide if the hand is retrievable. If the hand is not retrievable the betting player is not entitled to any called bets. If the last bet is uncalled prior to the mucking of the betting players cards the uncalled bet will be returned to them.
- If a player is playing the board in Texas Hold’em they still must table all cards to be awarded a share of the pot
- If there is a called all-in and no other player has any possible action, ALL CARDS MUST BE TABLED FACE UP
- If there is an all-in and there are remaining players with action the all-in player is to keep their hand face down until there is no other remaining action. All players who have exhausted action on the final round of betting, without folding in that round, must table their hands face up, even if that final round was checked
- In a non-all-in showdown, the last player who made an aggressive action in the final round of betting is to table their hand first and subsequent players table their hands in order from that player position. If there was no aggressive action on the final round hands are to be tabled in betting order.
- If all other players have mucked their hands after the final round of betting the lone remaining player with a live hand will be awarded the pot without have to table their hand
- No player may ask to see a winning hand if they do no have cards. If there was a river bet any caller may ask to see the aggressor’s hand, provided they have tabled their hand
- Any disputes over winning hands and improperly awarded pot must be brought up prior to the start of the next hand. If there is any dispute the dealer is to call the floor immediately
Side Pots and Split Pots
- Side pots are to split off from the main pot by the dealer and be easily identifiable
- If pots are to be split, side pots are to be split separately
- If there is an odd chip of the lowest demonization in play in a split pot, the odd chip is awarded to…
- The player in the worst position in a flop game that is not a “split pot” game
- The player with the high hand in a “hi/lo” game. If there is a split pot of one side or another in a hi/lo flop game the odd chip is awarded to the player in the worst position
- The player with the highest suit in a stud high game
- The player with the lowest suit in a “razz” game
New Hand & New Limits
- A new level won’t be announced until the clock reaches zero. The new level applies to the next hand
- New levels will be announced to the entire tournament by the tournament director or floor supervisor
- A hand begins…
- On the first riffle of the cards
- The push of the new dealer
Scheduled Color Ups and Chip Races
- At scheduled color-ups, chips will be raced off starting in seat 1, with a maximum of one chip awarded to a player.
- Players can’t be raced out of play: a player losing their last chip(s) in a race will get 1 chip of the lowest denomination still in play.
- Players must have their chips fully visible and are encouraged to witness the chip race.
- If after the race, a player still has chips of a removed denomination, they will be exchanged for current denominations only at equal value. Chips of removed denominations that do not fully total at least the smallest denomination still in play will be removed without compensation.
Card and Chip Visibility
- Cards and chip are always to remain clearly visible
- Players are entitled to a reasonable estimate of their opponents’ chip count. Therefore, all chips should be kept in countable stacks. Higher denomination chips must always be kept in front, on top, or to the side to be visible and identifiable.
- The tournament director will control the number and denomination of chips in play. Any discretionary color up will be announced. Any new denomination of chip introduced into play will be announced to the tournament with the new denomination and color.
- Players must keep live hands visible at all times
Deck changes will be made by the incoming dealer on the push. The floor supervisor may elect to have the dealers change the deck if the dealer remains at the same table longer than a one half of an hour. Players may not ask for a deck change. If a card is damaged during the course of play the floor supervisor may ask for the deck to be changed if a new set-up is not immediately available.
Players in a re-buy tournament may not miss a hand. Players declaring, they will re-buy before the hand are playing chips behind and must make the re-buy.
In a re-entry tournament, player busting during the re-entry period may re-enter the tournament at registration. They do not have to immediately re-enter after busting but must re-enter before the end of the late registration/re-entry period. Upon re-entry they will draw a new random seat assignment. Once re-entered and with a new seat assignment they must immediately take their new seat.
Rabbit hunting is never allowed in a Players Poker Club tournament.
If in floor supervisor’s judgement reasonable time has passed, he or she may call the clock or approve a clock request by any player in the event. A player on the clock has up to 25seconds plus a 5 second countdown to act. If the player faces a bet and time expires, the hand is dead; if not facing a bet, the hand is checked. Supervisors may adjust the time allowed and take other steps to fit the game and stop persistent delays.
Players must be at their seats when the last card is dealt to all players on the initial deal. Players not then at their seats may not look at their cards. Cards dealt to players not in their seats are immediately killed after the last card is dealt on the initial deal. Posted blinds and antes are forfeit to the pot for an absent player. Absent players dealt the stud bring-in card posts the bring-in. Players must be at their seats to call for a clock. “At your seat” means in reach of your chair.
At the Table with Pending Action
A player must be at the table with action pending to them or other players and a live hand. This includes all-ins or finished betting and must remain at the table for showdown. Players who abandon a hand with action pending to other players could be subject to penalty.
Buttons and Blinds
- Players Poker Club tournaments use a dead button
- Players intentionally dodging blinds when moving from table to table will incur a penalty
- In heads up play the small blind is the button. When arriving at heads up the last player who posted the big blind will become the button.
Misdeal Include (but not necessarily limited to):
- Two or more boxed cards on the initial deal
- First card dealt to the wrong seat
- Cards dealt to a seat not entitled to a hand
- Cards not dealt to a seat entitled to a hand
- The first two down cards exposed to any player in a stud game
- One of the first two down cards dealt in a flop game is exposed by dealer error
- Two down cards are exposed by dealer error in a flop game
- If the flop has 4 rather than 3 cards, exposed or not, the floor will be called. The dealer then scrambles the 4 cards face down, the floor randomly selects one as the next burn card and the other 3 are the flop. A four-card flop does not constitute a misdeal
After a misdeal the re-deal is dealt in the same fashion as the hand was originally intended. The button stays in the same position as the original hand and there is no “re-anty” where applicable. The misdeal does not count as a hand for a player on penalty. If a level change occurs the previous blind level is used. Once substantial action has occurred a misdeal can not be declared.
Substantial Action is constituted by:
- Any two actions in turn in which at least one of the actions puts chips in the pot
- Any combination of three actions
- Posted blinds do not count as substantial action
- Hands killed after substantial action due to the wrong number of cards dealt to that seat does not impact the burn cards nor any board cards in a flopped game. The hand with the incorrect number of cards is dead and simply mucked
Button with too Few Cards
A player on the button dealt too few cards should announce it immediately. Missing button cards may be replaced even after substantial action if permitted for the type of game. However, if the button acts on a hand with too few cards, the hand is dead.
Bets and Raises
Methods of Betting
- Bets are by verbal declaration and/or pushing out chips. If a player does both, whichever is first defines the bet. If simultaneous, a clear and reasonable verbal declaration takes precedence, otherwise the chips play.
- Verbal declarations may be general (call, raise), a specific amount only or both
- Declaring a specific amount only is the same as pushing out an equal amount.
- Action in turn is binding and commits chips to the pot that stay in the pot.
- Players must wait for clear bet amounts before acting.
- Verbal calls, checks and raises are binding
- Bringing out chips and cutting them on the table is allowed in Players Poker Club Tournaments. No “betting line” is in play during Players Poker Club tournaments
Acting in Turn
- Players must act in turn verbally and/or by pushing out chips. Action in turn is binding and commits chips to the pot that stay in the pot.
- Players must wait for clear bet amounts before acting.
Under Calls, Under Raises and Incorrect Bets
- If a player pushes forward chips that are not enough to call the current bet…
- It is a mandatory full call if the action is heads up
- In multiway action the amount may be surrendered to the pot and the players hand folded. The player may elect to remain in the hand and make the full call
- If a player pushes forward multiple chips that are more than the current bet, but not enough to raise…
- If the total is more than one and a half times the current bet a full raise will be declared and the player must put the enough for a full minimum raise up
- If the total is less than one and a half times the current bet a call is declared and the overage returned to the player
- Verbal declarations before the chips are pushed forward take precedence. Overages on a verbal call and under chips on a verbal raise will be corrected by the dealer
- If two or more under call happen in a row play will be backed up to the first under call and corrected
- If an opening bet after the initial (pre-flop in flop games) round of betting is incorrect (example: 1000 bet with a 2000 big blind), the dealer will declare a full bet minimum bet for that round
- In pot limit, if a player under bets the pot based on an inaccurate count, if the pot count is too high, it will be corrected for all players anywhere on the current street; if too low, corrected until substantial action occurs after the bet.
- The over sized chip rule is in play for all Players Poker Club Tournaments. If a chip larger than the current bet is forward it is considered a call unless, prior to the chip being pushed forward, “raise” is declared.
Action Out of Turn
Any action out of turn (check, call, or raise) will be backed up to the correct player in order. The out of turn action is subject to penalty and is binding if action to the out of turn player does not change (a player acting out of turn cannot take a more aggressive action). Check, call, or fold by the correct player does not change action. If action changes, the out of turn action is not binding; any bet or raise is returned to the out of turn player who has all options: call, raise, or fold. An out of turn fold is binding.
Players skipped by out of turn action must defend their right to act. If a skipped player had reasonable time and doesn’t speak up before substantial action out of turn occurs after the player, the out of turn action is binding. Action backs up and the floor will rule on how to treat the skipped player’s hand given the circumstances, including ruling the hand dead or limiting the player to non-aggressive action.
Methods of Calling
Standard acceptable forms of calling include:
- Saying “call”
- Pushing out chips equal to a call
- Silently pushing out an oversized chip
- Silently pushing out multiple chips equal to a call
Methods of Raising
In no-limit or pot-limit, a raise must be made by
- Pushing out the full amount in one motion
- Verbally declaring the full amount prior to pushing out chips
- Verbally declaring “raise” prior to pushing out the exact call amount then completing the raise in one additional motion.
A raise must be at least equal to the largest prior bet or raise of the current betting round. If a player raises 50% or more of the largest prior bet but less than a minimum raise, he or she must make a full minimum raise. If less than 50% it is a call unless “raise” is first declared or the player is all-in. Declaring an amount or pushing out the same amount of chips is treated the same. Without other clarifying information, declaring raise and an amount is the total bet.
Re-Opening the Bet
In no-limit and pot limit, an all-in wager totaling less than a full bet or raise does not reopen betting for players who have already acted and are not facing at least a full bet or raise when the action returns to them.
In limit, at least 50% of a full bet or raise is required to re-open betting for players who have already acted.
Oversized Chip Betting
If facing a bet or blind, pushing out a single oversized chip is a call if raise isn’t first declared. To raise with an oversized chip, you must declare raise before the chip hits the table. If raise is declared but no amount is stated, the raise is the maximum allowable for the chip. If not facing a bet, pushing out an oversized chip silently is a bet of the maximum for the chip.
Multiple Chip Betting
- If facing a bet, unless raise or all-in is declared first, a multiple-chip bet is a call if every chip is needed to make the call.
- If every chip is not needed to make the call (removal of just one of the smallest chips leaves the call amount or more).
- If the player has chips remaining, the bet is governed by the 50% standard rule above.
- If the player’s last chips are bet he or she is all-in whether reaching the 50% threshold or not.
Number of Allowable Raises
There is no cap on the number of raises in no-limit and pot-limit. In limit play, there is a limit to raises even when heads-up until the event is down to 2 players. In Players Poker Club limit tournaments, a bet and four raises are standard unless otherwise stated for that tournament.
It is the caller’s responsibility to determine the correct amount of an opponent’s bet before calling, regardless of what is stated by others. If a caller requests a count but receives incorrect information from a dealer or player, then pushes out that amount, the caller has accepted the full correct action and is subject to the correct wager or all-in amount.
Pot size and Pot Limit Bets
Players are entitled to a pot count in pot-limit only. Dealers will not count the pot in limit and no-limit. Pre-flop a short all-in blind will not affect calculation of the maximum pot limit bet. Post-flop, bets are based on actual pot size. Declaring “pot” is not a valid bet in no-limit but it does bind the player to making a valid bet and may be subject to penalty. If the player faces a bet, they must make a valid raise.
Invalid Bet Declarations
If a player faces no bet and:
- Declares “call”, it is a check
- Declares “raise”, the player must make at least a minimum bet.
- A player declaring “check” when facing a bet may call or fold, but cannot raise
String Bets and Raises
Dealers will call string bets and raises. A string bet or raise is considered returning to your stack to get more chips after chips have already be placed forward on the table without declaring an amount or action first.
Non-Standard & Unclear Betting
Players use unofficial betting terms and gestures at their own risk. These may be interpreted to mean other than what the player intended. If a declared bet can legally have multiple meanings, it will be ruled the highest reasonable amount that is less than or equal to the pot size (not including that bet).
Any time before the end of the final betting round, folding in turn if there’s no bet to you or folding out of turn are binding folds subject to penalty.
Conditional & Premature Declarations
Conditional statements of future action are non-standard and strongly discouraged. At supervisor’s discretion they may be binding and/or penalized.
Count of Opponent’s Chip Stack
Players are entitled to a reasonable estimation of opponents’ chip stacks. A player may request a more precise count only if facing an all-in bet and it is his or her turn to act. The all-in player is not required to count. On request the dealer or floor will count it.
Chips Out of View and in Transit
Players may not hold or transport chips in a way that takes them out of view. A player who does so will forfeit the chips and may be disqualified. The forfeited chips will be taken out of play.
Accidentally Killed, Fouled and Exposed Hands
Players must always protect their hands, including at showdown while waiting for hands to be read. If the dealer kills a hand by mistake or if in supervisor’s judgement a hand is fouled and cannot be identified to 100% certainty, the player has no recourse and is not entitled to a refund of called bets. If the player initiated a bet or raise and hasn’t been called, the uncalled amount will be returned. If a hand is fouled but can be identified, it remains in play despite any cards exposed.
Proper Poker Etiquette and Penalties
Players must always protect their hands in the tournament. Players, whether in the hand or not, must not:
- Discuss contents of live or mucked hands
- Advise or criticize play at any time
- Read a hand that hasn’t been tabled. One-player-to-a-hand is in effect.
This rule prohibits showing a hand to or discussing strategy with another player, advise, or speculate.
Exposing Cards and Proper Folding
Exposing cards with action pending may result in a penalty but not a dead hand. Any penalty begins at the end of the hand. When folding, cards should be pushed forward low to the table, not deliberately exposed or tossed high.
Chip dumping and other forms of collusion will result in disqualification.
Etiquette violations are subject to enforcement actions. Examples include but are not limited to:
- Persistent delay of the game
- Unnecessarily touching another player’s person, cards or chips
- Repeatedly acting out of turn
- Betting out of reach of the dealer
- Abusive conduct
- Excessive chatter
Warnings, Penalties, & Disqualification
Enforcement options include verbal warnings, one or more “missed hand” or “missed round” penalties, and disqualification. For missed rounds, the offender will miss one hand for every player at the table when the penalty is given multiplied by the number of penalty rounds. Repeat infractions are subject to escalating penalties. Players away from the table or on penalty may be anted or blinded out of a tournament.
A penalty may be invoked for:
- etiquette violations
- card exposure with action pending
- throwing cards, violating
- one-player-to-a-hand, or similar incidents.
Penalties will be given for:
- Soft play
- Disruptive behavior
- Checking the exclusive nuts when last to act on the river
TD’s discretion applies based on the situation.
Players on penalty must be away from the table. Cards are dealt to their seats, their blinds and antes are posted, their hands are killed after the initial deal, and if dealt the stud bring-in card they must post the bring-in.
Chips of a disqualified player shall be removed from play.