1: Floor Decisions
The best interest of the game and fairness are top priorities in decision-making. Unusual circumstances occasionally dictate that common-sense decisions in the interest of fairness take priority over technical rules. Floor decisions are final.
2: Player Responsibilities
Players should verify registration data and seat assignments, protect their hands, make their intentions clear, follow the action, act in turn with proper terminology and gestures, defend their right to act, keep cards visible and chips correctly stacked, remain at the table with a live hand, table all cards properly when competing at showdown, speak up if they see a mistake, call for a clock when warranted, transfer tables promptly, follow one player to a hand, know and comply with the rules, practice proper etiquette, and generally contribute to an orderly event.
3: Official Terminology and Gestures
Official betting terms are simple, unmistakable, time-honored declarations like bet, raise, call, fold, check, all-in, complete, and pot (pot-limit only). Regional terms may also meet this test. Also, players must use gestures with caution when facing action; tapping the table is a check. It is the responsibility of players to make their intentions clear: using non-standard terms or gestures is at player’s risk and may result in a ruling other than what the player intended. See also Rules 2 & 42.
5: Electronic Devices and Communication
Players may not talk on a phone at the table. Ring tones, music, images, video etc. should be inaudible and non-disturbing to others. Betting apps and charts may not be used by players with live hands. Other devices, tools, photography, videography, and communication must not create a nuisance, delay the game or create competitive advantage and are subject to house and gaming regulations.
6: Official Language
The house will clearly post and announce acceptable language(s) at the table. English and/or Romanian.
7: Random Correct Seating
Tournament and satellite seats will be randomly assigned. A player starting in a wrong seat with a correct chip stack will move to the correct seat with his or her current total chip stack.
11: Balancing Tables and Halting Play
A: To balance in flop & mixed-games, the player to be big blind next moves to the worst position, including single big blind if available, even if that means the seat is big blind twice. Worst position is never the small blind. In stud-only, players move by position (last seat open at the short table is the seat filled).
17: Non All-In Showdowns & Showdown Order
A: In a non all-in showdown, if cards are not spontaneously tabled or discarded, the TD may enforce an order of show. The last aggressive player on the final betting round (final street) must table first. If there was no final round bet, the player who would act first in a final betting round must table first (i.e. first seat left of the button in flop games, high hand showing in stud, low hand in razz, etc.).
B: A non all-in showdown is uncontested if all but one player mucks face down without tabling. The last player with live cards wins and is not required to table the cards.
25: Cards & Chips Kept Visible, Countable, & Manageable. Discretionary Color-Ups
A: Players, dealers, and the floor are entitled to a reasonable estimation of chip counts; thus, chips should be kept in countable stacks. The TDA recommends clean vertical stacks of 20 same denomination chips each as a standard. Higher denomination chips must be visible and identifiable at all times. If a floorperson cannot look at a chipstack and quickly estimate its value, players likely can’t either.
B: TDs control the number and denominations of chips in play and may color up one or more players at their discretion at any time. Discretionary color ups are to be announced.
C: Players must keep live hands in plain view at all times.
29: Calling for a Clock
Players should act in a timely manner to maintain a reasonable pace of the game. If in TD’s judgement reasonable time has passed, he or she may call the clock or approve a clock request by any player in the event.
30: At Your Seat and Live Hands
To have a live hand, 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 which are killed immediately. Their posted blinds and antes forfeit to the pot and an absent player dealt the stud bring-in card posts the bring-in. “At your seat” means in reach of your chair. This rule is not intended to encourage players to be out of their seats while in a hand.
31: At the Table with Action Pending
Players with live hands (including players all-in or otherwise finished betting) must remain at the table for all betting rounds and showdown. Leaving the table is incompatible with protecting your hand and following the action and is subject to penalty.
36: Substantial Action (SA)
Substantial Action is either A) any 2 actions in turn, at least one of which puts chips in the pot (i.e. any 2 actions except 2 checks or 2 folds) or B) any combination of 3 actions in turn (check, bet, raise, call, fold). Posted blinds do not count towards SA. See Rules 35-D & 53-B.
37: 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 game type. However, if the button acts on a hand with too few cards (by check or bet), the button’s hand is dead.
38: Burns After Substantial Action
The burn card is to protect the stub, not “preserve card order”. If SA occurs and a hand is killed due to the wrong number of cards, all cards of the killed hand are mucked and randomness applies to further dealing (See also RP-14 Randomness). The stub is treated as a normal stub and one and only one card is burned off the stub for each subsequent street. See Illustration Addendum.
46: Prior Bet Chips Not Pulled In
B: If facing a raise, clearly pulling back a prior bet chip binds a player to call or raise; he or she may not put the chip(s) back out and fold.
49: Accepted Action
Poker is a game of alert, continuous observation. 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 or declares call, the caller has accepted the full correct action & is subject to the correct wager or all-in amount. As with all situations, Rule 1 may apply at TD’s discretion. See also RP-12.
51: Binding Declarations / Undercalls in Turn
A: General verbal declarations in turn (such as “call” or “raise”) commit a player to the full current action. See Illustration Addendum
B: A player undercalls by declaring or pushing out less than the call amount without first declaring “call”. An undercall is a mandatory full call if made in turn facing 1) any bet heads-up or 2) the opening bet on any round multi-way. In other situations, TD’s discretion applies. The opening bet is the first chip bet of each betting round (not a check). In blind games the posted BB is the pre-flop opener. All-in buttons reduce undercall frequency (See Recommended Procedure 1). This rule governs when players must make a full call and when, at TDs discretion they may forfeit the amount of the intended undercall and fold (see Illustration Addendum). For underbets and underraises, see Rule 52.
61: Over-Betting Expecting Change
Betting should not be used to obtain change.
65: Accidentally Killed / Fouled / Exposed Hands
A: Players must protect their hands at all times, including at showdown while waiting for hands to be read. If the dealer kills a hand by mistake or if in TDs judgement a hand is fouled and cannot be identified to 100% certainty, the player has no redress 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.
67: No Disclosure. One Player to a Hand
Players must protect other players in the tournament at all times. Therefore players, whether in the hand or not, must not:
- Discuss contents of live or mucked hands,
- Advise or criticize play at any time,
68: Exposing Cards and Proper Folding
Exposing cards with action pending, including the current player when last to act, 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 (“helicoptered”).
70: Etiquette Violations
Etiquette violations are subject to enforcement actions in Rule 71. 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, maintaining poor card or chip visibility and countability, betting out of reach of the dealer, abusive conduct, offensive hygiene, and excessive chatter.
71: Warnings, Penalties, & Disqualification
A: 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 (including him or her) 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.
B: A penalty may be invoked for etiquette violations (Rule 70), card exposure with action pending, throwing cards, violating one-player-to-a-hand, or similar incidents. Penalties will be given for soft play, abuse, disruptive behavior, or cheating. Checking the exclusive nuts when last to act on the river is not an automatic soft play violation; TD’s discretion applies based on the situation.
C: Players on penalty must be away from the table. Cards are dealt to their seats, their blinds and antes posted, their hands are killed after the initial deal, and if dealt the stud bring-in they must post the bring-in.
D: Chips of a disqualified player shall be removed from play.