General Poker Rules
In addition to the game rules stated in each game section, the following rules apply in all poker games. As always, the decision of the floor person is final.
Dealing Rotation, Action and Betting
All poker games use a flat disc called a ‘Dealer Button’ to indicate the player, who in theory, deals the cards for that hand. All cards are dealt clockwise starting to the left of the dealer. The player with the Dealer Button receives the last card each round. The deal and Dealer Button rotate clockwise among the players at the table.
Two “Blind” bets” (a “Big Blind” and a “Small Blind”) are posted by the two players immediately to the left of the player with the Dealer Button. Both blinds are posted prior to the hole cards being dealt. They are intended to initiate play. The amount of the Big Blind and Small Blind are posted on the table. The Small Blind is posted by the player immediately to the left of the player with the Dealer Button and the Big Blind is posted by the player immediately to the left of that player.
During the initial round of betting, the Small Blind has the second to last right of action and the Big Blind has the right of last-action. The player with the Dealer-Button has the right of last-action on all subsequent betting rounds.
The Big Blind and Small Blind are part of that player’s bet. Blinds posted by players joining the game after the Button has passed their seat, or by those who wish to place “Live Blinds” (also known as “straddle bets”) are also part of a player’s bet.
Betting Action is initiated on the first betting round by the player to the immediate left of the player who posted the furthest ‘Blind’ clockwise from the Button. On all subsequent betting rounds, the action is started by the first active player clockwise from the Button.
It is the player’s responsibility at all times to protect his or her hand from being exposed to other players.
No pot may be awarded until all losing hands have been killed.
The winning hand must show all hole cards prior to the pot being awarded. The winning hand must remain face up until the pot is awarded. The hand is invalid if any of the hole cards are left face-down.
Although verbal declaration with regard to the content of a player’s hand is not binding, a player miscalling a hand with intent to cause another player to discard his hand, may, at the discretion of management, risk forfeiting the pot and/or be expelled.
Cards speak for themselves. Dealers will read hands after the showdown.
Check and raise is permitted. A bet and three raises are allowed. There is no limit on the number of raises when only two players remain before the third raise has been made.
String bets or raises are not allowed. A bet equal to 50% or more of a raise must be completed; and any bet less than 50% of a raise is a “call only, unless the player announces ‘raise’.
A player who puts a single chip into the pot that is larger than the bet will be ruled a call only, unless the player announces ‘raise’.
A card that is face-up in the deck (boxed card) shall be out of play. A Joker found in the deck is also out of play. A card taken out of play is replaced by the next card below it in the deck, except when the next card has already been intermingled with another player’s cards. In this situation, it will be replaced after that round of cards has been dealt. If a player does not call attention to the Joker among his hole cards before acting on his hand, then he has a foul hand and forfeits all rights to the pot and all monies placed by the player in the pot.
If a player’s hole card is exposed due to a dealer error, he may not keep the exposed card. After completing the deal, the dealer will exchange the exposed card with the top card on the deck and place the exposed card face up on top of the deck. The exposed card will be used as the burn card, before the flop. If two or more cards are exposed on the deal, it is a misdeal.
If a player is dealt more or less cards than the game he is playing in calls for, and it is discovered before two players act on their hands, it is a misdeal. If it is discovered after two players have acted, all monies, antes and blinds are forfeited by that player.
If the Flop has too many cards, it will be taken back and reshuffled excluding the burn card which will remain burned. No new burn card will be used.
If the Flop has been dealt before all the betting is completed, the flop is taken back and reshuffled, as above.
If the dealer turns up the fourth (4th) card on the board before the round of betting is completed, the card is not in play. After completion of the betting, the next card is burned and the fifth (5th) card is put up in the fourth card’s place. After betting is completed, the dealer will reshuffle the deck, including the card that was taken out of play, but not the burn cards or discards. The dealer will then deal the fifth card.
If the fifth card is turned up before betting is complete, it shall be reshuffled in the same manner as the previous rule.
A player may enter play in between the big and small blinds. That player may buy the button and must post both the small and big blinds.
A new player entering a game has several options. The player may: (1) wait for until the player is in the Big Blind position, (2) wait until the Button pass one time and then be dealt in (note: if the player waits for the Button to pass twice the player will be given a missed blind button and is required to post the small and big blind before entering the game, or (3) be dealt right in. If he chooses the second, he must post a Big Blind which will be his opening bet.
If a player leaves the table for any reason and the blinds pass their position, they may resume play by posting the total amount of the blinds for the game or otherwise must wait until the player is in the Big Blind position. If the player chooses to post the total amount of the blinds, the Small Blind portion goes to the center of the pot and is considered “dead” while the Big Blind is live and part of the player’s bet. The player may also buy the button.
An all-in wager of less than half a bet does not reopen the betting for any player who has already acted and is in the pot for a previous bet. A player facing less than half a bet may fold, call or complete the wager. An all-in wager of half a bet or more is treated as a full bet and a player may fold, call or make a full raise.