International Poker Rules

Poker Rules

All the International Poker Rules are published on this page. The total set consist 79 different rules. These rules are created for the benefit of the beginner, the novice and the professional poker player. When using the International Poker Rules a poker operator supports a fair, transparant and player friendly poker environment. 

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SECTION 1: TOURNAMENT GUIDELINES

This section provides guidelines in a manner for which a tournament, venue, and staff shall operate. All guidelines are subject to applicable House, State, Federal, Country laws, statues, and regulations in accordance to their jurisdictional gaming control board. All rules, policies, and procedures, modified, deleted, or added to The International Poker Rules will take precedence during the tournament.

1.    VENUES

  1. Venues should provide a player-friendly environment.
    The following should be provided and/or posted in a manner that is clearly visible within the tournament area:
    1. The International Poker Rules alongside Management’s modifications
    2. Tournament structure sheet
    3. Payout schedule sheet
    4. List of tables in breaking order
    5. Designated tournament clock(s)
    6. Dress code requirements
  2. All printed material should be provided in a timely manner, posted in the tournament’s “official language,” and readily available upon request.
  3. Venues must ensure all players are informed when they are entering a tournament that is to be webcast or televised.
    Unless specified in the event terms and conditions, players who then choose to enter this tournament are required/obligated to sign a standard talent release form and to cooperate as and when required with the filming personnel.
  4. Venues should attempt to provide the fairest playing conditions. Venues that utilize automated shuffling machines are encouraged to use these devices only if and when they are available to all tournament tables. Exceptions can be made on special occasions.
  5. Event organizers should have a clear Late Registration policy in place that outlines starting chip stack, seating procedures and determining when a late registrant can start tournament play. A late registrant will be required to accept the seat he/she is allocated randomly by the Tournament Director or Management, and must be in this seat as quickly as possible.

    It is at the Tournament Director’s discretion to determine the appropriate point at which each late registrant can start to play, and this decision should be based on fairness for all players and flow of the tournament.

  6. International events can be scheduled with or without dinner breaks but it is the responsibility of the Venue to ensure that they display this information in a clear and visible manner to all players.

    Management reserves the right to customize the tournament schedule, including the timing of regular restroom and dinner breaks, which should always be scheduled in the interest of fairness for all players and the flow of the game.             

  7. As stated in Guideline 1.a) the tournament schedule will be made transparent to all players before the event starts, with the number of levels to be played each day, outlined and posted by the venue in a clearly visible manner within the tournament area.

    It is at Management’s discretion to determine tournament start time, number of levels to be completed before the end of play procedures are enacted, the length of the levels, and in multi-day tournaments, to decide what time play will resume the following day.

    The Tournament Director may modify this schedule or add additional levels to maintain the integrity of the game and in the best and fairest interests of the players.

2.    MANAGEMENT

  1. Management will attempt to maintain a pleasant environment for their customers and employees, but is not responsible for the conduct of any player. Management reserves the right to refuse any player entry into the casino, card room, and/or tournament area(s).

    The following will not be permitted or tolerated:

    • Collusion with another player or any other form of cheating.
    • Verbally or physically threatening any customer or employee, or anyone.
    • Use of profanity and/or obscene language in an abusive manner.
    • Creating a disturbance by arguing, shouting, or making excessive noise.
    • Throwing, tearing, bending, or crumpling cards.
    • Destroying or defacing property.
    • Using an illegal substance.
    • Carrying a weapon.
  2. Management may reserve the right to amend or cancel any scheduled tournament. Notice should be posted on all printed and online material. Language shall include, “Management reserves the right at its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the tournament without prior notice.”
    This DOES NOT allow Management to cancel tournaments with Guarantees.
  3. In official events, Management reserves the right to enforce a general dress code on players entered in a  tournament, Players are obligated to accept the dress code guidelines if they want to participate in the event.
  4. Management is responsible to make changes in accordance to their House Rules and State, Federal or Country gaming laws, statutes, and regulations. Modifications, deletions, and/or additions to the IP Rules must be clearly stated, simply explained, and visibly posted by Management before the event starts.

3.    TOURNAMENT DIRECTORS

  1. Tournament Directors are to control the progress of the tournament and are to consider the technical rules for the best interest of the tournament, the game, and its players. Their role is to provide knowledge and rulings regarding the technical rules in any discrepancies that occur, and are to use fairness as their top priority in the decision-making process.
  2. On occasion, unusual circumstances may arise that may dictate decisions in the interest of fairness and will take priority over the technical rules. Tournament Directors have the authority to impose penalties. The Tournament Director’s decision is final.
  3. When a situation arises that is not covered by these rules, the Tournament Director will have the authority to render judgment, including imposing a penalty, in accordance with the best interest of the tournament and the maintenance of its integrity and public confidence.

    The Tournament Director retains the right to cancel or alter any tournament, in a manner fair to the players and for the best interest of the tournament.

    It is the responsibility of the Tournament Director to bring these changes to the attention of the players as soon as possible.

  4. The Tournament Director is responsible for ensuring that the following is posted/provided and/or announced in a manner that is clearly visible within the tournament area:

    • The International Poker Rules alongside Management’s modifications
    • Tournament structure sheet
    • Prize pool and payout schedule of each tournament in a timely manner
    • Breaking order of tables listed before the start of the tournament
    • Designated tournament clock(s)    
    • Dress code requirements
  5. For tournaments that continue over multiple days, the Tournament Director is required to stop the clock within the last fifteen minutes of the final level of play for the day. A randomly selected active player in the tournament will be asked to draw a single card from five shuffled cards numbered from three to six.

    Whichever number card the player draws will be the number of hands remaining to be played that day.
    The Tournament Director will announce to the field the number of hands remaining to be player in order to complete the day’s play. The Tournament Director will also announce when the event will recommence.

4.    FLOOR PEOPLE

  1. Floor People are to provide supervision and are to consider the technical rules for the best interest of the game and its players.
    Their role is to provide knowledge and rulings regarding the technical rules in any discrepancies that may occur, and are to use fairness as their top priority in the decision-making process.
    Floor People must act in a fair manner and remain neutral to all players.
  2. On occasion, unusual circumstances may arise that may dictate decisions in the interest of fairness and will take priority over the technical rules.
    Floor People have the authority to impose penalties and make rulings.
    In certain situations, the Floor Person will bring a discrepancy to the attention of the Tournament Director for clarity.
    A player has the right to appeal a ruling to the highest authority in the room.
    The decision of the highest authority in the room will be final.

5.    DEALERS

  1. Dealers are to control the progress of the game.
    Their role is to state the action and facilitate the progress of a fair game; as to the technical rules, dealers should act in a fair manner and must remain neutral to all players.
  2. Dealers must clearly announce the action in the tournament’s “official language.”
    Dealers will be responsible to announce and show “exposed cards.”
    Dealers should always count and announce the total amount of all bets when they occur (unless it is an all-in bet) in a neutral tone. This provides a much better service to the players as they do not have to go through the effort of asking every time the action gets to them. This will also massively speed up the game which is a must with the introduction of shotclock & timebank.
    Dealers will only inform a player of the pot size in pot limit games.
  3. Dealers are responsible for reporting any violation by a player, or any discrepancy that occurs.
    If a discrepancy arises, players are responsible for calling the dealer’s attention to the situation.
    Dealers must immediately stop all action and call for a “Floor Person” or the “Tournament Director.”
  4. A dealer that is pushing another dealer must never disturb the working dealer during a hand in motion. Dealers are obligated to make sure they know what game they are about to deal, and avoid any conversations with other dealers while they are actually working. 

SECTION 2: TOURNAMENT RULES, POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

  • Tournament Staff
    If a discrepancy or violation occurs, Tournament staff will consider the technical rules to interpret how a rule will apply and are to use fairness as their top priority in the decision-making process.
    On occasion, unusual circumstances may arise that could dictate decisions in the interest of fairness and will take priority over the technical rules. The decision of the highest authority in the room will be final.
  • Floor People and Tournament Directors have the authority to make rulings and impose penalties. A Tournament Director is the highest authority and this person can overrule Floor People, also when a player thinks the decision of the Floor People is not right he may ask the Tournament Director to make a final decision.
  • Dealers are responsible for reporting any player violations, or any discrepancy that may occur. Players also have a right to request/ call the floor should they feel it is warranted.
  • Dealers, Floor People, and Tournament Directors must make all announcements in the tournament’s “official language(s).” (see rule 9)
  • Each venue or organizer is subject to their applicable federal, state, and local country laws and regulations, including gaming, and all aspects of their event(s)/tournament(s) that are subject to the approval of appropriate regulatory authorities at all times.
    Organizers must ensure that they operate within these laws and regulations, and players will never be held responsible for this matter
  • When a situation occurs due to a dealer error, including a dealer accidentally releasing the card deck before the hand is complete, dealers must immediately stop all action and notify a Floor Person or the Tournament Director of their error, only then the problem can be resolved.
  • The tournament staff has the sole authority to resolve the situation in the fairest manner.
    On occasion, unusual circumstances may arise that could dictate decisions in the interest of fairness and will take priority over the technical rules.
    The decision of the highest authority in the room will be final. See Rule 1.1
  • Players are responsible to report any errors, discrepancies or violations that promote an unfair game.
  • Any delay in reporting a discrepancy may affect a ruling; once a “new deal” has begun the result of the previous hand will stand.

    The Tournament Director in his/her sole discretion may overrule this in the interests of fairness of the game and its players.
    Errors clearly reported by any player(s) cannot be waived by the dealer starting a new hand. A new hand begins with the first riffle.
    For tables using a shuffle machine, the dealer pushing the retrieve deck button will determine the start of a new hand.

  • On occasions players may disagree with the ruling provided, players will always have the right to dispute a ruling and call for a follow up ruling by the highest authority in the room. Only the Tournament Director or his senior will be able to overrule the initial given ruling.
  • A player shall not benefit from an error caused by their action.
  • Players are encouraged to familiarize themselves with “The International Poker Rules” and to take notice of any forced changes and/or modifications that are posted in the tournament area.
    These instructions or modifications may include information on the tournament structure, payout schedule, breaking tables, late registration, issues of player etiquette, and required dress code. (See Guidelines 1a, 2c & 3d)Lack of knowledge regarding the rules may not be deemed as an excuse by a violator.

    An unintentional error should be less serious than a deliberate violation and may be ruled as such.

  • The game of poker relies on the integrity of an individual to play in a fair manner and to abide by the policies, procedures, and rules of the tournament.
    Players should conduct themselves in a disciplined manner, demonstrating sportsmanlike behavior at all times.
  • Taking advantage of any unclear situation(s) created by other players can be seen as unsportsmanlike behavior and may be penalized as such. See Rule 5.1
  • Tournament Directors and Floor People will issue penalties for the following etiquette violations.
    Repeated infractions are subject to escalating penalties.
    To maintain the integrity and fairness of the tournament, and to provide a player friendly environment, the
    following actions are considered improper and unsportsmanlike behavior:
    1. Acting out of turn, intentionally and/or repeatedly.
    2. Intentionally folding/mucking out of turn, including abandoning a hand.
    3. Miscalling a hand, intentionally and/or repeatedly.
    4. Exposing cards with action pending, intentionally and/or repeatedly.
    5. Needlessly stalling the action of a hand.
    6. Violating the “one player to a hand” rule, including coaching a player or talking about the hand to another person either at the table or on the rail, during a live hand.
    7. Revealing the contents of any live or folded cards during a live hand.
    8. Any form of soft play, including verbally or mutually agreeing to check a hand down, when a third player is all-in.
    9. Incorrectly instructing or controlling the action or a player.
    10. Any form of “rabbit hunting.”
    11. Splashing chips directly into the pot, intentionally and/or repeatedly.
    12. Mucking a hand at the dealer, at a player, or in an abusive manner.
    13. Throwing or destroying card(s) intentionally.
    14. Abusive or disruptive behavior.
    15. Unnecessarily touching another player’s cards or chips.
    16. Wearing any clothing or other materials that carry words or images that display derogatory, offensive, racist, illegal or aggressive messages.
    17. Using masks or objects that hide a player’s identity.
    18. Verbally or physically attacking other competitors, members of the tournament staff, or spectators.
    19. Displaying signs of alcohol intoxication, drunkenness or use of other substances that jeopardizes the smooth running of the tournament, or causes disrespect to other competitors, staff or spectators.
    20. Displaying unsocial conditions of hygiene, including excessive body odor or dirt that jeopardizes other players’ right to a pleasant and safe environment.
    21. Excessive chatter: Excessive chatter includes, but is not limited to, talking or having a conversation that disrupts participants who are in a hand.
    22. Any participant who displays any form of inappropriate behavior may be subject to a penalty.
  • Dress code: In special events covered (International media or other):
    Players may be restricted from wearing hats, hoods, sunglasses, or any garment or device (except for religious reasons) that obscures any part of the face.
    Smart-casual attire may be specifically required.
    Shorts and sleeveless tops, and open shoes, such as sandals and flip-flops, may be deemed appropriate at some locations and prohibited at others, subject to house rules.
    Players may use any device to insulate themselves from the sounds of the game, including but not limited to ear-plugs, personal stereos and noise-cancelling headphones. However, they will be held responsible for errors they may cause, if they are not paying attention to the game and that disturbs the flow of tournament play.
    Repeated violations will be subject to escalating penalties.
  • Speech Play. This is allowed in both multi-way and heads up pots, players are allowed to discuss the game so long as it is in a sportsmanlike manner and not considered offensive in any way.

    In Multi-way pots, verbally players are allowed give up information of their own hole cards, whether the statement is true or false is immaterial, and the hand will remain live. Although players can discuss their own cards, in multi-way pots it is not the case that players can discuss opposing player’s cards.

    Should there be any suspicion of collusion or soft play at any point from either players or dealers opinion, it will be investigated and punished if believed to be true by the Tournament Director.

    In heads up scenarios, players can discuss the hand fully so long as it is in good taste and not offensive in any way.

  • Poker is an individual game. Actions, statements and/or behaviors that compromise the fairness of the game, whether knowingly or unknowingly, are considered unethical play and unsportsmanlike behavior. Dealers are obligated to report this immediately to the management, who may then follow up with a penalty.
  • Tournament Directors and Floor People will penalize any player who acts in an unethical manner. This shall include, but is not limited to;
    1. Any player involved in collusion. See Rule 6.3
    2. Any player involved in cheating or attempting to cheat.
    3. Any player or person whose personal hygiene or health has become disruptive to the other players seated at their table. The Tournament Director will, in their sole discretion, implement sanctions upon any such player to solve this issue fairly.
  • Collusion is defined as any agreement between two (2) or more competitors to share information and play together to achieve an advantage in the tournament above other opponents. Collusion includes, but is not limited to:
    1. chip dumping;
    2. soft play;
    3. sending or receiving signals to/from another competitor in any form;
    4. using electronic or other aids to exchange information.

      Definitions:
      Chip dumping is defined as any agreement amongst two (2) or more participants for one or more of the participants to bet chips with the intent of increasing another participant’s stack. Organizers will have to enforce the Showdown rule to deter and prevent players from chip dumping.  If this rule is strictly enforced, there will be fewer questionable situations arising, minimizing the need for tournament staff to make on-the-spot judgments.

      Soft play is defined as any agreement amongst two (2) or more participants to not bet or raise each other in order to gain advantage. The Tournament Director will need to judge and penalize every situation on a case-by-case basis to avoid any reasonable doubt..

  • Cheating is defined as deliberately breaking the rules of the tournament to gain an advantage.
    Cheating may include, but is not limited to:
    1. Collusion;
    2. theft of chips, and transfer of chips between participants in the same tournament or separate events;
    3. marking cards, substituting replacement cards or use of any other unauthorized methods or equipment.
      The competitive integrity of all tournaments played in any country in the world is a basic requirement.
      All participants must adhere to the spirit and letter of the International Poker Rules when playing events that are being run with IP Rules.
      These rules forbid any play or action that is illegal, unethical, or constitutes cheating or collusion in any form, deliberately or unknowingly.
      In certain situations Management can/will take instant legal actions and inform the authorities.
  • Organizers, in its sole and absolute discretion, may also disqualify any person from receiving any prize based upon fraud and/or dishonesty such as:
    1. Violation of promotional rules or other misconduct while on the property;
    2. Acts otherwise occurring in relation to the existing terms and conditions of the event(s)/tournament(s) that all players are accountable to; or
    3. Acts that contravene any applicable statutes and regulations that the Organizer must comply with.

      If deemed necessary, the act of misconduct will be reported to relevant gaming authorities, and legal action can or will be taken, in accordance with local laws, applicable statutes and regulations.

      Any authoritative member of Management (Tournament Director or upwards) has the right at all times to control, or to exclude any individual(s) acting in a disruptive or inappropriate manner, in the best interests of the players and the event.

  • Any act by any person to deliberately (or accidentally) damage, corrupt or undermine the operation of the premises or event may be a violation of criminal and civil laws, and be dealt with as such by Management. Should such an attempt be made, Management reserves the right to seek damages from any such person to the fullest extent of the law. Management will inform the authorities if legal charges need to be made.
  • Players are obligated to protect and respect their opponents in the tournament.
  • At any time during a live hand, people will be expected to not show any other people at the table there hold cards. In the event that this rule is breached, players will receive a penalty. When a player has a live hand, they can however say what they are holding as part of speech play, they cannot however predict out loud what the holding of another player is when in a multi-way pot.
  • The “one player to a hand” rule will be strictly enforced.
  • Tournament Directors and Floor People will issue penalties for the following violations, and whether a player is involved in the hand or not, a player may NOT:
    1. Disclose contents of live or folded hands.
    2. Advise, coach or criticize play before or after the action is complete.
    3. Read a hand out loud that hasn’t been tabled.
    4. Discuss hands or strategy with any spectator during the game play or hand in motion.
    5. Seek or receive consultation from an outside source during the game play or hand in motion.
  • Management and/or the Tournament Director or Tournament Staff may penalize any act that, in their sole and absolute discretion, is inconsistent with the official rules or best interests of the players and/or the event.
  • A player will receive a penalty when they, knowingly or unknowingly, violate a rule that compromises the fairness of the game.
    Actions, statements and/or behavior that may take advantage of the procedures or technical rules of a fair game will incur a penalty.
    All infractions shall be brought to the immediate attention of the dealer before the start of the new deal.
  • Tournament Directors and Floor people may issue any of the following:
    Verbal Warnings
    1 Round of the table penalty
    2 Rounds of the table penalty
    Disqualification

    VERBAL WARNINGS
    A verbal warning may be issued to a violating player as a penalty. A repeated verbal warning will result in a “1 round of the table penalty” or “disqualification.”

    ROUND OF THE TABLE PENALTY
    A round of the table penalty is defined as a penalty whereby the player needs to leave the tournament area for an orbit until the dealer button is back into the position in which it would be at the start of the following hand. For example: When the offence take place when the button is on seat 1, the offender will be able to return once the button has done the required number of table rotations and arrived back at seat 2. If seat 2 is an empty seat at that time the player may return when the button is at the first seat after seat 2.

    DISQUALIFICATION
    A player who is disqualified will have his or her chips removed from play.
    The player must immediately leave the tournament area.
    The Tournament Director’s decision to disqualify a player is final.
    A disqualified player cannot appeal the decision and will not be entitled to a refund.
    Disqualified players may not make any claim for monetary damages.

  • penalty may be waived if the dealer misled the player.
    An unintentional error is less serious than a deliberate violation, and should be ruled as such.
    A player shall never benefit from their violation or an error caused by their action, regardless if it was intentional or not. The Tournament Director decides if the player has the right to collect his prize money case sensitive depending on the reason of disqualification.
  • If a player is moved to a new seat whilst on a penalty, they will not be allowed to return until they have missed a full round of the table, e.g. the player has 3 hands remaining on the penalty when moved, so he will miss a further three hands at the new table. The floor must alert the dealer at the new table so that they can better manage the situation.
  • The “official language” is defined as English along with a country’s local or native language, determined by where the tournament venue is located.
  • In the United States, the English-only rule will be enforced during the play of hands.
    Outside the US, the “official language” will be English, along with the local or native language of that country, during the play of hands.
  • Dealer who are dealing international poker events are expected to speak English.
  • During a live hand, the use of a foreign language, other than the tournament’s “official language,” is not permitted at the table, whether involved in the hand or not; this includes talking to players not at the table.
  • All announcements made by the Tournament staff must be made in the tournament’s “official language.”
  • International Poker Rules do not allow the use of any communication devices at the table whilst a player holds a live hand.
  • Players must obey Management’s instructions regarding the use of electronic devices throughout the The venues do have the option to provide electronic devices to players of which have restrictions against communication capabilities, in this case players will be allowed to use these devices even when holding a live hand for playing online poker. 
  • The use of “electronic/ communication devices” whilst a player is playing a hand will be strictly enforced.
    Dealers WILL be responsible and MUST immediately report the use of a communication device when a player is playing a hand to a Floor Person or the Tournament Director.
  • All cell phones and other voice enabled an “noise producing” devices must be turned onto silent mode during table time. Players will not be able to use phones in any way whilst holding a live hand, once the player has folded the player will be able to use the phone until they have been dealt in again.
    During the period in which players are holding live hands the players are expected to have the device face down on the edge of the table or out of sight. Any player not adhering to the rule will be open to the possibility of having a hand killed and receiving penalties.
  • Music playing devices with any types of communication functions (Cellular phones, internet, text messaging) are allowed, but with head/earphones. Players accept the responsibility of any unheard verbal declarations and announcements made during the tournament. Players who use noise reducing headsets will be held responsible for errors or delays that disturb the flow of the tournament. Music playing devices must be used with a headset and the volume must be kept at a level that can only be heard by that player, as to not disturb others.
  • Communication devices of players on feature tables: Players must remain off of all communication devices when sat at live streamed feature tables. Should they wish to use their phones they must leave the set of the feature table. Usage of any communication device will result in warnings and penalties.
  • Electronic/ communication devices during hand for hand play: Once players have reached the “hand for hand” action, the “payout level,” or as instructed, all “electronic devices” may no longer be used and must be removed from the table.
  • To avoid all doubt: Players may not speak on the telephone while at the table, whether in a hand or not, and they must step away from the table to conduct their call if it was taken.
  • Table Distractions: Management reserves the right to ask a player to cease using any and all Electronic Devices, or any other items, if they determine it is slowing down the pace of play, or disturbing the flow of the game, or otherwise affecting other players at the tables.
  • Players are responsible to carry and present “valid identification” as required by Management (Driver’s license, passport, player’s card etc…) during the tournament.
  • A player may not register, take their seat, or receive a payout without proper “valid identification” and verification of tournament registration.
  • When returning for progressive days. Players will need to provide identification before they take a seat at their chip stack. If a player has no identification the floor will need to confirm that the player is expected.
  • Any player producing a fraudulent form of identification will be subject to “disqualification.”
  • A player must meet the minimum legal age requirement and must present a valid form of identification, as required by Management, at all times.
  • Players may register until close of registration.
    Registration will open and close as dictated by the Venue and Management.
  • A player will only be allowed to register one time in any tournament, unless modifications posted prior to the tournament allows players to register more than once (i.e. second day re-entry/re-register events).
  • Players are responsible for verifying their registration receipt to ensure accuracy prior to leaving the registration window.
  • Entries will be non-negotiable and non-transferable. Refunds are subject to Management’s
  • CANCELLATION POLICY:
    Management reserves the right at its sole discretion to cancel, modify or suspend the tournament without prior notice, and at any time, for any valid reason, subject to all applicable regulatory approval, provided that such modification shall not materially alter or change any participant’s prize already fairly awarded. Management must address how they will compensate the remaining players, doing so with transparency and in the fairest manner possible.
  • MULTI-DAY TOURNAMENTS:
    Any player who registers for multiple-day events that happen to overlap do so at their own risk, and should never affect other players or Management.
    A player who cannot participate in a second event simply because they are still an active player in another may request a refund for the buy-in of the event he/she is unable to play, but it is at Management’s discretion to approve a refund or not.
  • When a Venue’s seating capacity dictates the need for alternates, “alternate players” will enter the tournament on a first come, first serve basis, until all alternates are seated.
  • The management decides till when alternate players are allowed to come in to the tournament, also the management has to communicate this before the start of the tournament. Alternate players will NOT be penalized by a reduced “starting chip stack.”
  • At the end of registration all players who have not been seated yet would be provided the choice between unregistering should they wish, or waiting for a seat, in which case it would be clearly advertised the players situation regarding number of players waiting and the number of big blinds in which they would be sat with at the moment in time.
  • Players may register until close of registration.
  • All late entries will sit to a full chip stack. In case a new table is opened, the seating of new players will be announced, they will then be dealt in once requested to start by the floor, all announced stacks will be dealt in and blinded away.
  • Should a player enter but not take their seat before registration closes, their stack will be put into play at the last given opportunity when registration closes. The players stack will be dealt in as a live stack paying any compulsory blinds and antes.
  • If there are no seats with “starting chip” stacks available, a player automatically becomes an Alternate, and they will receive a full “starting chip” stack.
  • An “absent player” will maintain their obligations for blinds, antes, and forced bets.
    Blinds, antes, and forced bets will be taken in turn from all chip stacks regardless if the player is seated.
  • On occasion, a situation may arise where a player may have to voluntarily leave the tournament due to unforeseen circumstances.
    1. A player who leaves an Event at any stage, for whatever reason voluntarily, for an extended period of time (multiple tournament levels) may be deemed to have forfeited any right to the cost of entry.
    2. The chip stack of such player will continue to be blinded off.
    3. However, should the player finish in the money once all chips have been blinded off, the player will remain eligible for the prize, which corresponds to the order of his or her finish.
    4. Any player that is taken out of an event by disqualification cannot claim any refunds or pay out rights (Management’s decision in situations like this is final.
  • A “No Show” is defined as any player who has not taken any hand.
  • In special circumstances, a “No Show” player can request a refund, but it is at Management’s discretion to judge whether the circumstances warrant a refund to the player.
  • This rule does not apply to Shootout or Heads Up events.
    Players who “No Show” in Shootout or Heads Up events will be blinded off, including those who have pre-registered and failed to complete the registration process. It is Management’s responsibility to ensure any pre-registered player has completed the registration process, including payment.
  • Seat 1 will always be assigned to the seat immediately left of the dealer box and continue in a clockwise direction.
  • A non-player may NOT sit at the table or behind a player.
  • Tournament and satellite seats will be randomly assigned.
  • Management reserves the right to honour the request for a particular table and/or seat, to accommodate players with special needs.
    This is included but not limited to the so-called “Family Rule”.
  • The Family Rule:
    1. Direct family members should be spread on different tables if possible to avoid having them playing on the same Table.
    2. Family members can request this of Management or Staff, if this happens during the seat assignment, or after when breaking tables.
    3. Management in its sole discretion can invoke the Family Rule, or grant a request to do so in the most appropriate manner, and in the best interests of fairness towards all players and the credibility of the event.
    4. Direct family members can be requested to be re-assigned to different tables by Management, the Tournament Director, other players, or direct family members themselves.
  • Players must present a copy of their tournament registration and/or a seating card, accompanied by a valid form of identification prior to taking their seat. (As requested by Venue’s policy)
  • All players must immediately leave their seat after being eliminated from the tournament.
  • A player who started the tournament in the wrong seat with the correct chip stack amount may be moved to the correct seat and will take his/her current total chip stack with him or her. This could also lead to a penalty.
  • Participants who start the tournament in the wrong seat in a Shootout or Heads-up event will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
  • Tournament staff reserves the right to relocate participants from their assigned seat to accommodate participants based on special needs, or to balance tables at the start of the tournament.
  • Tournament Staff can avoid direct family members being seated at the same table at the time of the random seat assignment by redrawing direct family members.

Freezeout: In this format of tournament, the players will only be allowed one buy in. Once a player has lost their chips they will be eliminated.

Re-Entry: In this format of tournament, it is similar to that of a freezeout in that once a player has lost their chips the player is eliminated, however if eliminated during the late registration period the player will be allowed to re-enter for the amount of an original entry. The maximum number of re-entries can vary and will be advertised before the event has begun. Upon re-entry the Tournament Director will provide the player with a new randomly assigned seat away from their previous table, wherever possible.

Unlimited-Rebuy: This form of tournament allows players to rebuy as many times as they like, players will be allowed to rebuy if they have less than a specific amount of stack. The required stack for a rebuy and the maximum number of rebuys available can vary and will be advertised before the start of the event. The Rebuy period will be completed with a last 3 hands at the end of the advertised level. At the last rebuy break players will have the option of an Add-On (double in some cases) & further rebuys if eligible. Whenever a player lost all the chips the player should decide before the start of the new hand to rebuy or not. In case a player misses a hand the player will be eliminated. A re-entry is not possible in rebuy formats.

Limited Rebuy / Reload: These tournaments allow players the option of having a rebuy or two(as advertised) at the table no matter the size of the stack. There will be an advertised period of the tournament of which will allow the rebuy(s) to take place. Generally these tournaments will also allow a re-entry.

  • During a “re -buy” tournament, a player must always have chips on the table and must always be dealt a hand, as not to miss a hand due to a re-buy.
  • If a player runs out of chips during the “re-buy” period, the player must “re-buy” or declare a “re-buy” before the start of the “new deal.
  • If a player announces the intent to “re-buy” before a “new deal” begins, that player is deemed to be playing with those chips, and is obligated to make the “re-buy.”
  • If the player bets an amount to include chips from the intended “re-buy,” the player must present the funds before action can be completed.
  • If the tournament has an add-on option, players may only add on during the period as prescribed by Management.
  • Whenever a player busts in a re-entry tournament he or she can make a re-entry during the re-entry period. The management must communicate before the start of the tournament how long the re-entry period will be.
  • Whenever a player does a re-entry the management will seat this player randomly.
  • Cards will be dealt in a clockwise direction, left to right, with the first card going to the first player directly left of the dealer button position.
  • All chip stacks at the table will be dealt a hand, regardless if a player is seated or not.
  • A “new deal” is defined as the first riffle made by the dealer or when the dealer’s has pressed the open button on the automated shuffle machine.
  • In the event of a dealer push and a new hand, the hand starts when a new dealer takes place in his or her seat.
  • In certain situations, a dealer error will cause a “misdeal”.
  • If a “misdeal” is declared, all bets will be returned to players, and all action is deemed invalid.
  • The following circumstance can/will be cause for a “misdeal,” if during the initial deal:
    1. The first or second cards dealt off of the deck have been dealt face up or exposed through dealer error.
    2. The dealer has exposed two or more cards.
    3. BOXED CARD (A boxed card is a card discovered wrongly shuffled face up in the deck when it should be face down.)
    4. More than two improperly faced cards are found.
    5. Two or more extra cards have been dealt on the initial deal.
    6. An incorrect number of cards have been dealt to a player, with the exception of the top card.
      The top card may be dealt if a player receives it in proper sequence and it can be returned to the deck.
    7. Any card is dealt out of the proper sequence (except an exposed card may be used as the burn card).
    8. Anytime a player’s initial card has been mixed with another player’s card.
    9. The dealer button is out of position and noticed before action has begun.
    10. The first card is dealt to the wrong position.
    11. Cards have been dealt to an empty seat or a player not entitled to a hand.
    12. A player has been dealt out who is entitled to a hand.
  • Once action has occurred, a “misdeal” cannot be declared.

    In Flop games,
    action is considered to occur when two players after the big blind have acted.
    When a player has one card and the situation is binding a player is allowed to player with that one card. When a player has three or more cards in a two card game and the situation is binding the hand is a dead hand. Management can, in certain situations for reasons of fairness, look into the investment made into that pot and overrule to adjust a decision.

    Players may be dealt two consecutive cards on the button.

    In Stud-type games, If any of the players’ two down cards are exposed due to dealer error it is a misdeal.
    If the dealer mistakenly deals the first player an extra card (after all players have received their initial hands,) the extra card will be returned to the deck and used for the burn card.
    If the dealer mistakenly deals more than one extra card, it is a ‘misdeal.’

    IN STUD-TYPE GAMES, substantial action is considered to occur when two players after the forced bet have acted in turn. If substantial action occurs, a misdeal cannot be declared and the hand must proceed.

  • Omaha and various picked or dealer Choice games.
    This includes, but is not limited to Omaha Hi, Omaha Hi-Lo or other similar (4,5,6) card game with extension of dealers choice variations.
    1. When more or less cards have been dealt towards any player at any seat a misdeal will be announced with one exception, when the last player is one card short this player will be dealt the top card of the deck and the hand will continue as normal.
    2. Players are always obligated and hand accountable at all times to familiarize themselves with the game they play before they start playing. Players will be 100% responsible to make sure they do have the correct amount of cards in any hand to play.
    3. In case a player has the incorrect amount of cards and action has occurred this players hand will be declared dead. The player has no right to refunds.
  • Crazy Pineapple games.
    1. In case any player has more than three cards and action has already been made, the player with the incorrect number of cards will be declared a dead hand. (with exception when the last player being dealt cards finds out preflop and before he makes action one card is missing. This player receives the top card op the deck).
    2. In case no action took place and a player finds out to have not the right amount of cards.
      1. In case any player has more than three cards, the hand will be declared a misdeal.
      2. In case the last player on the table misses one card, this player receives the top card of the deck.
    3. In case a player finds out to have only one or two cards and action has already been made this player has the right to play this hand like it is a complete hand and continue game with only one or two cards.
    4. Whenever a player finds out having the incorrect number of cards this player is obligated to inform the dealer when this player folds or when the hand has ended and the player won the pot.
      A player does not have to inform the dealer during the hand, so players can take advantage of this situation.
    5. In cards missing situations management decision will always be final.
    6. Dealers are obligated to call the floor at any time when a cards missing situation occurs.
  • A deck of 52 cards will be used in tournament play.
  • If any marked or damaged cards are discovered, the complete deck must be changed, and Management must be informed immediately.
  • When a new deck is required, the floor must be made aware instantly so that they can provide it for you. All floor persons must carry a spare deck at all times to improve the speed of response.
  • For tables with two decks available: Those card decks will have different coloured backs and will be changed on the dealer push, level change, or as prescribed by Management.’
  • The international suit ranking from highest to lowest: Spades, Hearts, Diamonds, and Clubs.
  • When a new table begins, the dealer must always check the deck to be sure that all cards are present and unmarked before the game begins.
  • “Deck changes” will or can occur on the dealer push, level change, or as prescribed by Management.
  • Dealers will spread the deck to ensure that the card deck is complete and correct when changing decks.
  • Players may not ask for “deck changes” unless cards are damaged, incomplete, or fouled in anyway.
  • If at any time during a hand, a card deck is found to have too few or too many cards, a different colour back or two cards of the same suit and rank, it will be deemed a “fouled deck” and the hand will be declared a “misdeal.”
    All bets will be returned to players, and all previous action in that hand deemed invalid.
  • Any player knowing or noticing, that the deck is defective, has an obligation to immediately bring this to the attention of the dealer.
    A player using this information in an unfair way will be subject to a penalty or disqualification.
    The dealer must report this immediately to Management.
  • Players intentionally producing a “fouled deck” will be disqualified from the tournament.
  • Players should be careful not to bend the cards in order to avoid marking them with their nails (or in any other way)unintentionally.
  • Should a hand commence only for the dealer to then realize that there were not 52 cards in the deck at the point of shuffle, the hand will be void no matter how much action has taken place.
  • Players must keep their cards on the table and in full view at all times, above table-level and never past the edge or rail of the table.
  • Cards should not be covered by a player’s hand in a manner that completely conceals them.
    Players doing so may forfeit any right to action, and may be penalized, including the possibility of having their hand declared dead.
  • Players may be permitted to use a card protector object (card cap), as long as it does not interfere with the visibility of anyone’s cards or chip stack at the table.
    Management reserves the right to dictate the size and object appropriate for use as a card protector.
  • There will be no foreign objects on the table except for a maximum of one card protector/card cap.
    This includes foreign gaming chips.
    Electronic Devices are also not permitted to be placed on the table or on the rail.
    Participants may not place any food or beverages on the poker table with the exception of one (1) capped bottle of water.
  • A player is responsible to protect their cards at all times.
    A protected hand is defined as a hand sitting on the table surface with a card cap placed on the top of the hand or when the cards are totally behind the betting line in the safe zone.
    When the cards are not totally behind the betting line with or without a card cap, the player takes the risk that the dealer could fold his cards in the muck. In this situation the hand is folded.
    If a dealer accidentally kills a “protected hand”, the Floor Staff should be notified immediately, and it will be deal with on a case-by-case basis.
  • If a dealer accidentally kills “unprotected cards,” a player will have no redress and will NOT be entitled to a refund of
    However, if that player had raised and the raise had not yet been called, the raise will be returned to that player.
    On occasion, a Floor Person or the Tournament Director, at their sole discretion, may rule that unusual circumstances may have occurred and the ruling may dictate a decision in the interest of fairness and will take priority over the technical rule.
  • Seat cards” will be randomly assigned.
  • The Tournament Director reserves the right to issue a player a “seat card” in the event they need to “balance tables,” “break tables,” or “redraw seats.”
  • When a player is eliminated, the dealer is responsible to place the “seat card” on the table and notify a Floor Person or the Tournament Director, in a timely manner.
  • The management can decide to make a redraw, only for seats that block the “family rule”.
  • Players are to go immediately to the new table they are assigned to.
  • Players going from a broken table to fill in seats assume the rights and responsibilities of that position.
  • Players may be placed in the big blind, the small blind, or the dealer button position.
    The only place the newly moved player will not get a hand is if he/she is assigned to sit between the small blind and the “dealer button.
  • Players may not hold or transport tournament chips in any manner that takes them out of plain view.
    Tournament chips should never be transported without Management’s supervision.
  • Players delaying or avoiding their move to the new table/seat assignment will incur a penalty, as it will be considered “dodging blinds.
  • The breaking order of tables for an event will be posted by Management in a location accessible to all players after the close of registration, and within a reasonable timeframe. The management has the right to change the breaking order for special contingencies.
  • The table to which a participant is moved to will be specified by a predetermined procedure.
  • Management reserves the right to alter the breaking order due to unusual circumstances.
  • The Tournament Director reserves the right to “re-draw seats” by issuing randomly assigned “seat cards.”
  • Redraws in single day events will only take place when they arrive at the point of the final two tables and Final. The Redraw will be performed by the Tournament Director assigning seats to clockwise of the dealer after he shuffled the seating cards.
  • Redraws in multiday events will take place overnight and when they arrive at the point of last two tables and the Final Table. Overnight and Final Table Redraws will be performed by the Tournament Director. Knowledge of overnight redraws will be made available at the earliest opportunity.
  • Players going from a broken table, to fill in seats, assume the rights and responsibilities of their new position on their new table: (button, small blind, big blind.)
  • New players are dealt in immediately unless they are seated between the small blind and the “dealer button.
    They can be seated in the big blind, the small blind, or the “dealer button” position.
    The only place they cannot get a hand is between the small blind and the dealer button.
  • The breaking order for any tournament will be made available to all players when registration for that tournament is closed.
  • Management reserves the right to alter the breaking order.
  • Tables will be broken by single randomization.
    The floorman/tournament director will shuffle the seating cards and deal the seating cards starting in Seat 1 in a clockwise direction.
  • Players are responsible for going directly to their new seats. A player who violates this rule will receive a penalty. Disqualification is possible for this violation.
  • The Tournament Director reserves the right to determine the number of players at each table in order to keep the tables reasonably balanced.
  • Players will be transferred / moved as needed.
    1. In Board playing / Flop games, the player who is next to post the big blind will be moved to the short handed table.
      The player will be placed in the big blind position or, if not available, the WORST possible position available at the new table. The worst possible position is defined as the position closest to posting the big blind, which will never be the small blind.
    2. In Stud games, players will be moved by position; the last seat to open up at the short table is the seat to be filled.
  • In button ante formats, the worst possible position will be ranked as:
    6 max table 8 max table
    Big BlindBig Blind
    Big Blind + 1Big Blind + 1
    Big Blind + 2Big Blind + 2
    ButtonBig Blind + 3
    Cut OffButton
     Big Blind + 4
     Big Blind + 5 (Cut off)
  • Play will halt on any table that is 3 or more players short of the maximum unless circumstances allow. Circumstances that allow include:
    1. Tables are balanced, in which case the ante will be reduced to the value of the small blind on all tables and play continues.
    2. In a scenario where a balanced player could not be dealt into the next hand.
  • In certain situations, when the tournament is to be balanced to within 1 player, tables not balanced must halt play until the unbalanced table has been re-balanced.
  • When tables need balancing, the floor will do so from a table in close proximity, the table will be decided based on which finishes their current hand first.
  • In flop and mixed events when balancing tables, the participant who will be the big blind next will be moved from the big blind to the worst position, including taking a single big blind.
    Worst position is never the small blind.
    In stud only events, participants will be moved by position (the last seat to open up at the short table is the seat to be filled).
  • In mixed events (i.e. HORSE), when the game shifts from Hold’em to Stud, after the last Hold’em hand the button is moved exactly to the position it would be if the next hand was Hold’em and then frozen there during the Stud round.
    The participant moved during Stud is the participant who is the big blind if the game is Hold’em for that hand.
    When Hold’em resumes, the button for the first hand will be at the position where it was frozen.
  • Non-value chips are used for tournament play and may NOT be removed from the tournament area.
  • Tournament chips are solely used to determine the outcome of the tournament.
  • All chips must be clearly visible at all times during the tournament.
  • Chips should not be stacked in a manner that interferes with the dealing or the visibility of any player’s cards.
  • Participants found to be transferring chips from one event to another, or from one participant to another, will be subject to disqualification in accordance with the International Poker Rules.
  • Any unintended violation will not be penalized in the same manner as any intended violation, but
    the appropriate penalties will be Management’s decision, and they are binding.
  • Chips should be stacked in a manner that shows their estimated value transparently. International Poker Rules adviced to make stacks of 10 or 20 to give each player and dealer a clean view on each stack on the table to keep the game moving smooth.
  • At the start of the tournament, the appropriate amount of “starting chips” will be placed at each seat.
  • At close of registration, any unsold seat’s “starting chip stack” will be removed and chips will be taken out of
  • Late registering players will receive a full starting stack.
  • All chips must be clearly visible at all times during the tournament. The International Poker Rules advice to make stacks of 10 or 20 to give each player and dealer a clean view at each stack on the table to keep the game moving smooth.
  • Players may not hold or transport tournament chips in any manner that takes them out of plain view.
    A player, who does so, may be subject to disqualification.
    The forfeited chips will be taken out of play. (Management’s decision is final.)
  • Players must keep their higher denomination chips in a separate stack, either in front or on top of their chip stack.
  • All players are entitled to a clear view of an opponent’s chips.
  • When the lowest denomination of chip will no longer be used in the blind or ante structure, they will be removed from the tournament.
  • All lower-denomination chips will be exchanged or “coloured up” for chips of the next lowest denomination that will be used in play.
  • The “tournament staff” will announce the “colour up” process. The “colour up” will be done on all tables, and only at the time as prescribed on the tournament structure sheet.
  • The “colour up ” process will begin at the end of a level, prior to the new level. Players are to present their lower denomination chips to the dealer for exchange.
  • Any remaining “odd chip” will be entered into the “chip race.”
  • Players are encouraged to witness the entire “colour up” process.
  • Management may request players for earlier colour up support in order to speed up the flow of the event, and to keep the chip count clearer and more transparent to all participants.
  • A “chip race” or “chip-race-off” is defined as removal of a denomination of chips that will be no longer in use at the next level of the event in progress.
  • A “chip race” will occur after each “colour up” process.
  • When it is time to “colour up” the chips, they will be raced off with a maximum of one chip going to the participant showing the highest card. The total of odd chips on the table will depend how many next denomination chips will be rewarded to players with high cards. The total denomination chips on the table will always be rounded up towards the player favour. (For example: 325 will be 4 one hundred chips). In case there is only one player with a 25 chip, he is rewarded a one hundred chip.
    Cards will be dealt in a clockwise direction, starting in the Seat 1.
    A player will receive all his/her cards before any cards are dealt to the next player.
    A player will receive one card face up, for each “odd chip” in their possession.
    A chip will be awarded to the player based on their single highest card.
  • If players receive a card of identical value, “suit ranking” will apply.
  • A player cannot win more than one chip during the “chip race.”
  • A player cannot be raced out of a tournament: a player who loses his or her remaining chip(s) in a “chip race” will be given one chip of the lowest denomination chips still in play.
  • Players are encouraged to witness the “chip race.”
  • Participants found to have lower denomination chips still remaining in their stack after the race-off will forfeit those chips.
  • A “dealer button” will be used in all board playing /flop games.
  • A “dealer button” is a round disk placed in front of the player to indicate the position of the dealer.
  • The “dealer button” will move in a clockwise direction at the end of a hand to the next player.
  • In certain situations, the dealer button” will be deemed a “dead button.”
  • It is the responsibility of each player, along with the dealer, to ensure that the dealer button is in the correct
  • In Board playing / Flop games, the player with the “dealer button” is last to receive a card on the initial deal and has the right of last action after the first round of betting.
  • The dealer button will start all tournaments in seat 1.
  • In case a player is not drawn in seat 1 at the start of the tournament the button will be moved backwards one position to keep the blinds in the same position.
  • Tournament play will use a “dead button.”
  • A “dead button” is defined as a “dealer button” that cannot be advanced due to elimination of the small blind in the previous hand.
  • A “dead button ” will occur when a new player is seated between the small blind and the “dealer button”, or when the dealer button is moved in front of an empty seat.
  • When a “dead button” situation is present, the “dealer button” will be moved in such a way as to allow the maximum number of players to be dealt in, provided that the existing player is still able to post a full set of blinds, prior to receiving the dealer button. This rule does not apply when the button ante is used during a tournament.
  • When using button ante rules, players can also be introduced on the button when balancing of tables takes place if it is ruled as the worst available position. See Rule 29.5
  • When heads-up, the small blind will be in the “dealer button” position and the first to act before the flop.
    After the flop the first to act is the original big blind player.
    In heads up play the last card will always be dealt to the button player.
  • When beginning heads-up play the “dealer button” may need to be adjusted to ensure that no player takes the big blind twice in a row.
  • In board playing /flop games, if a button has been moved twice in a clockwise direction, and substantial action has taken place the hand will be played out to completion. Following the hand the button will move back one position and then after the next hand it will move forward 2 positions so that all players have played the required positions on the orbit. If the blinds increase in the meantime, the new blinds will be adhered to.
  • If a button has not been moved but the hand has begun with sufficient action taking place, the hand will played to completion. Following the hand the button will continue to move clockwise around the table.
  • Blinds” should be posted before the start of a “new deal” and before the players look at their cards.
    (Dealers should encourage players to place their blinds in time to avoid misunderstandings.)
  • Blinds” will be taken in turn from all chip stacks regardless if the player is seated.
    In Board playing / Flop games that require two blinds, the small blind will be immediately left of the “dealer button” and the big blind will be 2 positions left of the “dealer button.”
    In games that require an “bring in,” the bring in will be posted by the low or high card according to suit.
    If a player is not seated, he/she will maintain their obligation for the Ante.
  • Tournament Staff has the option to use ‘button antes’ in their tournament structure to speed up the game and to minimize the amount of small chips at the tables.
  • The ante is posted by only the player in the dealer button position.
  • In the latter stages of a tournament when tables become short-handed, so long as the tables are balanced, as soon as a table qualifies for reduced small blind antes, then all remaining tables will reduce their blinds together. This will be clearly announced by the Tournament Director.
  • When a player is all in on the button for an ante or less, all they can win back is the ante.
  • If a player moves all in from any other position than the button, then they will be able to win both the ante and all matching bets.
  • When play reaches Heads Up, there is no Ante.
  • In case the Small Blind position busts out the tournament there will be a dead button. In this case there will be no button Ante during the hand.

Size of button ante:
9 or 10 max play:
When 7-9 handed, the button ante is equal to the size of the Big Blind.
When 3-6 handed, the button ante is equal to the size of the Small Blind.
8 max play:
When 6-8 handed, the button ante is equal to the size of the Big Blind.
When 3-5 handed, the button ante is equal to the size of the Small Blind.
6 max play:
The button ante is equal to the size of the Small Blind.

  • A player must go directly to their new seating assignment to ensure he/she does not miss a hand.
  • When moving from a seat, a player who intentionally delays taking their new seat to avoid their blind(s) or antes will be penalized.
  • Management reserves the right to impose penalties according to the severity of the situation, and in the interests of fairness for all participants. See Rule 1.1
  • Tournament staff” will announce the level change and “new limits,” once time has expired.
  • Players are obligated to notify the ‘tournament staff” if level changes and/or “new limits” have started.
  • The “new limits” will apply to the next hand, on the “new deal,” after the announcement is made
  • A “new deal” is defined as the first riffle made by the dealer or when the dealer’s cut is made after removing the cards from an automated shuffle machine. In case of a “dealerpush” the new deals begins when a new dealer takes place in his or her seat.
  • AT” your seat is defined as being within reach or touch of your chair. (In case of doubt, Management’s decision is final.)
  • IN” your seat is defined as being seated in your chair, with the exception of allowing a player to temporarily stand
  • A player must be “AT” his or her seat when the dealer delivers the first card off the deck in order to have a live hand.
    A player must be “IN” their seat by the time the last card is dealt, which completes the initial deal. (When the last card is dealt to the player with the ‘dealer button,’ it defines the completion of the initial deal.)
    A player NOT “IN” their seat will have a “dead hand.”
    1. In Board playing / Flop games, a player must be “AT” their seat when the dealer delivers the first card off the deck in order to have a live hand.
    2. In Seven-card and Razz type games, a player must be “IN” their seat by the time the last player receives their final UP card, which defines the completion of the initial deal.
  • Dealers are instructed to muck the hands of players not ‘IN’ or ‘AT’ his or her seat immediately after the final card is dealt to the button, or in Stud Games, the final up card is dealt on third street.
  • A player must remain “IN” his./her seat until their action has been completed.
    A player LEAVING their seat before completing their action will be considered to have intentionally folded out of turn and will receive a penalty.
    Dealers will be responsible to notify a Floor Person and/or the Tournament Director of any player with a live hand who intentionally leaves their seat prior to completing their action.
    Repeated infractions are subject to escalating penalties.
  • Players who have completed their action and are awaiting an opponent(s) action will not have to remain “IN” their seat, but must remain “AT” the seat. (Venue’s policy will apply in situations, which involve filming, televised events or other exceptions.)
  • The surface area of a table outside the “betting line” is considered the “safe zone.”
  • Cards and chips placed in the “safe zone” are to be a player’s personal responsibility.
  • Dealers will NOT take cards from the “safe zone” when a player is involved in a hand or present at the table.
  • Dealers should not count any chips in the “safe zone”, unless the chips are part of a current bet.
  • Players are not allowed to touch cards or chips placed in other players’ safe zones, and if requested by a player the dealer will ask permission from the player to do so first.
    Players may reject this request. In the event that a player repeatedly slows down the game the player could receive an etiquette penalty.
  • A player’s safe zone is designated as the space directly in front of him/her on the table.
    This is the area a player should place his/her cards and chips.
  • Management should provide enough seating space for each player within the dynamics of the event, with a maximum seating of 10 players at each table for any International event.
  • A “betting line” is defined as the line that shows players and dealers very clearly the working space of the dealer and the personal space of the player.
    Dealers have the inside of the betting line known as the field to work with, and no player is allowed to interfere in that space.
    The dealer will collect Antes, bets, place the board cards (flop-turn-river), as well as the mucked cards pile.
    The dealer will control all action inside the betting line at all times.
  • For a bet to stand without verbal declaration, chips must cross the betting line in one motion and touch the surface.
  • Should a player facing a bet pick up his stack and forward motion across the line and drop an amount of chips not amounting to the whole amount in the hand, only the chip(s) dropped in one motion will stand whether it be a calling or raising amount. In case the dealer feels the player is doing this to gain knowledge the floor must be called, etiquette warnings/penalties could be awarded in such cases.
  • If an amount of chips cross the line and touch the surface as a whole, the whole amount must stand even if the intention was to cut off a bet and take some back.
  • In the event a player makes a forward motion with chips (off the felt) across the line and not complete his action by releasing, the floor staff will consider penalizing the player with etiquette penalties for abusing the rule to pick up additional knowledge.
  • Cards released in a forward motion, inside and over the “betting line” face down will be considered a
    folded hand,” unless the player is in a “showdown” situation with an “all in” player.
    Then these cards should be tabled. This is NOT optional.
  • Cards placed outside the “betting line,” in the “safe zone,” will be considered a live hand. When a player is seated,
    the dealer will not take cards from outside the “betting line.”(Named the “safe zone”)
  • A “betting line” is considered a courtesy line and provides a defined area of action. Management is strongly encouraged to use betting line rules on events that have betting lines on their tables.
  • Management is obligated to provide ALL tables with a betting line, in order to meet the standards required by International Poker Rules and of events run with I P Rules. Management should avoid using a mix of tables with and without betting lines. Consistency is the objective, creating an environment of fairness for ALL players.
  • It is the player’s responsibility to protect their hand while awaiting an opponent’s pending action, or during the hand in motion.
  • A player must remain in their seat until their action in the hand has been fully completed.
    A player should wait for the completion of the hand before leaving his/her seat if they are still in the hand.
    On occasion, special circumstances may allow players to move away from their seats (i.e. poker shows, televised events etc…).
  • Any player with a live hand that can still act must remain at the table while awaiting an opponent’s pending
  • Any player still in the game is expected to stay at the table during play in action at all times; any player who disrespects this rule will be subject to an official warning, with the potential for escalating penalties to be imposed for repeat offences.
  • Substantial Action: being defined as either:
    1. any two actions in turn, at least one of which must involve putting chips in the pot (i.e. any 2 actions except 2 checks or 2 folds); or
    2. any combination of three actions in turn (check, bet, raise, call, or fold);
    3. or any player who fails to complete action before a flop is exposed.
  • In this situation the dealer had time to collect three or more bets, tap the table before then burning and producing a flop, in this period of time the player saw the dealer do so much he had plenty of opportunity to alert the dealer that he hadn’t acted. In this case his action will be taken as a forced check or have their hand killed.
  • Should the above actions take place out of turn a players hand will be deemed as dead.
  • Players are responsible for tracking table action to avoid order of action issues.
  • Allowances will be made if the Tournament Director or floor person have of the opinion that action was so quick that the player had no chance to react and rule in fairness of the game.
  • Players are entitled to be informed of the “pot size” ONLY in pot-limit games.
  • Dealers will not count or inform players of the “pot size” in limit and no-limit games.
  • Players shall allow the dealer to accurately count the chips without interfering.
  • Players are responsible to visually verify the “pot size” amount before calling or raising.
  • If an error occurs regarding an incorrect pot size amount, the calling player will still be obligated to the actual pot size amount, and will be held responsible to correct the amount.
  • If requested, dealers may spread the pot so that a player may count it.
  • The verbal announcement of “I bet the pot” or “I raise the pot” in no-limit games is not a binding raise amount, but can be judged to be so by Management in unclear situations; the player causing this dispute may be subject to a penalty according to Rule 7.2.
    Dealers should request the player to announce a valid bet or raise amount.
  • The dealers are instructed to verify the players verbal declarations, and to announce any action that contributes to the flow of the game.
    They are not obligated to provide the amount of the bet, raise or all-in, unless requested by other players still live in the hand.
  • Dealers are not allowed to provide any player information, such as who raised pre flop, etc…
  • A “declaration of action” may be an obvious physical motion or verbal statement: a fold, check, bet, call, raise, re-raise or “all-in.”
  • Players are strongly encouraged to verbally declare their action IN TURN.
  • A player is responsible for clearly stating their action in turn, and must act in turn.
    Verbal declarations must be clearly announced in turn, and will be binding.
    Chips placed in the pot in turn must stay in the pot.
  • A “declaration of action” IN TURN will be binding; the player will be forced to take the declared action.
    A “declaration of action” OUT OF TURN will only be binding if the action to that player has not changed. An action out of turn can be verbal or it can be that the player puts his chips over the betting line.
  • A check, call, or fold is not considered action changing.
  • A player intentionally acting out of turn will receive a penalty.
    The penalty may be waived if the dealer misled the player, if the interim player had his/her chips concealed appearing to be “all-in”, or if the interim player had their cards concealed appearing not to have a live hand.
  • Players are strongly encouraged to use the OFFICIAL TERMINOLOGY OF TOURNAMENT POKER:
    Official terms are simple, unmistakable, time-honored declarations like: bet, raise, call, fold, check, all-in, pot (in Pot limit only), and complete.
    Regional terms may also meet this standard.
  • The use of non-standard language is at a player’s own risk because it may result in a ruling other than what the player intended.
    It is the responsibility of players to make their intentions clear to the dealer at all times before their actual physical action.
  • A “check” must be a clearly stated verbal declaration or an obvious physical movement in turn.
    A player wishing to “check” their option to bet should clearly announce “check” or visibly tap the table with an empty hand or fist.
    Checking” OUT OF TURN may be binding and will be binding if the action to that player has not changed.
    A player intentionally checking out of turn will receive a penalty.
  • A player checking their action waives their right to initiate the betting round, but retains the right to “call,” “raise,” “re-raise,” or “fold,” if another player initiates the betting.
  • A “check” is not considered action changing.
  • A check-raise will be allowed.
  • Any player intentionally misleading their intention to “check,” by placing chips in his/her hand prior to checking, may be obligated to commit those chips to the pot and may incur a penalty.

In certain situations, a player with the last right of action that “checks” an undisputable winning hand, “the nuts,” will face the possibility of being penalized and may be found guilty of soft playing; that may result in “disqualification.”

  • It is a player’s responsibility to clearly perform their action, verbal declaration is recommended to avoid confusion.
  • A call is not valid until the chips are actually released, unless the player has made a “verbal or physical declaration of action” to do so.
    Calling IN TURN, any chips pushed over the “betting line” and/or released into the pot will be considered a valid bet.
    If a player is unaware that a raise has been made and has released the incorrect amount of chips into the pot, that player must either: “fold” and forfeit the released chips or add the additional amount required to complete the action of calling the actual current bet amount.
    Calling OUT OF TURN may be binding, and will be binding if the action to that player has not changed.
    A check, call, or fold is considered action not changing.
    Any chips over the “betting line” or verbally committed will remain in the pot.
    A player intentionally calling a bet out of turn will receive a penalty.
  • If a player uses a single “oversized chip” without verbally declaring the exact amount of their bet, it will be considered a call.
  • Dealers should always announce all bet amounts unless they are all-in bets, announcing the betting amounts speeds up the game, also the players deserve to know what the bet is without having to ask every time.
  • Players are responsible to visually verify the amount of the bet. If a situation arises where a wrong bet amount is announced, the calling player will be obligated to correct the amount of the bet.
  • Players are strongly advised to verbally declare their exact bet amount and to arrange their chips in the “safe zone” before making a bet.
    1. A bet can be announced verbally or made physically, with a movement of chips. In the event of a player making a verbal and a physical declaration, whichever occurs first will be binding.
    2. If there is a betting line, then chips being pushed forward over the line by the player will be binding at all times.
  • Chips must be pushed over the “betting line” and/or released into the pot in one motion.
    1. If a “betting line” is NOT present on the tournament table, any chips released or pushed in a forward motion, in turn, without a verbal declaration will be considered a binding bet.
    2. If a “betting line” is present, any chips moved in a forward motion, in turn, without a verbal declaration that does not completely cross over the betting line, will be considered part of that total bet amount.
  • Verbal statements of action should be clearly stated as to a call, bet, raise, re-raise or all-in.
  • A bet is not valid until the chips are actually released, unless the player has made a “verbal or physical declaration of action.”
    1. Betting IN TURN, any chips pushed over the “betting line” and/or released into the pot will be considered a valid bet.
      If a player is unaware that a previous bet has been made, the player will still be bound by that action.
      Any chips over the “betting line” or verbally committed will remain in the pot.
    2. Betting OUT OF TURN may be binding and will be binding if the action to that player has not changed. A check, call, or fold is considered action not changing.
      A player intentionally betting out of turn will receive a penalty.
      The penalty may be waived if the dealer misled the player, or if the interim player had his/her chips concealed appearing to be “all-in” or if the interim player had their cards concealed appearing not to have a live hand.
    3. When in the blinds, any chips in the pot for blinds will not be considered part of the future bet unless they are interacted with when placing the new bet
  • Dealers should not count any chips in the “safe zone.”
    Players wishing to obtain information about an opponent’s total chip stack will be entitled to voluntary information provided only by that opponent or a clear view for a visual estimate.
    Dealers may assist a player with providing this information about his/her chips in the “safe zone,” if requested.
    Dealers should never advise or provide a player with information that may provide an unfair advantage or disadvantage.
  • The “pot size” amount will only be given to players in pot -limit games.
    In no-limit games, a dealer may only spread the pot for a player, if requested to do so.
    A player must state their exact bet or raise amount as an actual value.
    In certain situations, where a player states a vague amount, that player will be obligated to the minimum bet or raise required.
  • Dealers should only count and inform players of the chips pushed over the “betting line” and/or released into the pot, if requested by a player with a live hand. Players should allow the dealer to accurately count the chips without interfering.
  • Players are responsible to visually verify the amount of the bet.
    If a situation arises where a wrong bet amount was announced, the calling player will be obligated to correct the amount of the bet.
  • If a player is unaware that there has been a raise and the player has released chips into the pot, the player can either “fold,” and forfeit the released chips or complete the “call” action.
    If the player has verbally announced “raise,” that player will be obligated to the minimum raise required.
    1. NON-STANDARD & UNCLEAR BETTING
      Players use unofficial vocabulary and gestures at their own risk.
      These may be interpreted to mean other than what the player intended.
      Also, whenever the size of a declared bet can have multiple meanings, it will be ruled as having the smallest legitimate value compared to the pot size. (i.e. “I bet five”. If it is unclear whether “five” means $500 or $5000 the bet stands as $500 if the pot is $4999,- or less and the bet stands as $5000 if the pot is $5000 or more).                                  
    2. 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 the dealer or the players.
      If a caller requests a count but receives incorrect information from the dealer or players, then places that amount in the pot, the caller is assumed to accept the full correct amount and is subject to the correct bet or all-in amount.
      As with all tournament situations, Rule 1.1 may apply at the Tournament Director’s discretion.
  • The minimum raise required must always be equal to or larger than the amount of the previous bet or raise on that betting round, unless a player has moved “all-in” for less; then it’s a call of the total amount bet and can never be seen as a raise.
  • If a player puts in a raise of fifty percent (50%) or more of the previous bet, but less than the minimum raise required, he or she will be required to make a full raise.
    The full raise amount required to complete the action will be the amount of the minimum raise required.
    In NO-LIMIT, the first minimum bet, after the flop, must be at least the big blind amount. Additional raises may be in increments equal to or more than the previous raised amount.
    In NO-LIMIT and POT-LIMIT, an “all-in” bet of less than a full raise does not reopen the betting to a player who has already acted. There is NO cap on the number of raises in no-limit and pot-limit games.
    In LIMIT betting structured games, the maximum number of raises will be 1 bet and 4 raises, until “heads up” play; in certain situations, a venue’s house limit will apply. If the player raises “all-in” for LESS, a raise must be at least half of the limit to constitute a raise.
  • When facing a bet, unless a raise is first declared, multiple same-denomination chips are a call. When you take away one chip the other chips are not enough to make a call. For example when facing a bet of 30.000 a player places two chips of 25.000. This is a call. 50% rule does not apply in this case.
  • There is no cap on the number of raises in no-limit and pot-limit play. In limit events there will be a limit to raises even when heads-up until the tournament is down to 2 players; the house limit applies.
  • Raises must adhere to the “raise requirements.
  • Raises must either be verbally declared or be made clearly by a physical action.
  • A raise must be made by one or more of the following:
    Placing the full amount in the pot in one motion.
    Verbally declaring the full amount prior to the initial placement of chips into the pot.
    Verbally declaring “raise” prior to the placement of the call amount into the pot and then completing the action with one additional motion.
  • If a player puts in a raise of 50 percent or more of the previous bet but less than the minimum raise, he or she will be required to make a full raise.
    The raise will then be exactly the minimum raise allowed.
    It’s a player’s responsibility to make his/her intentions clear.
  • Any player putting in a raise of less than 50 percent of the previous bet, without any clear verbal announcement of ‘raise’ will be required to just call the previous bet, and the extra chips placed will be returned.
  • A string bet or raise is defined as: attempting a bet or raise in more than one movement without the clear verbal declaration of that bet amount.
  • It is a player’s responsibility to clearly announce their intention to “raise” before moving any chips into the pot.
  • Chips placed in the pot in multiple movements, without a prior “verbal declaration,” will be considered a “string raise” or “string bet”.
  • A “string raise” is NOT a valid bet.
  • Dealers will be responsible for calling a “string raise.
  • A player wishing to call attention to a possible “string raise” should immediately notify the dealer, who will immediately call for a Floor Person or the Tournament Director.
  • If a player commits a “string raise,” the player will be obligated to commit the chips to the pot during their first movement or to the minimum amount required.
  • To make a raise with a single “oversized chip,” a verbal “declaration of action” must be made BEFORE the chip hits the table surface.
    PRE-FLOP or with any existing call amount (blinds), if a player uses a single “oversized chip” without verbally declaring a “raise,” it will only be considered a “call.”
    AFTER THE FLOP, if you are the player to act in turn, and no other player has made a bet before you, and you use a single “oversized chip” without verbally declaring the exact amount of that bet, it will signify a bet equal to the size of the chip (in No Limit Hold’em).
  • If a player puts an oversized chip into the pot and says “Raise”, but doesn’t state the amount, the raise will be the maximum allowable up to the denomination of that chip.
  • Players betting “all-in” must clearly declare their action and move an obvious amount of their entire chip stack forward, unless an “all-in button” is used.
  • An “all-in” bet (the rest of a player’s remaining chips) of less than a full raise does not reopen the betting to the previous bettor.
  • An “all-in” bet binds a player’s entire chip stack to the hand, including any hidden chips.
    Discovered chips are to be considered in the outcome as if the chips were in plain view. An eliminated “all-in” player will have no redress if they discover hidden chips, provided that the opponent(s)had sufficient chips to cover the hidden one(s) as well.
  • When a player is “all-in” and no further betting action is possible, the dealer must stop all action and instruct the players to turn their cards “face up”, and players will be in a “showdown” situation. Dealers must ensure that all cards are exposed before continuing with any action.
  • If a player is “all in” or any player involved in the “showdown,” accidentally or intentionally “folds/mucks” their hand before cards are turned “face up,” the dealer must immediately bring this to the attention of a Floor Person or Tournament Director.
    Management reserves the right to retrieve the folded/mucked cards, if the cards are clearly identifiable.
    Venues/ House Rules that are governed by juridical gaming laws pertaining to a retrievable rule shall apply.
  • All-in with Hidden Chips:
    An acknowledged all-in bet commits a player’s entire stack to the hand, including any hidden chips.
    However, if the opponent covers the entire stack amount and the player loses, he/she will be eliminated from the tournament, unless the caller is unable to cover the amount.
    Exception – Player A goes all-in for 50,000 and Player B calls with a stack of 55,000.
    Upon pushing the chips to the middle, Player A discovers a 10,000 chip under his arm. If Player A wins the pot, he will only be paid 50,000 in chips.
    If Player A loses the pot, his opponent will receive the entire 55,000 of Player A’s actual stack for the double up.
  • If an “all-in button” is used in the tournament, it is the dealer’s responsibility to immediately announce and ensure that the “all-in button” is in front of the player.
  • If one or more players announce “all-in,” multiple “all-in buttons” will be placed on the table.
  • The dealer should still make sure that the ‘all-in’ is clearly announced.
  • Cards should be released in a low line of flight, face down in a forward motion, over and inside the “betting line,” if a betting line is present.
  • Players are responsible for holding onto their cards until the winner is declared.
  • Cards released face down in a forward motion or over and inside the “betting line,” will be considered a “folded/mucked hand,” unless a player is in a “showdown” situation with one player being “all in”, then all cards have to be tabled.
  • Folding/mucking” OUT OF TURN, any player intentionally “folding/mucking” out of turn will receive a penalty. A player leaving their seat before completing their action will be considered as intentionally “folding/mucking” out of turn.
    The penalty may be waived if the dealer misled the player, or it was unclear that other players still had a live hand.
  • “EXPOSING CARDS” when “folding/mucking,” during a live hand, a player intentionally flashing or “exposing cards” while “folding/mucking” will incur a penalty.
    If all action is complete, a player intentionally flashing or exposing his/her card(s) while “folding/mucking,” will entitle all players to see the cards, if requested.
    The dealer will kill the hand and show the player’s ENTIRE hand.
  • A hand is considered to be folded once the hand is in the “muck”, mixed with the burn cards, the board, or the discard pile while face down, either by the player or the dealer.
    If a betting line is in place and in use, then all cards released by the player in a forward motion, face down or over and inside the betting line will be considered a ‘folded/mucked’ hand, whether intentionally or not.
  • Utilizing Rule 1.1, the Floor Person may retrieve a technically mucked hand and declare it live if they believe there is good cause to do so, and the correct hand is clearly retrievable.
  • At showdown, cards released in a forward motion, face down and over the betting line, will be considered a mucked hand and ruled as a dead hand.
  • A Player may not retrieve a “folded/mucked” hand once released.
  • Dealers may not retrieve and/or return the “folded/mucked hand” to a player.
  • Players are responsible for holding onto their cards until the winner is declared.
    A player, who accidentally or intentionally folds/mucks their hand before the winning hand is determined, will forfeit his or her rights to be awarded the pot.
    The hand will be considered a “folded/mucked hand” and declared a “dead hand,” unless a player
    is “all-in” and players are in a “showdown” situation.
  • If a player is “all in” or any player involved in the “showdown,” accidentally or intentionally folds/mucks their hand before cards are turned “face up,” the dealer must immediately bring this to the attention of a Floor Person or Tournament Director.
    Management reserves the right to retrieve the “folded/mucked” cards, if the cards are clearly identifiable.
    Venues/ House Rules that are governed by juridical gaming laws pertaining to a retrievable rule shall apply.
  • An “exposed card” is defined as any card intentionally or accidentally shown to or seen by at least one player at the table.
  • It is a player’s responsibility to inform the dealer of any “exposed cards” or flashed card(s).
  • Anytime an exposed card is not 100% identifiable, the dealer will show the player’s entire hand.
  • Dealers must “show one player, show all players,” any “exposed cards.”
    1. If ALL ACTION IS COMPLETE, and a player exposes his/her card(s) to at least one player before “folding/mucking,” all players are entitled to see the “exposed card(s), if requested.
      The dealer will kill the hand and show all players the EXACT card(s) shown.
      Exposing cards” due to dealer’s error, dealers must announce and show the exposed card to all players.
      The exposed card must remain “face up” on the card deck, until the next action.
      The exposed card will be taken out of play.
  • A player intentionally exposing his/her card(s) to a player during a live hand will NOT have a “dead hand,” but will incur a penalty.
    The penalty will begin at the end of the hand.
  • Exposing cards” to a player with NO LIVE HAND: Anytime a player “exposes cards” to a player, any player at the table may REQUEST to see the exposed card(s), whether he/she is in the hand or not.
    At the end of the hand, the dealer will kill the hand and show the player’s show all players the EXACT card(s) shown.
  • Exposing cards” to a player WITH A LIVE HAND, anytime a player “exposes cards” to a player who has NOT completed their action, the dealer will immediately show all players the EXACT card(s) shown.
    This is done because all players involved are entitled to the same information.
    At the END of the hand, the dealer will kill the hand and show all players the EXACT card(s) shown.
    The player that exposed his/her card(s) will incur a penalty.
  • A card accidentally exposed by a dealer or dealt off the table is ruled an “exposed card” and may be the cause for a “”
    If more than 1 of the hole cards from any player is exposed during the initial deal, the hand will be declared a “misdeal.
  • In Flop games, if during the initial deal, the dealer accidentally ”exposed” a player’s card, that card will be taken out of play, shown to all players and used as the burn card. The player will then receive a new card from the top of the deck, once all players have received their initial hand. If 2 or more cards are “exposed” during the initial deal, the hand will be declared a “misdeal.”
  • Any cards shown to ONE player will be shown to ALL players and deemed “exposed cards.”
    Dealers will treat the cards as prescribed in “exposing cards.”.
  • Players may be penalized for showing or exposing their cards to others whether in the hand, before or after, if deemed inappropriate by Management. Dealers are obligated to inform Management immediately when this occurs.
  • The one card to a hand policy prohibited players from showing their cards to third parties unless they show them first to the other players at the table.
  • Face up” or “tabled” is defined as revealing the card’s identity and actual value.
  • All cards will be turned “face up” once a player is “all-in” and all betting action is complete, players will be in a “showdown”
  • If a player in the showdown situation accidentally folds/mucks their hand before cards are turned face up,
    Management reserves the right to retrieve the folded/mucked cards if they are clearly identifiable.
  • Players are obligated to show their cards face up.

    Any player that is part of and/or present in a showdown needs to table his/her hand face up.

  • If all betting has been completed and no further action is possible, players will be in a “showdown” situation.
    A “showdown” is defined as the period at the end of each hand in which active players reveal their facedown cards.
    Players show and compare the strength of their hands to determine the winning five card hand combination, and so declaring the winner of the pot.
  • An aggressive action is defined as a bet, raise or all in move. A call is not an aggressive action.
  • Order of showdown with aggressive action on the river street: The last aggressor has to show first. The other players have to show in a clock wise order.
  • Order of showdown without aggressive action on the river street: The first active player left to the button has to show first and the other players follow in a clock wise direction.
  • If players do not wait and show their hand against the order of showdown they will lose the right of seeing the previous players cards.
  • LAST MAN STANDING RULE: At showdown, if a player would prefer to muck than show their cards, the remaining player can win the pot without having to show any cards as he is the last live hand. However, should the player want to see the other players cards, the player would be forced to show his live hand.
  • If a player is all-in and no further betting action is possible, the dealer must stop all action and instruct the players to turn their cards face up; players will be in a showdown situation. Dealers must ensure that all cards are exposed before continuing with any action.
  • If a player who is all in or any player involved in the showdown accidentally or intentionally folds/mucks their hand before cards are turned face up, the dealer must immediately bring this to the attention of a Floor Person or Tournament Director.
    1. Management reserves the right to retrieve the folded/mucked cards, if the cards are clearly identifiable.
    2. Venues/ House Rules that are governed by juridical gaming laws pertaining to a retrievable rule shall apply.
  • If there is a side pot, players involved in the side pot should show their hands first. The side pots will always be awarded before the main pot.
  • In Stud games, the player with the high board must show first.
  • In Razz, the lowest board shows first.
  • A verbal declaration as to the content of a player’s hand is NOT binding, “Cards speak for themselves.”
  • Any player intentionally “miscalling” his/her hand will be penalized.
    Dealers are obligated to inform the floor staff if this happens.
  • “Conditional statements” regarding future action are non-standard and strongly discouraged, although they may be binding and/or subject to penalty at the Tournament Director’s discretion (i.e. “if-then” statements such as “if you bet, then I will raise”).
  • Miscalling” a hand is defined as a false verbal statement as to the actual value of a player’s hand – “Cards speak for themselves.”
    Miscalling a hand may be subject to a penalty if the dealer brings it to the attention of Management.
  • Any player intentionally “miscalling” his/her hand will be penalized.
  • A player “folding/mucking” their hand as a result of another player intentionally “miscalling a hand” will have the right to bring this to the attention of the Tournament Director.
    The Tournament Director reserves the right to render judgment in the interest of fairness that may take priority over the technical rules. See Rule 1.1.
  • On occasion, a dealer error may occur that results in accidentally “killing a player’s winning hand.”
    The dealer cannot kill a winning hand, if the player has clearly turned his or her cards “face up” and is obviously holding and tabled the winning hand.
    In these situations, the dealer’s error will be corrected and the player’s hand will be retrieved and the pot will be awarded accordingly.
  • Players are encouraged to assist in reading tabled hands, if it appears that an error is about to be made.
  • A tabled hand is defined as a hand that a participant places on the table face up, such that the dealer and all participants at the table can read.
  • A player must show both cards when “playing the board” in order to be awarded any part of the pot.
  • A player who intentionally “miscalls” their hand to deceive another player will incur a penalty.
  • It is a player’s responsibility to determine the winning hand before “folding/mucking.
    A player who folds/mucks will have no redress as their hand will be non-retrievable.
  • To be awarded a pot, a player must show their entire hand, if there are one or more players involved with a live
  • Last live hand dictates that in the event players muck their live hand and only one live hand remains, the pot will be awarded to the last live hand without showing the cards.
  • The pot will not be awarded until all losing hands have been killed.
  • The winning hand should remain “face up”, until the pot is awarded.
  • Players are responsible to ensure that the pot is awarded correctly.
  • If by dealer error, the pot is awarded to the wrong player, the error must be corrected before the start of the “ new deal.”
    Once a “new deal” has begun, the result of the previous hand must stand. (Unless Management overrules this in the interests of fairness to the players and the event).
    If the wrongly awarded pot has been mixed with a player’s chip stack, Management will at its best effort try to reconstruct the pot accurately.
    In certain situations, the tournament clock will pause and all tournament play will stop, until the error is corrected.
  • Management has the right to reclaim winnings that are proven to be received incorrectly by players, or from a player who is proven to have received winnings through violation of tournament rules. See Rule 1.1.
  • An “odd chip” is defined as any leftover remaining chip resulting from a split pot or from the “colour up” process.
  • If a split pot contains an uneven amount of chips, the pot will be split down and divided as evenly as possible.
    Any remaining chip will be broken down to the lowest denomination of chip still in play and the remaining “odd chip” will be awarded accordingly.
    1. In Board playing / Flop games, when there are two or more winning hands, the “odd chip” will be awarded to the entitled player left of the “dealer button.”
    2. In High-Low split games, the “odd chip” will be awarded to the high hand, if there are two or more high hands with identical values, the “odd chip” will be awarded to the entitled player left of the “dealer button.”
    3. In Stud games, when there are two or more hands that have identical values, the “odd chip” will go to the high card by “suit ranking.”
    4. In High-Low split games, the “odd chip” will be awarded to the high hand, if there are two or more high hands with identical values, the “odd chip” will go to the high hand by “suit ranking.”
    5. In Low games, the “odd chip” will be awarded to the lowest hand by lowest “suit ranking.”
  • When one or more players are “ all-in” and the other players involved in the hand have chips in excess of the “all-in” amount, a “side pot” will be created.
  • In certain situations, multiple “side pots” may exist.
  • Side pots” will NEVER be combined.
  • The “side pots” will always be awarded before the main pot.
  • Players involved in the “side pot” should show their hands first.
  • Each “side pot” will be split separately among the winning players entitled to that pot.
  • Rabbit hunting” is defined as looking through the discards or card deck after a hand is completed.
  • Dealers are not permitted to show cards that have not been dealt and players should not ask the dealers to show the card(s) that would have been dealt.
  • Rabbit hunting” is not allowed; any player found “rabbit hunting” will incur a penalty.
  • A player is not allowed to ask for “rabbit hunting”. If he/she does, the dealer needs to bring this to the attention of the Tournament Director.
  • In certain situations, a player may have their hand declared a “dead hand.”
  • Floor People and Tournament Directors reserve the right, at their sole discretion, to declare a player’s hand dead.
  • A hand will be declared dead if:
    1. A player folds or announces that he/she is folding when facing a bet or a raise.
    2. A player throws his/her hand away, in over and inside the betting line or in a forward motion, facedown, causing another player to act behind them.
    3. In stud, when facing a bet, a player picks up cards off the table, turns his/her up cards facedown, or mixes his/her up cards and down cards together.
    4. The hand does not contain the proper number of cards for that particular game.
    5. In Omaha games when action has occurred and a players finds out not having the correct amount of cards (with exception of de last player who’s dealt cards.
    6. In Stud games, a hand missing a card, before the draw, will not be a dead hand if the draw is still live.
    7. In drawing games, a hand missing a card, before the draw, will not be a dead hand if the draw is still live.
    8. A player acts on a hand with knowledge that the deck is “fouled.”
    9. A player has the “clock” on him/her when facing a bet or raise and exceeds the specified time limit.
    10. Cards thrown into the muck will be ruled a “dead hand,” unless a player is involved in an “all in, showdown” situation.
    11. However, House Rules will take precedence. Venues/ House Rules that are governed by juridical gaming laws pertaining to a retrievable rule shall apply.
    12. A player is not in his/her seat by the time the first card is dealt out to the first player by the dealer.
    13. A player uses a “communication device” at the table with his/her action still pending.
  • In Flop games, if at any time, a board error occurs, the dealer MUST immediately STOP all action and report the error to a Floor Person or the Tournament Director.
  • Anytime a board error or any unclear discrepancy occurs or is noticed after any action has started, it is the right and responsibility of the dealer to notify the Tournament Director.
    The Tournament Director will interpret how a rule will apply and how the hand should continue based on fairness towards all players and the event.
    On occasion, unusual circumstances may arise that may dictate decisions in the interest of fairness and will take priority over the technical rules.
  • Any time action has begun with an error on the board, a “misdeal” cannot be declared. The only time a misdeal will be declared on a board with action is when there is a “fouled deck.”
  • The idea of correcting any mistakes/board errors is to keep the original game as close to perfect as possible, and the Tournament Director should always act in the interests of minimizing the damage and give the best possible percentage of the original board.
  • In the event of a premature flop: The flop will be added back into the deck and re-shuffled.
  • In the event of a premature turn: The original river will be dealt facedown, the turn will be reshuffled. Once flop action has been completed the turn can then be re-dealt.
  • In the event of a premature river: The river will be reshuffled and re-dealt once action has completed on the turn.
  • Should the floor person feel that the player who missed their action had more than an adequate amount of time to make the dealer aware, the following will be ruled:
    When facing a bet: Hand ruled dead and the flop/turn/river will stand.
    When facing a check: Player will be forced to check and the flop/turn/river will stand.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE BOARD ERROR PROCEDURES

  • To speed up the game, tournament organization is able to use the ‘Shot Clock’ rule.
  • The Shot Clock rule gives players a maximum amount of seconds per decision they have. This is enforced by dealers who can track the time, based on the tournament clock or other technology provided. Each player gets a predetermined amount of ‘time extension cards or chips’ at the start of the tournament. Whenever a player needs more time than for a decision he can use the ‘time extension card’. This time extension card add a certain amount of time to the action of the player.
  • Dealers will provide a 10 second warning and a 5 second countdown, if a player runs out of time, when the time runs out, the following will take place:
    1. Player has a timebank available: The player will automatically have their time extended.
    2. Player has no timebank available: The action will be ruled as a forced check or fold.
  • Whenever a player wants to use the ‘time extension card’. He or she has to put it over the betting line. A predetermined amount of time will be added to the players decision from that moment of time.
  • Players may use more than 1 ‘time extension’ per decision.
  • The Tournament organization has the right to decide how many time extension cards will be added to the game and when. This should be communicated before the start of the tournament in a transparent way.
  • A time extension card will be valid during the whole tournament.
  • The International Poker Rules recommend the following allowances for time:
    Sub 30 minute clock events: 20 second initial thinking period, with 30 second timebank.
    30+ minute clock events: 30 second initial thinking period, with 30 second timebank.
  • It is the tournament management’s responsibility to predetermine the length of the shot clock and to communicate this in a transparent way to the players.
  • The tournament organization is responsible for advertising how many timebank chips/cards will be given per player and how they are managed.
  • Should there be any disagreements regarding the enforcing of the shot clock rules at the table, the floor must be called to resolve the situation, the Tournament Directors ruling shall be final.
  • Any player in the tournament may put another player on the “Clock,” if a player is taking more than a reasonable amount of time to make a decision.
  • Once a reasonable amount of time has passed and a “Clock” is called for, a Floor Person or the Tournament Director will be called to the table.
    A player will be given a maximum of 1 minute to complete their action and will be given a verbal 10-second countdown within that 1 minute.
    If a player has not acted when the “1” second mark is announced, the player’s hand will be declared a “dead hand.”
  • A player intentionally stalling the progress of the game will incur a penalty.
  • The Tournament Director reserves the right to put a “Clock” on any player taking more than a reasonable amount of time to make a decision.
  • As a guideline for all International tournaments with a level time of fifteen minutes or less, the clock will be thirty seconds, with a five second countdown.
  • In special circumstances, players from one table may like to call the “Clock” on players from other tables.
    If this situation occurs, the player must address this to the dealer at the table in order to have the Floor staff make a decision according to the given situation at that time.
  • In case a player delays the gameflow with intention, the management can decide to change the clock/time procedure instant.
  • Approaching the point at which prize money will be distributed (“The Money Bubble”), the Tournament Director will reserve the right to dictate “hand for hand” action during a tournament.
    This will continue until enough players have been eliminated to reach the prize money stage of the tournament.
  • When “hand for hand” action is announced, all “electronic devices” may NO longer be used and must be
  • During “hand for hand” play, all tables will begin the “new deal” at the same time. When all players at a table have completed their hand, all play will halt. Dealers will not begin a “new deal” until instructed.
    1. Called All-in – During hand for hand play, when a Dealer has a called ‘All-in’ at their table, they are instructed to freeze all action remaining at that table, including asking the players to not reveal their hands.
    2. This ‘All-in’ table will wait to finish its hand until all other tables remaining in the tournament have completed that specific hand.  At that point, Floor staff will attend the All-in table and instruct them when to complete the hand.
  • During “hand for hand” play, the Tournament Director reserves the right to control street for street action.
  • During “hand for hand” action, when players seated at different tables are eliminated on the same hand, al eliminated players will share the same finishing place.
    Players will evenly share the finishing place and payout.
    When one or more players at the same table are eliminated on the same hand, the player with the lower chip count will be considered to be eliminated first.
  • When hand for hand the clock will not be paused until a complete level has been played, at which point the clock will be paused and the blinds will be raised. Once the hand for hand is complete the clock will be restarted and players will then play the entirety of the current level. During this period, if play is particularly slow the Tournament Director has the right to better use their judgement and pause the clock sooner, for example:
    60 min clock, and the hand for hand starts with 40 mins on the clock, with just a few hands taken place due to a slow pace when the level is completed the Tournament Director may feel it would be in the best interests of the tournament to pause at the end of the level rather than after another 60 minute level.
  • Prior to the “payout level,” “hand for hand” action will be in play.
  • Once players have reached the “hand for hand play,” all “electronic devices” may NO longer be used and must be
  • Players eliminated must immediately proceed as instructed, to ensure proper finishing place and payout.
  • Once the “payout level,” is reached, if players seated at different tables are eliminated on the same hand, all eliminated players will share the same finishing place.
    Players will evenly share the finishing place and payout.
    When one or more players at the same table are eliminated on the same hand, the player with the lower chip count is considered to be eliminated first.
  • Players are responsible for the filing and payment of any and all taxes associated with tournament winnings according to their personal obligations.
  • Prizes are non-transferable. A player will not receive a payout without proper “valid identification” and verification of tournament registration.
  • The Tournament Director is responsible for making the payout structure readily available to all players, announcing the prize pool and payout schedule in a timely manner. See Guideline 1.a)
  • A “final table” will be created as predetermined by the Tournament Director.
  • When a “final table” is created, all remaining players must “redraw” for seats.
    In Board playing / Flop games, The dealer button will always start at seat 1.
  • In flop games, the final table will consist the same number of players as the tournament is played with exceptions on management decisions are always final.
    In six-handed games, the final table will consist of 7 players.
    In eight-handed games, the final table consist of 9 players.
    In stud games, the final table will consist of 9 players.
    In a seven-handed event (i.e. 2-7 draw lowball) the final table will consist of 8 players.
  • All players in an event are obligated to obey the Tournament Director’s deal making policy.
    This information will be made available to players before the event starts.
  • To maintain a high level of fairness, all prizes in deals will be decided using the Independent Chip Model (ICM) calculator. The Tournament Director will happily workout current deal offerings at request. It will be the Tournament Directors responsibility to ensure everybody is happy to do the deal, if not then the players will continue to play.
  • The tournament clock will be paused during discussions about deals with the Tournament Director.
  • Deals for tournaments that include Seat tickets as well as Cash prizes:
    1. Where all remaining parties have guaranteed themselves a Seat ticket as well as their cash prize, the players will each receive their ticket plus the deal offering that splits only the remaining cash prize pool by ICM Calculator.
    2. When discussions are taking place and not all parties have seat tickets won, the players will have the option of either:
    3. Doing a deal for the remaining cash prize pool (using the ICM Chip Model) and playing out for the seat tickets;
    4. Ending the tournament, with the Tournament Director suggesting a fair offering based on current ICM figures and the value of the seats weighed into the prizes.
  • Any agreement that excludes one or more active competitors or is made without the Tournament Director’s knowledge, is considered improper. By definition it may be judged as collusion, and can or may be deemed as grounds for disqualification.
  • Any player who attempts to constrain, coerce or force another player to agree with a deal, will receive a penalty, and the deal will be deemed void.
  • Deals will only be allowed in venues where it does not conflict with any gaming rules or regulations
    that applies to the venue, and in accordance with the local gaming laws.
  • The Tournament Director will ensure that all players unanimously agree with the deal.
    The TD will ensure all players are happy to finalise the deal by using the black card/red card process.
    Black = Deal
    Red = No deal
    This process eliminates pressuring.
  • In crazy pineapple players start with three hole cards.
  • After the flop has been dealt players must continue with 2 hole cards.
    1. The player has to discard one of his three hole cards facedown into the muck when the player has made his action.
    2. The next player is in turn when the previous player made action and discarded one card.
    3. When all players have discarded one card, the game continues like a normal hold em game.
  • Whenever a player acts before the previous player has discarded his third hole card, the player acts out of turn. In these cases the out of turn rule will apply.
  • It is the players responsibility to be aware of previous players discarding their third card, since players can get illegal advantage of late discarding their third card.
  • A player who ‘forgets’ to discards a third hole card can be penalized.
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