Poker Rules

April 2021

The Official Rulebook For Our Cardroom

Welcome to our card room. Your presence in our establishment means that you agree to abide by our rules and procedures. By taking a seat in one of our card games, you are accepting our management to be the final authority on all matters relating to that game.

SECTION 1 – HOUSE POLICIES

CONDUCT CODE

Management will attempt to maintain a pleasant environment for all our customers and employees, but is not responsible for the conduct of any player. We have established a code of conduct, and may deny the use of our cardroom to violators. The following are not permitted:

  • Collusion with another player or any other form of cheating.
  • Side Bets/Prop bets – betting on the outcome of a hand or the cards as they are revealed.
  • Verbally or physically threatening any patron or employee.
  • Using profanity or obscene language.
  • Creating a disturbance by arguing, shouting, or making excessive noise.
  • Throwing, tearing, bending, or crumpling cards.
  • Destroying or defacing property.
  • Observing and spectating of games is not permitted

POKER ETIQUETTE

The following actions are improper, and grounds for a warning, or may lead suspension:

  • Deliberately acting out of turn.
  • Deliberately splashing chips into the pot.
  • Agreeing to check a hand down at any time
  • Soft playing by refusing to bet against any player at any time.
  • Reading a hand for another player at the showdown before it has been placed faceup on the table.
  • Telling anyone to turn a hand faceup at the showdown.
  • Revealing the contents of any hand in a multi-handed pot before the hand is complete.
  • Do not divulge the contents of a hand during a deal even to someone not in the pot, so you do not leave any possibility of the information being transmitted to an active player.
  • Needlessly stalling the action of a game.
  • Deliberately discarding hands away from the muck. Cards should be released in a low line of flight, at a moderate rate of speed (not at the dealer’s hands or chip-rack).
  • Stacking chips in a manner that interferes with dealing or viewing cards.
  • Making statements or taking action that could unfairly influence the course of play, whether or not the offender is involved in the pot.
  • Electronic communication devices may be rested on the table surround only and not on the table
  • Using a phone at the table to the detriment of the game, by way of stalling or disruption will be ruled upon
  • Use of any mobile device during a hand is not permitted (When in possession of cards)
  • All verbal phone conversations must be taken away from the table

HYGIENE AND SANITISATION 2021

  • All players are requested to wear a mask whilst on the poker deck and whilst playing on the tables. This is a mandatory requirement and masks are available on request.
  • All players are to sanitise and wash hands prior to taking a seat at the tables.
  • We kindly request that all players follow a high standard of hygiene, hand sanitiser and clean practices whilst at the tables by sanitising hands once per round. 
  • Respect of spacing and social distancing must be adhered to at all times
  • Each table will close for a 15 minute break every four hours for sanitisation and cleaning.
  • Moving of screens or other distancing equipment is forbidden
  • ALL BUTTONS, PLAQUES AND OTHER USE ITEMS ARE TO BE HANDLED BY THE DEALER ONLY

DECISION-MAKING

  1. Management reserves the right to make decisions in the spirit of fairness, even if a strict interpretation of the rules may indicate a different ruling.
  2. Decisions of the shift manager or supervisor are final.
  3. If an incorrect rule interpretation or decision by an employee is made in good faith, the establishment has no liability.
  4. The proper time to draw attention to a mistake is when it occurs or is first noticed. Any delay may affect the ruling.
  5. The first riffle of the shuffle marks the start of the hand. A ruling may be made regarding a pot if it has been requested before the next hand starts, otherwise, the result of a hand must stand.
  6. To keep the action moving, it is possible that a game may be asked to continue even though a decision is delayed. The delay could be to check the overhead camera tape, to allow the shift supervisor to give the ruling, or for some other good reason. In such circumstances, a pot or portion of it may be impounded by the house while the decision is pending.
  7. The same action may have a different ruling to previous based on the experiences of the player and their action and outcome of the hand.
  8. A player, before they act, is entitled to request and receive information as to whether any opposing hand is live or dead and if the previous action was valid.

PROCEDURES

  1. Only one person may play a hand – One stack, One player.
  2. No one is allowed to play another player’s chips.
  3. Management will decide when to start or close any game.
  4. Session Fees – are paid in advance. In all session games, the dealer is required to pick up the collection from each player before dealing. A player not wishing to pay his session fee may play one courtesy hand, provided no one is waiting for the game. If there is a list for that game when the collection becomes due, everyone must pay collection or leave the table.
    4a. Session Fees – will be requested on the hour and 30 minutes past the hour. Players away from the table at the time of season fee collection will be required to pay on their return. Repeated abuse by players avoiding session fees may result in the player being removed from the table and refusal of future play. New players to the table will be required to pay the previous charge if in their seat upto ten minutes after charge was taken.
  5. It is preferable that cash should be changed into chips in order to play before a player takes a seat. Cash may play at the table during cash desk balancing or at other times instructed by the shift supervisor. Any chips from another card room are not permitted on the table.
  6. The establishment is not responsible for any shortage or removal of chips left on the table during a player’s absence. All removed funds must be fully restored when returning to the game if within two hours. (see point 7)
  7. If you return to the same stake within two hours of cashing out, your buy-in must be equal to the amount removed when leaving that game. Seating in a lower stake game will be held to the maximum amount for the game or the stack removed.
  8. Only the chips in front of a player at the start of a deal may play for that hand, except for chips not yet received that a player has purchased indicated by a money behind button. The amount bought must be announced to the table and will be advised by the floor supervisor and the dealer. Awareness of the amount being in play for each opponent is an important part of poker. All chips, money and money behind button must be kept in plain view.
  9. Playing out of a rack is not permitted.
  10. A player entering a table or transferring from another table must be instructed to do so from a supervisor (or floor senior)
  11. Seating cards will not be in use at this time. A player may not take a seat unless instructed by a member of staff to do so.
  12. Pushing an ante or posting for another person is not allowed.
  13. Player agreements to splitting pots or outcome of the hand will not be allowed in any game.
    14.The game’s betting limit will not be changed if two or more players object. Raising the limit is subject to management approval.
  14. Players must keep their cards in full view. This means above table-level and not past the edge of the table. The cards should not be covered by the hands in a manner to completely conceal them.
  15. Any player is entitled to a clear view of an opponent’s chips. Higher denomination chips should be clearly visible and placed at the front of any stack. Players are requested to keep their stacks in a reasonable manner and in the same chip value.
  16. Your chips may be picked up if you are away from the table for more than 15 minutes when a waiting list is in operation. Frequent or continuous absences may cause your chips to be picked up from the table before the time has expired.
  17. A lock-up in a new game will be picked up after ten minutes if someone is waiting to play.
  18. Deck changes will be at the discretion of the house.
  19. Looking through the discards or deck stub is not allowed, no ‘rabbit hunting’.
  20. A player is expected to pay attention to the game and not hold up play. Activity that interferes with this is discouraged, and the player will be asked to cease if a problem is caused.
  21. A non-player may not sit at the table, or behind a player. Spectators are not permitted at this time and waiting area is for the exclusive use of players only.
  22. Speaking a foreign language while a hand is in progress is not permitted.
  23. Players who have lost their stack and stating they will return to the table will get 10 minutes before their seat is released.

SEATING

  1. Inclusion onto the waitlist is available via the following method:
    a) Loyalty card holders may be added to the waitlist by visiting the registration desk on the 3rd floor
    b) Non card holders may be added to the waitlist via the same desk and will be allocated a holding name to reserve their space; it will be their responsibility to check on their position at suitable intervals.

    If no seats are available, a small waiting area will be made available; when no seats and no waiting area position available then players will be notified by text message when space is available in the waiting area or they are the next person to take a seat, whichever comes first. Text message service available to loyalty card members only. All players will be requested to leave their name and current contact details as part of the track and trace policy in place. QR codes can be found on each player position and should be scanned each time a player takes a seat at a new table.
  2. It is the player’s responsibility having been notified that a seat is available, to present themselves in a timely manner. A seat will be locked up for 15 minutes after which they will lose their place on their list.
  3. When there is more than one game of the same stake, the house will control the seating of new players to best preserve the balance of existing games. A new player will be sent to the game most in need of an additional player. A transfer to a similar game is not allowed if the game being left will then have fewer players than the game being entered.
  4. A player may not hold a seat in more than one game.
  5. The house reserves the right to require that any two players not play in the same game (husband and wife, relatives, business partners, friends and acquaintances.)
  6. When a button game starts, the dealer will conduct a high card draw for the button position. The button will be awarded to the highest card, including by suit.
  7. In a new game, the player who arrives at the table the earliest gets first choice of remaining seats. If two players want the same seat and arrive at the same time, the higher player on the list has preference. A player playing a pot in another game may have a designated seat locked up until that hand is finished. Management may reserve a certain seat for a player for a good reason, such as to assist reading the board for a person with a vision problem.
  8. A player who is already in the game has precedence over a new player for any seat when it becomes available. However, no change will occur after a new player has been dealt into the game. For players already in the game, the one who asks the earliest has preference for a seat change.
  9. In all button games, a player voluntarily locking up a seat in another game must move immediately if there is a waiting list of two or more names for the seat being vacated. The exception to this is the player is entitled to play the button if a blind has already been taken.
  10. When a game breaks, each player will be allocated an available seat where available. If the seating position allocated to an absent player is requested by an active player, a swap will be permitted.

TRANSFERS

One transfer per hour maximum will be applied during this time. Players may not move to or approach a table unless given instruction to do so by the floor manager/supervisor.

As all positions and table surrounds will be sanitised between players management reserve the right to keep transfers to a minimum and may refuse transfers on these grounds.

SECTION 2 – GENERAL POKER RULES

THE BUY-IN

  1. When you enter a game, you must make a full buy-in for at least the table minimum.
  2. Adding to your stack is not considered a buy-in and may be done in any quantity between the table minimum and maximum between hands.
  3. A player coming from a broken game to a game of the same limit must continue to play the same amount of money, even if it is less than the minimum buy-in.

MISDEALS

  1. Once action begins, a misdeal cannot be called.
    Action is considered to occur when two players after the blinds have acted on their hands.
  2. The following circumstances cause a misdeal, provided attention is called to the error before two players have acted on their hands.
    a) The first or second card of the hand has been exposed by a dealer error.
    b) Two or more cards have been exposed by the dealer.
    c) Two or more boxed cards (improperly faced cards) are found.
    d) Two or more extra cards have been dealt in the starting hands of a game.
    e) An incorrect number of cards have been dealt to a player, except the top card may be dealt if it goes to the player in proper sequence.
    f) Any card has been dealt out of the proper sequence (except an exposed card that is replaced in sequence and becomes the burn card).
    g) The button was out of position.
    h) The first card was dealt to the wrong position.
    i) Cards have been dealt to an empty seat or a player not entitled to a hand.
    j) A player has been dealt out who is entitled to a hand. This player must be present at the table or have posted a blind or ante.
    k) A card is dealt off the table.

DEAD HANDS

  1. Your hand is declared dead if:
    a) You fold or announce that you are folding. Forward motion will be considered on this point. All hands that are folded are considered dead once they have been collected by the dealer or reached the muck, the pot or board cards.
    b) You throw your hand away in a forward motion causing another player to act behind you (even if not facing a bet).
    c) The hand does not contain the proper number of cards for that particular game.
    d) You act on a hand with a joker as a hole card in a game not using a joker. A player who acts on a hand without looking at a card assumes the liability of finding an improper card.
    f) You have the clock on you when facing a bet or raise and exceed the specified time limit.
  2. Cards thrown into the muck
  3. Cards thrown into another player’s unprotected cards automatically declare both hands dead.
  4. If a player exposes their hand whilst facing a bet, the player will have 15 seconds to act before his hand is declared dead

IRREGULARITIES

  1. In button games, if it is discovered that the button was placed incorrectly on the previous hand, play will continue, with the button moving on in a clockwise direction
  2. You must protect your own hand at all times. Your cards may be protected with your hands, a chip, or other object placed on top of them. If you fail to protect your hand, you will have no recourse if it becomes fouled or the dealer accidentally mucks it.
  3. If two cards of the same rank and suit are found, all action is void, and all chips in the pot are returned to the players who wagered them (subject to next rule).
  4. If a card with a different colour back appears during a hand, all action is void and all chips in the pot are returned to the respective bettors.
  5. A player who knows the deck is defective has an obligation to point this out. If such a player instead tries to win a pot by taking aggressive action. The player will lose the right to a refund, and the pot will be awarded to the last live hand.
  6. A joker that appears in a game where it is not used is treated as a scrap of paper. Discovery of a joker does not cause a misdeal. If the joker is discovered before a player acts on his or her hand, it is replaced by the next card in the deck. If the player does not call attention to the joker before acting, then the player has a dead hand.
  7. If you play a hand without looking at all of your cards, you assume the liability of having an irregular card or an improper joker.
  8. One or more cards are found missing from the deck does not invalidate the results of a hand.
  9. A card that is flashed by the dealer is treated as an exposed card. A card that is flashed by a player will continue to be a played hand, however the player will lose all aggressive action for the whole hand.
  10. If a card is exposed due to dealer error, a player does not have an option to take or reject the card.
  11. If you drop any cards out of your hand onto the floor, they will be shown to the table. The hand will be declared dead and the deck will be replaced.
  12. If the dealer prematurely deals any cards before the betting is complete, those cards will not play, even if a player who has not acted decides to fold.
  13. If the dealer fails to burn a card or burns more than one card, the error should be corrected if discovered before betting action has started for that round. Once action has been taken on a board card, the card must stand. Whether the error can be corrected or not, subsequent cards dealt should be those that would have come if no error had occurred. On the last round, the error should be corrected provided the deck stub, board cards, and burn cards are all sufficiently intact to determine the proper replacement card.
  14. If the deck stub gets fouled for some reason, such as the dealer believing the deal is over and dropping the deck, the deal must still be played out, and the deck reconstituted in as fair a way as possible. If the deck and muck is combined before the hand is complete, the hand is declared void and all stakes are returned to the players.
  15. Any player, dealer, or floor person who sees an incorrect amount of chips put into the pot, or an error about to be made in awarding a pot, has an ethical obligation to point out the error.

BETTING AND RAISING

  1. The smallest chip that may be wagered in a game is the smallest chip in play.
  2. A player going all-in must put all chips into play.
  3. A verbal statement in turn denotes your action, is binding, and takes precedence over a differing physical action.
  4. When action is on the player, they are responsible for their physical movement and how that may be perceived. As an example, Tapping the table or their person will be taken as a check.
  5. Deliberately acting out of turn will not be tolerated. All Action out of turn stands unless the action changes.
    If there is an intervening bet or raise of less than the out of turn action, the out of turn bettor must call the bet – he cannot fold or raise.
    If there is an intervening bet or raise higher than the out of turn action this releases the out of turn bettor from his action, he may now call, or fold and take back his bet.
  6. To retain the right to act, a player must stop the action by calling “time”, “stop” (or an equivalent word). Failure to stop the action before two or more players have acted behind you may cause you to lose the right to act.
  7. A player who bets or calls by releasing chips into the pot is bound by that action and forfeits any released chips if not the amount of the correct wager. (This also applies right before the showdown when putting chips into the pot causes the opponent to show the winning hand before the full amount needed to call has been put into the pot.)
  8. String bets are not allowed. To protect your right to raise, you should either declare your intention verbally or place the intended amount of chips into play in one fluid motion.
  9. A button straddle will be permitted on three and four handed tables where the game rules are applicable.
  10. If a player places a single chip in the pot that is larger than the bet, but does not announce a raise, it is considered a call.
  11. We adhere to the 50% rule and committed chips will be required to be made up to a full bet.

Forward Motion

a) Any significant forward movement of chips towards a live pot is considered a forward motion. As well as moving chips back and forward while trying to extract information or cause action from the opponent is considered forward motion.
b) Air cutting will be permitted if done in one clear motion without the intention of extracting information from other players.
c) Bets committed in 2 separate actions but within one fluid forward movement of the hand will be accepted. (cutting down and clutch betting)
d) Any player trying to gain a reaction of another player by reaching forward with his stack will be forced to commit what they have in their hand as a bet.
e) If a single chip is released in one clean fast motion it will go as a call or a bet of the full amount of the chip.
f) Any premature verbal action towards a forward motion will not be tolerated and the forward motion bettor actions will remain open                       

THE SHOWDOWN

  1. To win any part of a pot, a player must be prepared to show all of his cards face up on the table, whether they were used in the final hand played or not.
  2. Cards speak. The dealer assists in reading hands, but players are responsible for holding onto their cards until the winner is declared. Although verbal declarations as to the contents of a hand are not binding, deliberately miscalling a hand with the intent of causing another player to discard a winning hand is unethical and may result in forfeiture of the pot
  3. All losing hands will be killed by the dealer before a pot is awarded.
  4. Any player who has willingly placed money into the pot may request to see any hand that was eligible to participate in the showdown. However, If a player other than the pot winner asks to see a hand that has been folded, that hand is dead. If the winning player asks to see a losing player’s hand, both hands are live, and the best hand wins.
  5. ‘Show one, show all’. Players are entitled to receive equal access to information about the contents of another player’s hand. After a deal, if cards are shown to another player, every player at the table has a right to see those cards. During a deal, cards that were shown to an active player who might have a further wagering decision on that betting round must immediately be shown to all the other players, and the player showing cards loses aggressive action for the rest of the hand. If the player who saw the cards is not involved in the hand, or cannot use the information in wagering, the information should be withheld until the betting is over, so it does not affect the normal outcome of the deal. The shown cards are treated as given in the preceding part of this rule. If a player exposes one or both of their cards, they lose aggressive action for the remainder of the hand and may incur a penalty.
  6. If everyone checks (or is all-in) on the final round of betting, the player who is first to act is the first to show the hand.
    If there is wagering on the final betting round, the last player to take aggressive action by a bet or a raise is the first to show the hand
    A player may opt to throw their hand away after all the betting is complete.
  7. If there is a side pot, the winner of that pot should be decided before the main pot is awarded. If there are multiple side pots, they are decided and awarded by having the pot with the players starting the deal with the greatest number of chips settled first, and so forth.
  8. Running it twice
    £1/£2 (any game) – MINIMUM £500 IN THE POT
    £1/£2/£5 PLO – MINIMUM £10 IN THE POT
    £2/£5 and higher limits – MINIMUM £10 IN THE POT
    Example
    Main pot £450 side pots £300 – Main pot cannot be run twice; side pot can be run twice (as the total of the pot exceeds £500). All players involved in a pot should agree to run it twice to make the pot eligible.

TIES

  1. The ranking of suits from highest to lowest is spades, hearts, diamonds, clubs.
  2. An odd chip will be broken down to the smallest unit used in the game.
  3. If two or more hands tie, an odd chip will be awarded to the first hand clockwise from the button

RULES FOR USING BLINDS

  1. The minimum bet and allowable raise sizes are dictated by the blind amounts set for a game. They remain the same even when the player in the blind does not have enough chips to post the full amount.
  2. Each round every player must get an opportunity for the button, and meet the total amount of the blind obligations. Either of the following methods of button and blind placement may be designated to do this:
    a) Moving button – The button always moves forward to the next player and the blinds adjust accordingly.
  3. In heads-up play with two blinds, the small blind is on the button. When play becomes heads-up, the player who had the big blind the most recently is given the button, and his opponent is given the big blind.
  4. A new player entering the game can join without posting until it is his turn for the Big Blind.
  5. A new player cannot be dealt in between the big blind and the small blind, or on the small blind.
  6. A player can be dealt in between the small blind and the button if they elect to buy the Button; this is done by posting both blinds for that hand, and so receiving the Button the next hand, with the players to their left then posting their blinds retrieved from the last hand.
  7. A player posting a blind in the game’s regular structure has the option of raising the pot at the first turn to act. This option to raise is retained if someone goes all-in with a wager of less than the minimum raise.
  8. A player who misses any or all blinds can resume play by either posting the missed Big Blind or waiting for the big blind.
  9. If a player who owes a blind (as a result of a missed blind) is dealt in without posting, the hand is dead if the player looks at it before putting up the required chips and has not yet acted. If the player acts on the hand and plays it, putting chips into the pot before the error is discovered, the hand is live.
  10. A player who goes all-in and loses is not obligated to make up the blinds if they are missed before a rebuy is made. (The person is treated as a new player when re-entering.)
  11. If you move closer to the big blind, you can be dealt in without any penalty. If you play the button and then immediately change seats to avoid the blinds may incur a penalty

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