‘Poker Etiquette’ is an unspoken part of the game that all players should look to adhere to. Following these guidelines will make sure everyone enjoys the game fairly. It goes without saying but following these basic poker etiquette's will avoid unnecessary arguments/disagreements at the table.
New to the game? Not sure how to act round a poker table? Follow these rules to ensure a smooth running night.
We are a friendly, social league so are very lenient on these but do bare in mind if you decide to venture into casino games then you WILL be expected to follow these.
1. Players must protect their hands, either by holding their cards or placing a chip or other object on top of their cards. An unprotected hand may be mucked by the dealer in turn. If the dealer mucks a hand by mistake or if in the Tournament Director’s judgement a hand is mucked and cannot be identified to 100% certainty, the player is not entitled to a refund of called bets. If the player initiated a bet or raise and hasn’t been called, the uncalled amount will be returned to the player.
2. Players should not telegraph or otherwise indicate intentions to act prior to their turn to act. Any player in breach of this rule may be penalised in accordance with Rule 24.
*3. In the event of an action out-of-turn, the player committing that out of turn action will be held to a check. If someone then decides to bet they will be held to a call or fold. This will discourage people from acting out of turn. Players must wait for clear bet amounts before acting. Ex: Player A says “raise” (but no amount), and Player B quickly folds. Player B should wait to act until Player A’s raise amount is clear. Further penalties may be applied in accordance with Rule 24.
4. Verbal declarations are binding and take precedence over non-verbal actions, unless a player has committed chips to the pot prior to making the verbal declaration.
*5. Betting actions without a verbal declaration must be made in a single motion or gesture ("no string bet" rule).Players must use gestures with extreme caution when facing action; ie tapping the table as a check. It is the responsibility of players to make their intentions clear.
*6. In the absence of a verbal declaration of "Raise," if a player puts in chips equal to 150 percent or more of the minimum raise, they will be required to make a full minimum raise. Otherwise, the action is deemed a call and the excess chips should be returned to the player. A raise must be made by A) pushing out the full amount in one motion; B) verbally declaring the full amount prior to pushing out chips; or C) verbally declaring “raise” prior to pushing out the exact call amount then completing the raise in one additional motion. In option C, if anything other than the exact call amount but less than a minimum raise is first put out, it will be ruled a minimum raise. It is the responsibility of players to make their intentions clear. For all betting rules, declaring a specific amount only is the same as silently pushing out an equal amount. Ex: Declaring “two hundred” is the same as silently pushing out 200 in chips
7. In no-limit, an oversized chip before the flop is a call; after the flop, an oversized chip by the initial bettor put in the pot will constitute the size of the bet.
8. Bets and folded cards should be placed in front of the player and across the “play” line. Chips should not be thrown (splashed) into the pot.
*9. The minimum raise is the difference between the previous two bets. For example, the big blind is 200 and someone has bet 600. This is a bet of 200 plus a raise of 400. You would need to raise at least an additional 400 to re-raise the 600 bet so a minimum re-raise would be to 1000 in total. You could raise any amount above 1000 as well as that is the minimum raise. Any raise needs to be more than the previous raise or the big blind. Any raise would need to be either verbally declared or made in one motion. If you raised to 1200 then the next legal raise would be as follows: Previous bet = 600, You raised to 1200 (call of 600 + raise of 600) the next raise would need to be a minimum of 1800 (your bet of 1200 + the raise of 600).
10. An under raise is where a player raises all in but does not have enough chips to make a complete raise as detailed above. Any player who has not acted in the round of betting can call or re-raise. Any player who has previously acted in this round of betting is held to a call or fold.
11. "Show one, show all" – Hole cards, including folded hands, should not be revealed to other players until showdown. If a player who folds reveals their hole cards to another player active in the current hand (provided the player shown is not all in), all players have the right to also see the hole cards. Also, if an uncalled winning hand is shown to only one player, then any other player at the table has a right to see the winning hand.
12. Folding players should not expose hole cards. An uncalled winning hand is not required to be exposed, and it is not recommended to do so.
13. Players may not verbally disclose the contents of their hand at any time during that hand whether they have folded or are still in the hand. Players who do so may be penalised in accordance with Rule 24.
14. Once dealt in players should avoid leaving the table in the middle of that hand, unless they have folded in turn
15. Calling players MAY muck losing hands. The called player MUST show their entire hand (Both Cards).
16. It’s the calling players’ responsibility to know how much they’re calling for. As per highlighted situation, player 1 says ‘ALL-IN’…’550’…next player says ‘CALL’…chips counted, player 1 has 1k+…player 2 still held to call for full amount. Ask for an accurate count before you call.
17. Players or spectators may not advise other players how to play a hand ("One player to a hand" rule). Any player who influences play in this manner may be subject to sanctions in accordance to Rule 24. Any spectator doing so will be asked to leave the area of the table. Any player who does not comply with such requests may be subject to sanctions up to and including expulsion from the league.
18. Cards may not be removed or held below the table or otherwise concealed from view.
19. Players in hands cannot reveal their hole cards to influence the play, or in the case of an all in bet before the showdown i.e. still a player to act. Revealed cards may be folded at the TD’s discretion and players may be sanctioned in accordance with Rule 24.
20. Chips must remain on the table and in full view at all times.
21. Cards speak for themselves and prevail if a player misstates the value of his hand at the showdown.
22. Players may be asked to leave the table if mobile phone use influences play.
23. Threatening behaviour either verbal or physical is strictly prohibited, players are asked to refrain from profanity
24. Anyone deemed to be in constant breach of the rules may be issued with a warning. Any player who continues to breach the rules will be given a penalty consisting of being removed from the table for between 5-15 minutes. During this time the player will pay the blinds as normal. If they persist further in breaching the rules they will be removed from the game.
25. Only the dealer must touch the chips in the pot, even when asking for change, the dealer should be responsible for making change from the pot or asking other players at table to make change. Pot ‘splashing’ is forbidden. When making a bet/call/raise place chips over bet line, do not throw/place chips into pot. No player is allowed to touch another players chips or cards
26. Late arrivals are permitted within the first 2 blind levels only. Players arriving late may only play if no more than 3 players have been eliminated. Within the first blind level players will be docked 1000 or 2000 chips. Within the second blind level players will be docked 2000 or 4000 chips.This will be determined by the venue starting stack of either 7000 or 12000 respectively. No entry will be allowed when level 2 ends. Latecomers will automatically be seated in the next big blind position.
27. Cut the cards to the right, and deal to the left. The cut must be at least 5 cards deep and cut cards MUST be used. The hand will begin when the cards are cut and NOT before. This will also apply to posting of blinds. If they are posted prior to the cards being cut and the blind level changes, the new blind levels MUST be posted.
28. Players away from the table for 2 runs of the dealer button will post a big blind every hand. After 3 x full blind (ie 3 x 15 mins) levels, from the time they leave their seat, their chips will be removed from play.
29. Collusion is where two or more players influence the normal running of the game for their own benefit. Collusion will not be tolerated under any circumstances. In its simplest form collusion is agreeing to play a hand in a certain manner, agreeing to check down a pot when a player is all in or ‘soft play’ not betting against someone because of friendship. Any players who collude will be subject to severe reprimand up to an including expulsion from the league.
30. Bonuses; All bonuses are paid out at the discretion of the TD. Any irregularities regarding the Bonuses will be dealt with by MTTP prior to any bonus being paid out. Full details on the operation of the bonuses are available under the rules section of www.mttpoker.com.
31. Rabbit Hunting is not allowed. This is where dealers show the cards that would have come out after the hand is finished.
32. Players where possible must shuffle in a manner that does not allow them to see the cards. Prior to commencing play after a break the cards must be spread on the table and comprehensively shuffled (known as washing the cards).
33. All players are entitled to expect civility and courtesy from one another at MTTPoker events. Any individual who encounters behaviour that is not civil, courteous or is abusive in any way, is encouraged to notify the TD. This shall include, but is not limited to, offensive name calling directed towards a fellow player. This rule would also apply to any player whose personal hygiene has become offensive to players or customers at our venues, as determined by the TD or Landlord. Failure to adhere to this rule may result in sanctions up to and including dismissal from the league.
34. Any player who is deemed by the TD or landlord to be unfit to play poker through drink or drugs will be removed from the game immediately, this will include players who disrupt the game by being unable to complete actions in a timely manner.
35. Players who express a willingness to leave the game either by verbal declaration or physical actions will be asked to 'play normally' or hand their chips in by the TD. Players who continue to disrupt the game may be removed by the TD. *An example of this may be moving all in on every hand because you have to leave.
36. Registration for games will now close 5 mins before the start time advertised on the website/venue posters. i.e. Venue starts at 7.30pm, registration will now close at 7.25pm. This will allow the TD time to get players seated and the game started for the advertised time. Registration will re-open when the game starts to allow for any latecomers who will deducted chips as per rule 26.
37. In the event that a player is dealt 3 cards the hand is declared void. All action in the hand will be disregarded and chips returned to the appropriate player/s who have contributed to the pot. No player should gain any more chips than they have contributed to the pot.
38. The use of social media sites to break any of the MTTPOKER rules will not be tolerated. Poker related abuse or bullying of any player will immediately result in disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion from the league.
39. Any player who registers for the online league, but for any reason is not able to play a hand will be removed from the points for that event.
*40. If a card is exposed during the deal then this card will be deemed the first "burn" card when dealing the flop. If a second card is then exposed the hand in play will be deemed a misdeal. Misdeals include but are not necessarily limited to: 1) 1 or more boxed cards on the initial deal; 2) first card dealt to the wrong seat; 3) cards dealt to a seat not entitled to a hand; 4) a seat entitled to a hand is dealt out; 5) In flop games, if either of the first 2 cards dealt off the deck or any other 2 down cards are exposed by dealer error. In a misdeal, the re-deal is an exact re-play: the button does not move, no new players are seated, and limits stay the same. Cards are dealt to players who were not at their seats for the original deal, then their hands are mucked. The original deal and re-deal count as one hand for a player on penalty, not two.
41. If a card is exposed during the deal of the flop, turn or river before the action has finished on the current round of betting. That card will be put back into the deck and reshuffled.
*42. In the event a player is dealt two cards at the one time as their first hole card ( i.e player 4 has no cards, dealer deals them a card but the two are stuck together, player 5 still has no cards either). In the given example, the bottom card carries to the next player. Players may be dealt 2 consecutive cards on the button.
*43. Final tables will start with a full table. MTTPOKER tables are 8 seated tables, however, the TD may wish to make it a 9 handed final table if this is in the best interest of the game. There must not be a 10 seated final table unless there is a `10 seat table available.
*44. When the pot is deemed a 'split pot', if there is still an odd chip left over the player to the left of the dealer will be awarded the chip.
*45. A new level will not be announced until the clock reaches zero. The new level applies to the next hand. A new hand begins on either the first shuffle or at a moment specified by the Tournament Director.
*46. At scheduled chip up breaks, odd chip amounts will be rounded up to the next denomination. Players must have their chips fully visible when a chip up is in progress and are encouraged to witness the chip up to prevent any arguments when re-seating occurs. Tournament Director’s control the number & denomination of chips in play and may chip up at their discretion
*47. Calling the clock will only be approved after reasonable time passes. Any player in the event may request a clock but must be at their seat to call the clock.. If the Tournament Director approves the request, a player has up to 30 seconds to act. If action is not taken before time expires, there will be a 10 second count. If the player does not act by the end of the count, the hand is dead. Tournament Director’s may increase or reduce the time allowed to act and take other steps to fit the game format and stop persistent delays. Any player believed to be deliberately stalling the progress of the game may incur a penalty as per Rule 24
*49. A player must be at their seat when the last card is dealt on the initial deal in order to have a live hand. If a player is dealt in who is not at their seat, they may not play their hand, and the dealer should immediately muck the hand. The only exception to this rule is the Big Bling, they have protection until there has been a "raise". “At your seat” means within reach of your chair. In case of any doubt, the Tournament Director’s decision is final.
*50. A dead button could occur if the small blind was eliminated during the previous hand. The button would be placed in-front of the empty seat.
*60. When heads-up, the small blind has the button and is dealt the last card, and acts first pre-flop and last on all other betting rounds. When starting heads-up play, the button may need to be adjusted to ensure no player has the big blind twice in a row.
*61. Once substantial action occurs a misdeal cannot be declared; the hand must proceed. Substantial Action is either A) any 2 actions in turn, at least one of which puts chips in the pot (i.e. any 2 actions except 2 checks or 2 folds) or B) any combination of 3 actions in turn (check, bet, raise, call, fold).
*62. If the flop has 4 rather than 3 cards, exposed or not, the Tournament Director should be called. The dealer then scrambles the 4 cards face down, the floor randomly selects one as the next burn card and the other 3 are the flop.
*63. If the turn card is prematurely dealt (before the flop action has finished) you must deal the river burn card and deal what would be the river card face down (This ensures the river card will not change once the error has been rectified). The premature turn card is then placed back into the remaining deck which is then re-shuffled. A new turn card should be dealt once the flop action has finished.
*64. Acceptable forms of calling include: A) saying “call”; B) pushing out chips equal to a call; C) silently pushing out a higher denomination chip; or D) silently pushing out multiple chips equal to a call under the Rule 65.
*65. When facing a bet, unless raise is declared first, a multiple-chip bet is a call if every chip is needed to make the call; i.e. removal of just one of the smallest chips leaves less than the call amount. Ex: preflop, 200-400 blinds: Player A raises to 1200 total (an 800 raise), Player B puts out two 1000 chips without declaring raise. This is just a call because removing one 1000 chip leaves less than the amount to call (1200).
*66. Players use unofficial betting terms and gestures at their own risk. These may be interpreted to mean other than what the player intended. Also, if a declared bet can reasonably have multiple meanings, it will be ruled the lesser value. Ex: 200-400 blinds, player declares “I bet five.” If it is unclear whether “five” means 500 or 5,000, the bet is 500.
*67. Conditional statements of future action are strongly discouraged. At the Tournament Director’s discretion they may be binding and/or penalised. Example: "If you bet, I will raise.” – This is an conditional statement.
*68. Betting should not be used to obtain change. Pushing out more than the intended bet can confuse everyone at the table. All chips pushed out silently are at risk of being counted in the bet. Tournament Director discretion to enforce Rule 65.
*69. If Player A bets all-in and a hidden chip is found behind after a player has called, the chip(s) will be included in the all-in bet.