Poker Rules
Thursday, April 17, 2014

Irregularities

Hold'em | Omaha | Omaha High-Low | Seven-Card Stud | Seven-Card Stud Low (Razz) | Seven-Card Stud High-Low | Lowball | Draw High
  1. In button games, if it is discovered that the button was placed incorrectly on the previous hand, the button and blinds will be corrected for the new hand in a manner that gives every player one chance for each position on the round (if possible).
  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 redress if it becomes fouled or the dealer accidentally kills it.
  3. If a card with a different color back appears during a hand, all action is void and all chips in the pot are returned to the respective bettors. If a card with a different color back is discovered in the stub, all action stands.
  4. 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).
  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 (trying for a freeroll), the player may lose the right to a refund, and the chips may be required to stay in the pot for the next deal.
  6. If there is extra money in the pot on a deal as a result of forfeited money from the previous deal (as per rule #5), or some similar reason, only a player dealt in on the previous deal is entitled to a hand.
  7. A card discovered faceup in the deck (boxed card) will be treated as a meaningless scrap of paper. A card being treated as a scrap of paper will be replaced by the next card below it in the deck, except when the next card has already been dealt facedown to another player and mixed in with other downcards. In that case, the card that was faceup in the deck will be replaced after all other cards are dealt for that round.
  8. 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 as in the previous rule. If the player does not call attention to the joker before acting, then the player has a dead hand.
  9. 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.
  10. One or more cards missing from the deck does not invalidate the results of a hand.
  11. Before the first round of betting, if a dealer deals one additional card, it is returned to the deck and used as the burncard.
  12. Procedure for an exposed card varies with the poker form, and is given in the section for each game. A card that is flashed by a dealer is treated as an exposed card. A card that is flashed by a player will play. To obtain a ruling on whether a card was exposed and should be replaced, a player should announce that the card was flashed or exposed before looking at it. A downcard dealt off the table is an exposed card.
  13. If a card is exposed due to dealer error, a player does not have an option to take or reject the card. The situation will be governed by the rules for the particular game being played.
  14. If you drop any cards out of your hand onto the floor, you must still play them.
  15. 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 boardcard, the card must stand. Whether the error is able to be corrected or not, subsequent cards dealt should be those that would have come if no error had occurred. For example, if two cards were burned, one of the cards should be put back on the deck and used for the burncard on the next round. On the last round, if there was no betting because a player was all-in, the error should be corrected if discovered before the pot has been awarded.
  16. 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.

Hold'em

In hold'em, players receive two downcards as their personal hand (holecards), after which there is a round of betting. Three boardcards are turned simultaneously (called the "flop") and another round of betting occurs. The next two boardcards are turned one at a time, with a round of betting after each card. The boardcards are community cards, and a player may use any five-card combination from among the board and personal cards. A player may even use all of the boardcards and no personal cards to form a hand (play the board). A dealer button is used. The usual structure is to use two blinds, but it is possible to play the game with one blind, multiple blinds, an ante, or combination of blinds plus an ante.

RULES

These rules deal only with irregularities. See the previous chapter, "Button and Blind Use," for rules on that subject.

  1. If the first or second holecard dealt is exposed, a misdeal results. The dealer will retrieve the card, reshuffle, and recut the cards. If any other holecard is exposed due to a dealer error, the deal continues. The exposed card may not be kept. After completing the hand, the dealer replaces the card with the top card on the deck, and the exposed card is then used for the burncard. If more than one holecard is exposed, this is a misdeal and there must be a redeal.
  2. If the dealer mistakenly deals the first player an extra card (after all players have received their starting hands), the card will be returned to the deck and used for the burncard. If the dealer mistakenly deals more than one extra card, it is a misdeal.
  3. If the flop contains too many cards, it must be redealt. (This applies even if it were possible to know which card was the extra one.)
  4. If before dealing the flop, the dealer failed to burn a card, or burned two cards, the error should be rectified if no cards were exposed. The deck must be reshuffled if any cards were exposed.
  5. 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 boardcard, the card must stand. Whether the error is able to be corrected or not, subsequent cards dealt should be those that would have come if no error had occurred. For example, if two cards were burned, one of the cards should be put back on the deck and used for the burncard on the next round. If there was no betting on a round because a player was all-in, the error should be corrected if discovered before the pot has been awarded.
  6. If the dealer burns and turns before a betting round is complete, the card(s) may not be used, even if subsequent players elect to fold. Nobody has an option of accepting or rejecting the card. The betting is then completed, and the error rectified in the prescribed manner for that situation.
  7. If the flop needs to be redealt for any reason, the boardcards are mixed with the remainder of the deck. The burncard remains on the table. After shuffling, the dealer cuts the deck and deals a new flop without burning a card. [See "Explanations," discussion #2, for more information on this rule.]
  8. A dealing error for the fourth boardcard is rectified in a manner to least influence the identity of the boardcards that would have been used without the error. The dealer burns and deals what would have been the fifth card in the fourth card's place. After this round of betting, the dealer reshuffles the deck, including the card that was taken out of play, but not including the burncards or discards. The dealer then cuts the deck and deals the final card without burning a card. If the fifth card is turned up prematurely, the deck is reshuffled and dealt in the same manner. [See "Section 16 - Explanations," discussion #2, for more information on this rule.]
  9. You must declare that you are playing the board before you throw your cards away. Otherwise, you relinquish all claim to the pot.

Omaha

Omaha is similar to hold'em in using a three-card flop on the board, a fourth boardcard, and then a fifth boardcard. Each player is dealt four holecards (instead of two) at the start. In order to make a hand, a player must use precisely two holecards with three boardcards. The betting is the same as in hold'em, using a preflop, flop, turn, and river betting rounds. At the showdown, the entire four-card hand should be shown to receive the pot.

RULES OF OMAHA

  1. All the rules of hold'em apply to Omaha except the rule on playing the board, which is not possible in Omaha (because you must use two cards from your hand and three cards from the board).

Omaha High-Low

Omaha is often played high-low split. The player may use any combination of two holecards and three boardcards for the high hand and another (or the same) combination of two holecards and three boardcards for the low hand.

The rules governing kill pots are listed in "Kill Pots."

RULES OF OMAHA HIGH-LOW

  1. All the rules of Omaha apply to Omaha high-low split except as below.
  2. A qualifier of 8-or-better for low is used. This means to win the low half of the pot, a player's hand at the showdown must have five cards of different ranks that are an eight or lower in rank. (An ace is the highest card and also the lowest card.) If there is no qualifying hand for low, the best high hand wins the whole pot.

Seven-Card Stud

Seven-card stud is played with a starting hand of two downcards and one upcard dealt before the first betting round. There are then three more upcards and a final downcard, with a betting round after each, for a total of five betting rounds on a deal played to the showdown. The best five-card poker hand wins the pot. In all fixed-limit games, the smaller bet is wagered for the first two betting rounds, and the larger bet is wagered for the last three betting rounds (on the fifth, sixth, and seventh cards). If there is an open pair on the fourth card, any player has the option of making the smaller or larger bet. Deliberately changing the order of your upcards in a stud game is improper because it unfairly misleads the other players.

RULES OF SEVEN-CARD STUD

  1. If your first or second holecard is accidentally turned up by the dealer, then your third card will be dealt down. If both holecards are dealt up, you have a dead hand and receive your ante back. If the first card dealt faceup would have been the lowcard, action starts with the first hand to that player's left. That player may fold, open for the forced bet, or open for a full bet. (In tournament play, if a downcard is dealt faceup, a misdeal is called.)
  2. The first round of betting starts with a forced bet by the lowest upcard by suit. On subsequent betting rounds, the high hand on board initiates the action (a tie is broken by position, with the player who received cards first acting first).
  3. The player with the forced bet has the option of opening for a full bet.
  4. If the player with the lowcard is all-in for the ante, the person to that player's left acts first. If the player with the lowcard has only enough chips for a portion of the forced bet, the wager is made. All other players must enter for at least the normal amount in that structure.
  5. When the wrong person is designated as low and bets, if the next player has not yet acted, the action will be corrected to the real lowcard, who now must bet. The incorrect lowcard takes back the wager. If the next hand has acted after the incorrect lowcard wager, the wager stands, action continues from there, and the real lowcard has no obligations.
  6. Increasing the amount wagered by the opening forced bet up to a full bet does not count as a raise, but merely as a completion of the bet. For example: In $15-$30 stud, the lowcard opens for $5. If the next player increases the bet to $15 (completes the bet), up to three raises are then allowed when using a three-raise limit.
  7. In all fixed-limit games, when an open pair is showing on fourth street (second upcard), any player has the option of betting either the lower or the upper limit. For example: In a $5-$10 game, if you have a pair showing and are the high hand, you may bet either $5 or $10. If you bet $5, any player then has the option to call $5, raise $5, or raise $10. If a $10 raise is made, then all other raises must be in increments of $10. If the player high with the open pair on fourth street checks, then subsequent players have the same options that were given to the player who was high.
  8. If you are not present at the table when it is your turn to act on your hand, you forfeit your ante and your forced bet, if any. If you have not returned to the table in time to act, the hand will be killed when the betting reaches your seat. (In tournament play, the dealer is instructed to kill the hand of any absent player as soon as all the players have received their entire starting hands.)
  9. If a hand is folded when there is no wager, that seat will continue to receive cards until the hand is killed as a result of a bet (so the fold does not affect who gets the cards to come).
  10. If you pick up your upcards without calling when facing a wager, this is a fold and your hand is dead. This act has no significance at the showdown because betting is over; the hand is live until discarded.
  11. A card dealt off the table is treated as an exposed card.
  12. The dealer announces the lowcard, the high hand, all raises, and all pairs. Dealers do not announce possible straights or flushes (except for specified low-stakes games).
  13. If the dealer burns two cards for one round or fails to burn a card, the cards will be corrected, if at all possible, to their proper positions. If this should happen on a final downcard, and either a card intermingles with a player's other holecards or a player looks at the card, the player must accept that card.
  14. If the dealer burns and deals one or more cards before a round of betting has been completed, the card(s) must be eliminated from play. After the betting for that round is completed, an additional card for each remaining player still active in the hand is also eliminated from play (to later deal the same cards to the players who would have received them without the error). After that round of betting has concluded, the dealer burns a card and play resumes. The removed cards are held off to the side in the event the dealer runs out of cards. If the prematurely dealt card is the final downcard and has been looked at or intermingled with the player's other holecards, the player must keep the card, and on sixth street betting may not bet or raise (because the player now has all seven cards).
  15. If there are not enough cards left in the deck for all players, all the cards are dealt except the last card, which is mixed with the burncards (and any cards removed from the deck, as in the previous rule). The dealer then scrambles and cuts these cards, burns again, and delivers the remaining downcards, using the last card if necessary. If there are not as many cards as players remaining without a card, the dealer does not burn, so that each player can receive a fresh card. If the dealer determines that there will not be enough fresh cards for all of the remaining players, then the dealer announces to the table that a common card will be used. The dealer will burn a card and turn one card faceup in the center of the table as a common card that plays in everyone's hand. The player who is now high using the common card initiates the action for the last round.
  16. An all-in player should receive holecards dealt facedown, but if the final holecard to such a player is dealt faceup, the card must be kept, and the other players receive their normal card.
  17. If the dealer turns the last card faceup to any player, the hand now high on the board using all the upcards will start the action. The following rules apply to the dealing of cards:
    1. If there are more than two players, all remaining players receive their last card facedown. A player whose last card is faceup has the option of declaring all-in (before betting action starts).
    2. If there are only two players remaining and the first player's final downcard is dealt faceup, the second player's final downcard will also be dealt faceup, and the betting proceeds as normal. In the event the first player's final card is dealt facedown and the opponent's final card is dealt faceup, the player with the faceup final card has the option of declaring all-in (before betting action starts).
  18. A hand with more than seven cards is dead. A hand with less than seven cards at the showdown is dead, except any player missing a seventh card may have the hand ruled live. [See "Explanations," discussion #4, for more information on this rule.]
  19. A player who calls a bet even though beaten by an opponent's upcards is not entitled to a refund. (The caller receives information about the opponent that is not available for free.)

Seven-Card Stud Low (Razz)

The lowest-ranking hand wins the pot. Aces are low only, and two aces are the lowest pair. The format is similar to seven-card stud high, except the high card (aces are low) is required to make the forced bet on the first round, and the low hand acts first on all subsequent rounds. Straights and flushes have no ranking, so the best possible hand is 5-4-3-2-A (a wheel). An open pair does not affect the betting limit.

RULES OF RAZZ

  1. All seven-card stud rules apply in razz except as otherwise noted.
  2. The lowest hand wins the pot. Aces are low, and straights and flushes have no effect on the low value of a hand. The best possible hand is 5-4-3-2-A.
  3. The highest card by suit starts the action with a forced bet. The low hand acts first on all subsequent rounds. If the low hand is tied, the first player clockwise from the dealer starts the action.
  4. Fixed-limit games use the lower limit on third and fourth streets and the upper limit on subsequent streets. An open pair does not affect the limit.
  5. The dealer announces all pairs the first time they occur, except pairs of facecards, which are never announced.

Seven-Card Stud High-Low

Seven-card stud high-low split is a stud game which is played both high and low. A qualifier of 8-or-better for low applies to all high-low split games (unless a specific posting to the contrary is displayed). This means to win the low half of the pot, a player's hand at the showdown must have five cards of different ranks that are an eight or lower in rank. (An ace is the highest card and also the lowest card.) If there is no qualifying hand for low, the best high hand wins the whole pot. A player may use any five cards to make the best high hand, and the same or any other grouping of five cards to make the best low hand.

RULES OF SEVEN-CARD STUD HIGH-LOW

  1. All rules for seven-card stud apply to seven-card stud high-low split, except as noted.
  2. A player may use any five cards to make the best high hand and any five cards, whether the same as the high hand or not, to make the best low hand.
  3. An ace is the highest card and also the lowest card.
  4. The low card by suit initiates the action on the first round, with an ace counting as a high card for this purpose. On subsequent rounds, the high hand initiates the action. If the high hand is tied, the first player in the tie clockwise from the dealer acts first. If the high hand is all-in, action proceeds clockwise as if that person had checked.
  5. Straights and flushes do not affect the value of a low hand.
  6. Fixed-limit games use the lower limit on third and fourth streets and the upper limit on subsequent rounds. An open pair on fourth street does not affect the limit.
  7. Splitting pots is determined only by the cards, and not by agreement among players.
  8. When there is an odd chip in a pot, the chip goes to the high hand. If two players split the pot by tying for both the high and the low, the pot shall be split as evenly as possible, and the player with the highest card by suit receives the odd chip. When making this determination, all cards are used, not just the five cards used for the final hand played.
  9. When there is one odd chip in the high portion of the pot and two or more high hands split all or half the pot, the odd chip goes to the player with the high card by suit. When two or more low hands split half the pot, the odd chip goes to the player with the low card by suit.

Lowball

Lowball is draw poker with the lowest hand winning the pot. Each player is dealt five cards facedown, after which there is a betting round. Players are required to open with a bet or fold. The players who remain in the pot after the first betting round now have an option to improve their hand by replacing cards in their hands with new ones. This is the draw. The game is normally played with one or more blinds, sometimes with an ante added. Some betting structures allow the big blind to be called; other structures require the minimum open to be double the big blind. In limit poker, the usual structure has the limit double after the draw (Northern California is an exception). The most popular forms of lowball are ace-to-five lowball (also known as California lowball), and deuce-to-seven lowball (also known as Kansas City lowball). Ace-to-five lowball gets its name because the best hand at that form is 5-4-3-2-A. Deuce-to-seven lowball gets its name because the best hand at that form is 7-5-4-3-2 (not of the same suit). For a further description of the forms of lowball, please see the individual section for each game. All rules governing kill pots are listed in "Kill Pots."

RULES OF LOWBALL

  1. The rules governing misdeals for hold'em and other button games will be used for lowball. [See "Explanations," discussion #7, for more information on this rule.] These rules governing misdeals are reprinted here for convenience.

    "The following circumstances cause a misdeal, provided attention is called to the error before two players have acted on their hands:

    1. The first or second card of the hand has been dealt faceup or exposed through dealer error.
    2. Two or more cards have been exposed by the dealer.
    3. Two or more extra cards have been dealt in the starting hands of a game.
    4. An incorrect number of cards has been dealt to a player, except the button may receive one more card to complete a starting hand.
    5. The button was out of position.
    6. The first card was dealt to the wrong position.
    7. Cards have been dealt out of the proper sequence.
    8. Cards have been dealt to an empty seat or a player not entitled to a hand.
    9. 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."
  2. In limit play, a bet and four raises are allowed in multihanded pots. [See "Explanations," discussion #6, for more information on this rule.]
  3. As a new player, you have two options:
    1. To wait for the big blind.
    2. To kill the pot for double the amount of the big blind.
  4. In a single-blind game, a player who has less than half a blind may receive a hand. However, the next player is obligated to take the blind. If the all-in player wins the pot or buys in again, that player will then be obligated to either take the blind on the next deal or sit out until due for the big blind.
  5. In single-blind games, half a blind or more constitutes a full blind.
  6. In single-blind games, if you fail to take the blind, you may only be dealt in on the blind.
  7. In multiple-blind games, if for any reason the big blind passes your seat, you may either wait for the big blind or kill the pot in order to receive a hand. This does not apply if you have taken all of your blinds and changed seats. In this situation, you may be dealt in as soon as your position relative to the blinds entitles you to a hand (the button may go by you once without penalty).
  8. Before the draw, whether an exposed card must be taken depends on the form of lowball being played; see that form. (The player never has an option.)
  9. On the draw, an exposed card cannot be taken. The draw is completed to each player in order, and then the exposed card is replaced.
  10. A player may draw up to four consecutive cards. If a player wishes to draw five new cards, four are dealt right away, and the fifth card after everyone else has drawn cards. If the last player wishes to draw five new cards, four are dealt right away, and a card is burned before the player receives a fifth card. [See "Explanations," discussion #9, for more information about this rule.]
  11. Five cards constitute a playing hand; more or fewer than five cards after the draw constitutes a fouled hand. Before the draw, if you have fewer than five cards in your hand, you may receive additional cards, provided no action has been taken by the first player to act (unless that action occurs before the deal is completed). However, the dealer position may still receive a missing fifth card, even if action has taken place. If action has been taken, you are entitled on the draw to receive the number of cards necessary to complete a five-card hand.
  12. You may change the number of cards you wish to draw, provided:
    1. No card has been dealt off the deck in response to your request (including the burncard).
    2. No player has acted, in either the betting or indicating the number of cards to be drawn, based on the number of cards you have requested.
  13. If you are asked how many cards you drew by another active player, you are obligated to respond until there has been action after the draw, and the dealer is also obligated to respond. Once there is any action after the draw, you are no longer obliged to respond and the dealer cannot respond.
  14. Rapping the table in turn constitutes either a pass or the declaration of a pat hand that does not want to draw any cards, depending on the situation.
  15. Cards speak (cards read for themselves). However, you are not allowed to claim a better hand than you hold. (Example: If a player calls an "8", that player must produce at least an "8" low or better to win. But if a player erroneously calls the second card incorrectly, such as "8-6" when actually holding an 8-7, no penalty applies.) If you miscall your hand and cause another player to foul his or her hand, your hand is dead. If both hands remain intact, the best hand wins. If a miscalled hand occurs in a multihanded pot, the miscalled hand is dead, and the best remaining hand wins the pot. For your own protection, always hold your hand until you see your opponent's cards.
  16. Any player spreading a hand with a pair in it must announce "pair" or risk losing the pot if it causes any other player to foul a hand. If two or more hands remain intact, the best hand wins the pot.

ACE-TO-FIVE LOWBALL

In ace-to-five lowball, the best hand is any 5-4-3-2-A. Straights and flushes do not count against your hand.

  1. If a joker is used, it becomes the lowest card not present in your hand. The joker is assumed to be in use unless the contrary is posted.
  2. In limit play, check-raise is not permitted (unless the players are alerted that it is allowed).
  3. In limit ace-to-five lowball, before the draw, an exposed card of seven or under must be taken, and an exposed card higher than a seven must be replaced after the deal has been completed. This first exposed card is used as the burncard. [See "Explanations," discussion #8, for more information on this rule.]
  4. In limit play, the "sevens rule" is assumed to be in use (the players should be alerted if it is not). If you check a seven or better and it is the best hand, all action after the draw is void, and you cannot win any money on any subsequent bets. You are still eligible to win whatever existed in the pot before the draw if you have the best hand. If you check a seven or better and the hand is beaten, you lose the pot and any additional calls you make. If there is an all-in bet after the draw that is less than half a bet, a seven or better may just call and win that bet. However, if another player overcalls this short bet and loses, the person who overcalls receives the bet back. If the seven or better completes to a full bet, this fulfills all obligations.

DEUCE-TO-SEVEN LOWBALL

In deuce-to-seven lowball (sometimes known as Kansas City lowball), in most respects, the worst conventional poker hand wins. Straights and flushes count against you, crippling the value of a hand. The ace is used only as a high card. Therefore, the best hand is 7-5-4-3-2, not all of the same suit. The hand 5 4 3 2 A is not considered to be a straight, but an ace-5 high, so it beats other ace-high hands and pairs, but loses to king-high. A pair of aces is the highest pair, so it loses to any other pair.

The rules for deuce-to-seven lowball are the same as those for ace-to-five lowball, except for the following differences:

  1. The best hand is 7-5-4-3-2 of at least two different suits. Straights and flushes count against you, and aces are considered high only.
  2. Before the draw, an exposed card of 7, 5, 4, 3, or, 2 must be taken. Any other exposed card must be replaced (including a 6).
  3. Check-raise is allowed on any hand after the draw, and a seven or better is not required to bet.

NO-LIMIT AND POT-LIMIT LOWBALL

  1. All the rules for no-limit and pot-limit poker (see Section 14 - No-limit and Pot-limit) apply to no-limit and pot-limit lowball. All other lowball rules apply, except as noted.
  2. A player is not entitled to know that an opponent does not hold the best possible hand, so these rules for exposed cards before the draw apply:
    1. In ace-to-five lowball, a player must take an exposed card of A, 2, 3, 4, or 5, and any other card must be replaced.
    2. In deuce-to-seven lowball, the player must take an exposed card of 2, 3, 4, 5, or 7, and any other card including a 6 must be replaced.
  3. After the draw, any exposed card must be replaced.
  4. After the draw, a player may check any hand without penalty (The sevens rule is not used).
  5. Check-raise is allowed.

Draw High

There are two betting rounds, one before the draw and one after the draw. The game is played with a button and an ante. Players in turn may check, open for the minimum, or open with a raise. After the first betting round the players have the opportunity to draw new cards to replace the ones they discard. Action after the draw starts with the opener, or next player proceeding clockwise if the opener has folded. The betting limit after the draw is twice the amount of the betting limit before the draw. Some draw high games allow a player to open on anything; others require the opener to have a pair of jacks or better.

RULES OF DRAW HIGH

  1. A maximum of a bet and four raises is permitted in multihanded pots. [See "Explanations," discussion #6, for more information on this rule.]
  2. Check-raise is permitted both before and after the draw.
  3. Any card that is exposed by the dealer before the draw must be kept.
  4. Five cards constitute a playing hand. Less than five cards for a player (other than the button) before action has been taken is a misdeal. If action has been taken, a player with fewer than five cards may draw the number of cards necessary to complete a five-card hand. The button may receive the fifth card even if action has taken place. More or fewer than five cards after the draw constitutes a fouled hand.
  5. A player may draw up to four consecutive cards. If a player wishes to draw five new cards, four are dealt right away, and the fifth card after everyone else has drawn cards. If the last player wishes to draw five new cards, four are dealt right away, and a card is burned before the player receives a fifth card. [See "Explanations," discussion #9, for more information about this rule.]
  6. You may change the number of cards you wish to draw, provided:
    1. No cards have been dealt off the deck in response to your request (including the burncard).
    2. No player has acted, in either the betting or indicating the number of cards to be drawn, based on the number of cards you have requested.
  7. If you are asked how many cards you drew by another active player, you are obligated to respond until there has been action after the draw, and the dealer is also obligated to respond. Once there is any action after the draw, you are no longer obliged to respond and the dealer cannot respond.
  8. On the draw, an exposed card cannot be taken. The draw is completed to each player in order, and then the exposed card is replaced.
  9. Rapping the table in turn constitutes either a pass or the declaration of a pat hand that does not want to draw any cards, depending on the situation. A player who indicates a pat hand by rapping the table, not knowing the pot has been raised, may still play his or her hand.
  10. You may not change your seat between hands when there are multiple antes or forfeited money in the pot.
  11. You have the right to pay the ante (whether single or multiple) at any time and receive a hand, unless there is any additional money in the pot that has been forfeited during a hand in which you were not involved.
  12. If the pot has been declared open by an all-in player playing for just the antes, all callers must come in for the full opening bet.
  13. If you have only a full ante and no other chips on the table, you may play for just the antes. If no one opens and there is another ante, you may still play for that part of the antes that you have matched, without putting in any more money.

JACKS-OR-BETTER

  1. A pair of jacks or better is required to open the pot. If no player opens the pot, the button moves forward and each player must ante again, unless the limit of antes has been reached for that particular game. (Most games allow three consecutive deals before anteing stops.)
  2. If the opener should show false openers before the draw, any other active player has the opportunity to declare the pot opened. However, any player who originally passed openers is not eligible to declare the pot open. The false opener has a dead hand and the opening bet stays in the pot. Any other bet placed in the pot by the opener may be withdrawn, provided the action before the draw is not completed. If no other player declares the pot open, all bets are returned except the opener's first bet. The first bet and antes will remain in the pot, and all players who were involved in that hand are entitled to play the next hand after anteing again.
  3. Any player who has legally declared the pot opened must prove openers in order to win the pot.
  4. In all cases, the pot will play (even if the opener shows or declares a fouled hand) if there has been a raise, two or more players call the opening bet, or all action is completed before the draw.
  5. Even if you are all in for just the ante (or part of the ante), you may declare the pot open if you have openers. If you are all in and falsely declare the pot open, you will lose the ante money and may not continue to play on any subsequent deals until a winner is determined. Even if you buy in again, you must wait until the pot has been legally opened and someone else has won it before you can resume playing.
  6. Once action has been completed before the draw, the opener may not withdraw any bets, whether or not the hand contains openers.
  7. An opener may be allowed to retrieve a discarded hand to prove openers, at management's discretion.
  8. Any player may request that the opener retain the opening hand and show it after the winner of the pot has been determined.
  9. You may split openers, but you must declare that you are splitting and place all discards under a chip to be exposed by the dealer after the completion of the hand. If you declare that you are splitting openers, but it is determined that you could not possibly have had openers when your final hand is compared with your discards, you will lose the pot.
  10. You are not splitting openers if you retain openers. If you begin with the ace, joker, king, queen of spades, and the ten of clubs, you are not splitting if you throw the ten of clubs away. You are breaking a straight to draw to a royal flush, and in doing so, you have retained openers (ace-joker for two aces).
  11. After the draw, if you call the opener's bet and cannot beat openers, you will not get your bet back. (You have received information about opener's hand that is not free.)

THE JOKER

  1. The players will be alerted as to whether the joker is in use.
  2. The joker may be used only as an ace, or to complete a straight, flush, or straight flush. (Thus it is not a completely wild card.)
  3. If the joker is used to make a flush, it will be the highest card of the flush not present in the hand.
  4. Five aces is the best possible hand (four aces and joker).

The above rules are provided by "Robert's Rules of Poker" which is authored by Robert Ciaffone, better known in the poker world as Bob Ciaffone, a leading authority on cardroom rules. He has done extensive work on rules for the Las Vegas Hilton, The Mirage, and Hollywood Park Casino, and assisted many other cardrooms.
open/closeTop Poker Columns


PokerZone is owned by Casino City, an independent directory and information service not affiliated with any casino. Warning: You must ensure you meet all age and other regulatory requirements before entering a casino or placing a wager. There are hundreds of jurisdictions in the world with Internet access and hundreds of different games and gambling opportunities available on the Internet. Do not assume that Internet gaming sites are in compliance with the rules and regulations of every jurisdiction from which they accept players. YOU are responsible for determining if it is legal for YOU to play any particular game or place any particular wager under the laws of the jurisdiction where you are located.