Robert's Rules of Poker was written by Robert Ciaffone. The goal of this rulebook is to produce the best set of rules in existence, and make it generally available, so any person or cardroom can useBob Ciaffone is one of America’s best-known poker players, writers, and teachers. He has numerous poker tournament wins and placings, the most prominent being third place in the 1987 World Championship. He has been a poker teacher since 1995, with his students having earned well over a million dollars in tournament play. Bob's website is www.pokercoach.us it who so desires. The purpose is the betterment of poker.
The following section concerns the general rules of poker including the Buy-in, Dead Hands, Irregularities, Betting and Raising, the Showdown, and Ties.
1. When you enter a game, you must make a full buy-in. At limit poker, a full buy-in is at least ten times the maximum bet for the game being played, unless designated otherwise.
2. You are allowed to make only one short buy-in for a game. Adding to your stack is not considered a buy-in, and may be done in any quantity between hands.
3. A player coming from a broken game or must-move game to a game of the same limit may continue to play the same amount of money, even if it is less than the minimum buy-in. A player switching games voluntarily must have the proper buy-in size for the new game.
1. The following circumstances cause a misdeal, provided attention is called to the error before two players have acted on their hands. (If two players have acted in turn, the deal must be played to conclusion, as explained in rule #2)
2. Once action begins, a misdeal cannot be called. The deal will be played, and no money will be returned to any player whose hand is fouled. In button games, action is considered to occur when two players after the blinds have acted on their hands. In stud games, action is considered to occur when two players after the forced bet have acted on their hands(a) The first or second card of the hand has been dealt faceup or exposed through 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 has 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 may be replaced by the burncard).(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.
1. Your hand is declared dead if:
(a) You fold or announce that you are folding when facing a bet or a raise.(b) You throw your hand away in a forward motion causing another player to act behind you (even if not facing a bet).(c) In stud, when facing a bet, you pick your upcards off the table, turn your upcards facedown, or mix your upcards and downcards together.(d) The hand does not contain the proper number of cards for that particular game (except at stud a hand missing the final card may be ruled live, and at lowball and draw high a hand with too few cards before the draw is live). [See Section 16 - “Explanations,” discussion #4, for more information on the stud portion of this rule.](e) You act on a hand with a joker as a holecard 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, as given in Irregularities, rule #8.)(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 may be ruled dead. However, a hand that is clearly identifiable may be retrieved and ruled live at management's discretion if doing so is in the best interest of the game. We will make an extra effort to rule a hand retrievable if it was folded as a result of incorrect information given to the player.
3. Cards thrown into another player's hand are dead, whether they are faceup or facedown.
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.
BETTING AND RAISING
1. Check-raise is permitted in all games, except in certain forms of lowball.
2. In no-limit and pot-limit games, unlimited raising is allowed.
3. In limit poker, for a pot involving three or more players who are not all-in, these limits on raises apply:
4. Unlimited raising is allowed in heads-up play. This applies any time the action becomes heads-up before the raising has been capped. Once the raising is capped on a betting round, it cannot be uncapped by a subsequent fold that leaves two players heads-up.(a) A game with three or more betting rounds allows a maximum of a bet and three raises.(b) A game with two betting rounds (such as lowball or draw) allows a maximum of a bet and four raises. [See “Section 16 - Explanations,” discussion #6, for more information on this rule.]
5. Any wager not all-in must be at least the size of the previous bet or raise in that round.
6. In limit play, an all-in wager of less than half a bet does not reopen the betting for any player who has already acted and is in the pot for all previous bets. A player who has not yet acted (or had the betting reopened to him by another player's action), facing an all-in wager of less than half a bet, may fold, call, or complete the wager. An all-in wager of a half a bet or more is treated as a full bet, and a player may fold, call, or make a full raise. (An example of a full raise on a $20 betting round is raising a $15 all-in bet to $35.) Multiple all-in wagers, each of an amount too small to individually qualify as a raise, still act as a raise and reopen the betting if the resulting wager size to a player qualifies as a raise.
7. The smallest chip that may be wagered in a game is the smallest chip used in the antes, blinds, rake, or collection. (Certain games may use a special rule that does not allow chips used only in house revenue to play.) Smaller chips than this do not play even in quantity, so a player wanting action on such chips must change them up between deals. If betting is in dollar units or greater, a fraction of a dollar does not play. A player going all-in must put all chips that play into the pot.
8. A verbal statement denotes your action and is binding. If in turn you verbally declare a fold, check, bet, call, or raise, you are forced to take that action.
9. Rapping the table with your hand is a pass.
10. Deliberately acting out of turn will not be tolerated. A player who checks out of turn may not bet or raise on the next turn to act. An action or verbal declaration out of turn may be ruled binding if there is no bet, call, or raise by an intervening player acting after the infraction has been committed. A player who has called out of turn may not change his wager to a raise under any circumstances.
11. To retain the right to act, a player must stop the action by calling “time” (or an equivalent word). Failure to stop the action before three or more players have acted behind you may cause you to lose the right to act. You cannot forfeit your right to act if any player in front of you has not acted, only if you fail to act when it legally becomes your turn. Therefore, if you wait for someone whose turn comes before you, and three or more players act behind you, this still does not hinder your right to act.
12. In limit poker, if you make a forward motion with chips and thus cause another player to act, you may be forced to complete your action.
13. A player who bets or calls by releasing chips into the pot is bound by that action and must make the amount of the wager correct. (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.) However, if you are unaware that the pot has been raised, you may withdraw that money and reconsider your action, provided that no one else has acted after you. At pot-limit or no-limit betting, if there is a gross misunderstanding concerning the amount of the wager, see Section 14, Rule 8.
14. String raises are not allowed. To protect your right to raise, you should either declare your intention verbally or place the proper amount of chips into the pot. Putting a full bet plus a half-bet or more into the pot is considered to be the same as announcing a raise, and the raise must be completed. (This does not apply in the use of a single chip of greater value.)
15. If you put a single chip in the pot that is larger than the bet, but do not announce a raise, you are assumed to have only called. Example: In a $3-$6 game, when a player bets $6 and the next player puts a $25 chip in the pot without saying anything, that player has merely called the $6 bet.
16. All wagers and calls of an improperly low amount must be brought up to proper size if the error is discovered before the betting round has been completed. This includes actions such as betting a lower amount than the minimum bring-in (other than going all-in) and betting the lower limit on an upper limit betting round. If a wager is supposed to be made in a rounded off amount, is not, and must be corrected, it shall be changed to the proper amount nearest in size. No one who has acted may change a call to a raise because the wager size has been changed.
1. To win any part of a pot, a player must show all of his cards faceup on the table, whether they were used in the final hand played or not.
2. Cards speak (cards read for themselves). 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. (For more information on miscalling a hand see “Section 11 - Lowball,” Rule 15 and Rule 16.)
3. Any player, dealer, or floorperson 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. Please help keep mistakes of this nature to a minimum.
4. All losing hands will be killed by the dealer before a pot is awarded.
5. Any player who has been dealt in may request to see any hand that is eligible to participate in the showdown, even if the opponent's hand or the winning hand has been mucked. However, this is a privilege that may be revoked if abused. 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.
6. 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. If the player who saw the cards is not involved in the deal, 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. Cards shown to a person who has no more wagering decisions on that betting round, but might use the information on a later betting round, should be shown to the other players at the conclusion of that betting round. If only a portion of the hand has been shown, there is no requirement to show any of the unseen cards. The shown cards are treated as given in the preceding part of this rule.
7. If everyone checks (or is all-in) on the final betting round, the player who acted first 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 raise is the first to show the hand. In order to speed up the game, a player holding a probable winner is encouraged to show the hand without delay. If there is a side pot, players involved in the side pot should show their hands before anyone who is all-in for only the main pot.
1. The ranking of suits from highest to lowest is spades, hearts, diamonds, clubs. Suits never break a tie for winning a pot. Suits are used to break a tie between cards of the same rank (no redeal or redraw).
2. Dealing a card to each player is used to determine things like who moves to another table. If the cards are dealt, the order is clockwise starting with the first player on the dealer's left (the button position is irrelevant). Drawing a card is used to determine things like who gets the button in a new game, or seating order coming from a broken game.
3. An odd chip will be broken down to the smallest unit used in the game.
4. No player may receive more than one odd chip.
5. If two or more hands tie, an odd chip will be awarded as follows:
(a) In a button game, the first hand clockwise from the button gets the odd chip.(b) In a stud game, the odd chip will be given to the highest card by suit in all high games, and to the lowest card by suit in all low games. (When making this determination, all cards are used, not just the five cards that constitute the player's hand.)(c) In high-low split games, the high hand receives the odd chip in a split between the high and the low hands. The odd chip between tied high hands is awarded as in a high game of that poker form, and the odd chip between tied low hands is awarded as in a low game of that poker form. If two players have identical hands, the pot will be split as evenly as possible.(d) All side pots and the main pot will be split as separate pots, not mixed together.
ReadyBetGo! is an independent gambling news and information service. If you plan to play in casinos, ensure
that you are not breaking any local laws. It's up to you to know the legality of your actions when you gamble.