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JPA uses TDA as "Guidelines" for our nighlty games and our Main Events. We have tweaked the TDA rules to benefit JPA and the Bar Poker Industry as a whole. Tournament Directors (TDs) also have authority to make decisions that they feel "maintain the integrity of the game" as is written in TDA rules. There are many distractions in a bar that do not exist in a casino poker room which is why the TDs make a ruling that "appears" to go against a TDA rule. Please contact Carl or Leilani if you have an issues, but please dont cause a scene in a venue just because you dont agree with a TD's ruling.



2019 Rules Version 1.0 Sept 17, 2019

Longform Version Includes:

Recommended Procedures & Illustration Addendum

Redline italics are changes from 2017

The Poker TDA is a voluntary poker industry association founded in 2001. The TDA mission is to increase global uniformity of poker tournament rules. TDA Rules supplement the conventional rules of this house. In case of conflict with a gaming agency, the agency rules apply.


General Concepts


1:  Floor Decisions

The best interest of the game and fairness are top priorities in decision-making. Unusual circumstances occasionally dictate that common-sense decisions in the interest of fairness take priority over technical rules. Floor decisions are final.


2:  Player Responsibilities

Players should verify registration data and seat assignments, protect their hands, make their intentions clear, follow the action, act in turn with proper terminology and gestures, defend their right to act, keep cards visible and chips correctly stacked, remain at the table with a live hand, table all cards properly when competing at showdown, speak up if they see a mistake, call for a clock when warranted, transfer tables promptly, follow one player to a hand, know and comply with the rules, practice proper etiquette, and generally contribute to an orderly event.


3:  Official Terminology and Gestures

Official betting terms are simple, unmistakable, time-honored declarations like bet, raise, call, fold, check, all-in, complete, and pot (pot-limit only). Regional terms may also meet this test. Also, players must use gestures with caution when facing action; tapping the table is a check. It is the responsibility of players to make their intentions clear: using non-standard terms or gestures is at player’s risk and may result in a ruling other than what the player intended. See also Rules 2 & 42.


4:  Player Identity 

Clothing or other accoutrements must not continuously obscure player identity or become a distraction to the game. House standards will apply in the sole judgment of the TD.

5:  Electronic Devices and Communication

Players may not talk on a phone at the table. Ring tones, music, images, video etc. should be inaudible and non-disturbing to others. Betting apps and charts may not be used by players with live hands. Other devices, tools, photography, videography, and communication must not create a nuisance, delay the game or create competitive advantage and are subject to house and gaming regulations.


6:  Official Language  

English only at the tables.


Seating, Breaking & Balancing Tables


7: Seating at the Begining of the Game

A: Players will choose their own seats at the beginning of the game.  As tables fill up, some players may be asked to move to even out the tables. 

B. The Tournament Directors will have cards on the tables indicating the players that may have to move.  They will be the last players to the table.  If asked to move, take your chips to the new table and begin play.

C:  After the first blind, Rule 11 will be in effect. 


8:  Late Arrivals

A:Late arrivals will fill in where they are needed by the Tournament Director.

B:Players have one hour after the start of the game to play.

C: If a player is going to be more than 15 minutes late, they must inform the Tournament Director via text or phone call. 

D. If a player is coming from an earlier game, the previous TD can call ahead to gain them entry.  They must be able to get to the venue within the hour late limit.


9:  Special Needs

Accommodations for players with special needs will be made when possible.


10:  Breaking Tables

Players from a broken table will be assigned new tables and seats by a random process. They can get any seat including small or big blind or the button and be dealt in except between the SB and button. The TD will select the number of cards for players to be moved.  If there are five players to be moved, the Ace - 5 will be selected.  If the are six players to be moved, the Ace - 6 will be selected.  Players will draw from the selected cards.  They will then move to the corresponding seat.


11:  Balancing Tables and Halting Play

A: To balance in flop & mixed-games, the player to be big blind next moves to the worst position, including single big blind if available, even if that means the seat is big blind twice. Worst position is never the small blind.


B: The table from which a player is moved will be specified by a predetermined procedure.


C: Full-table play will halt on tables 3 or more players short of the table with the most players. Play halts on other formats (ex: 6-hand and turbos) at TDs discretion. TDs may waive halting play and waiver is not a misdeal. As the event progresses, at TD’s discretion tables may be more tightly balanced.


Pots / Showdown


12:  Declarations. Cards Speak at Showdown

Cards speak to determine the winner. Verbal declarations of hand value are not binding at showdown but deliberately miscalling a hand may be penalized. Dealers should read and announce hand values at showdown. Any player, in the hand or not, should speak up if he or she thinks a mistake is made in reading hands or calculating and awarding the pot.


13:  Tabling Cards & Killing Winning Hand  

A: Proper tabling is both 1) turning all cards face up on the table and 2) allowing the dealer and players to read the hand clearly. “All cards” means both hole cards in hold’em, all 4 hole cards in Omaha, all 7 cards in 7-stud, etc.


B: At showdown players must protect their hands while waiting for cards to be read (See also Rule 65). Players who don’t fully table all cards, then muck thinking they’ve won, do so at their own risk. If a hand is not 100% retrievable and identifiable and the TD rules it was not clearly read, the player has no claim to the pot. The TDs decision on whether a hand was sufficiently tabled is final.


C: Dealers cannot kill a properly tabled hand that was obviously the winner.

14:  Live Cards at Showdown 

Discarding non-tabled cards face down does not automatically kill them; players may change their minds and table cards that remain 100% identifiable and retrievable. Cards are killed by the dealer when pushed into the muck or otherwise rendered irretrievable and unidentifiable. 


15: Showdown and Discarding Irregularities

A: If a player tables one card that would make a winning hand, the dealer should advise the player to table all cards. If the player refuses, the floor should be called.


B: If a player bets then discards thinking he or she has won (forgetting another player is still in the hand), the dealer should hold the cards and call the floor (a Rule 58 exception). If cards are mucked and not retrievable and identifiable to 100% certainty, the player is out and not entitled to a refund of called bets. If cards are mucked and the player initiated a bet or raise not yet called, the uncalled amount will be returned.


16:  Face Up for All-Ins

All hands will be tabled without delay once a player is all-in and all betting action by all other players in the hand is complete. No player who is either all-in or has called all betting action may muck his or her hand without tabling. All hands in both the main and side pot(s) must be tabled and are live. See Illustration Addendum.


17:  Non All-In Showdowns & Showdown Order 

A: In a non all-in showdown, if cards are not spontaneously tabled or discarded, the TD may enforce an order of show. The last aggressive player on the final betting round (final street) must table first. If there was no final round bet, the player who would act first in a final betting round must table first (i.e. first seat left of the button in flop games, high hand showing in stud, low hand in razz, etc.). 


B: A non all-in showdown is uncontested if all but one player mucks face down without tabling. The last player with live cards wins and is not required to table the cards.


18:  Asking to See a Hand

A: Players not still in possession of cards at showdown, or who have mucked their cards face down without tabling, lose any rights or privileges to ask to see any hand. 


B: If there was a river bet, any caller has an inalienable right to have the last aggressor’s hand tabled on request (“the hand they paid to see”) provided the caller tabled or retains his or her cards. TDs discretion governs all other requests such as to see the hand of another caller, or if there was no river bet. See Illustration Addendum [adopted 2013].


19:  Playing the Board at Showdown

To play the board, a player must table all hole cards to get part of the pot (See Rule 13-A).


20:  Awarding Odd Chips

First, odd chips will be broken into the smallest denomination in play. Left of the dealer receives extra chip.


21:  Side Pots 

Each side pot will be split separately.


22:  Disputed Hands and Pots

The reading of a tabled hand may be disputed until the next hand begins (see Rule 23). Accounting errors in calculating and awarding the pot may be disputed until substantial action occurs on the next hand. If a hand finishes during a break, the right to any dispute ends 1 minute after the pot is awarded.


23:  New Hand & New Limits 

A new level starts on announcement after the clock reaches zero. The new level applies to the next hand. Hands begin on the first riffle, push of the shuffler button, or on the dealer push. If a hand starts at the prior level by mistake, the hand will continue at the prior level after SA occurs (Rule 36). 


24:  Scheduled Chip Ups 

A: At scheduled chip-ups, the smallest denomination will be exchanged for the next largest chip value.


B: Players must have their chips fully visible and are encouraged to witness the chip up. 


25:  Cards & Chips Kept Visible, Countable, & Manageable. Discretionary Color-Ups 

A: Players, dealers, and the floor are entitled to a reasonable estimation of chip counts; thus, chips should be kept in countable stacks. The TDA recommends clean vertical stacks of 20 same denomination chips each as a standard. Higher denomination chips must be visible and identifiable at all times. If a floorperson cannot look at a chipstack and quickly estimate its value, players likely can’t either.


B: TDs control the number and denominations of chips in play and may color up one or more players at their discretion at any time. Discretionary color ups are to be announced. 


C: Players must keep live hands in plain view at all times.


28:  Rabbit Hunting

Rabbit hunting (revealing cards that would have come if the hand had not ended) is not allowed. 


29:  Calling for a Clock 

Players should act in a timely manner to maintain a reasonable pace of the game. If in TD’s judgement reasonable time has passed, he or she may call the clock or approve a clock request by any player in the event. Players must be at their seats to call for a clock (Rule 30). A player on the clock has up to 25 seconds plus a 5 second countdown to act. If the player faces a bet and time expires, the hand is dead; if not facing a bet, the hand is checked. A tie goes to the player. TDs may adjust the time allowed and take other steps to fit the game and stop persistent delays. See also Rules 2 and 70.


Player Present / Eligible for Hand


30:  At Your Seat and Live Hands 

A:To have a live hand, players must be at their seats when its their turn to act . Players not then at their seats may not look at their cards which are killed immediately. Their posted blinds are forfeit to the pot. “At your seat” means in reach of your chair. This rule is not intended to encourage players to be out of their seats while in a hand.

B. Players that miss two consecutive sets of blinds will be disqualified.

31:  At the Table with Action Pending 

Players with live hands (including players all-in or otherwise finished betting) must remain at the table for all betting rounds and showdown. Leaving the table is incompatible with protecting your hand and following the action and is subject to penalty.


Button / Blinds


32:  Dead Button 

Tournament play will use a dead button.


33:  Dodging Blinds 

Players who intentionally dodge any blind [eliminated: when moving from a broken table] will incur a penalty.


34:  Button in Heads-up 

Heads-up, the small blind is the button, is dealt the last card, and acts first pre-flop and last on all other betting rounds. Starting heads-up play, the button may need to be adjusted to ensure no player has the big blind twice in a row.


Dealing Rules


35:  Misdeals and Fouled Decks

A: Misdeals include but are not necessarily limited to: 1) 2 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;


B: Players may be dealt 2 consecutive cards on the button (see also Rule 37).  


C: 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 on penalty or not at their seats for the original deal (Rule 30), then their hands are killed. The original deal and re-deal count as one hand for a player on penalty, not two. 


D: Once substantial action occurs a misdeal cannot be declared; the hand must proceed (See Rule 36).


E: Fouled decks will be as defined by local gaming regulations and house policy. If a fouled deck is discovered, regardless of SA, play will stop and all bets will be returned. Once a hand concludes, the right to dispute based on a fouled deck ends according to Rule 22.


36:  Substantial Action (SA) 

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). Posted blinds do not count towards SA. See Rules 35-D & 53-B.

37: Button with Too Few Cards

A player on the button dealt too few cards should announce it immediately. Missing button cards may be replaced even after substantial action if permitted for the game type. However, if the button acts on a hand with too few cards (by check or bet), the button’s hand is dead.


38:  Burns After Substantial Action

The burn card is to protect the stub, not “preserve card order”. If SA occurs and a hand is killed due to the wrong number of cards, all cards of the killed hand are mucked and randomness applies to further dealing (See also RP-14 Randomness). The stub is treated as a normal stub and one and only one card is burned off the stub for each subsequent street. See Illustration Addendum.


39:  Four-Card Flops and Premature Cards 

If the flop has 4 rather than 3 cards, exposed or not, the floor will 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 (See also RP-14 Randomness). For prematurely dealt cards, see Recommended Procedure 5.

RP-5. Prematurely Dealt Cards

Board and burn cards are sometimes dealt prematurely, before action on the preceding round is finished. The general procedures for these situations are:


A: Premature flop, leave the flop burn card as the burn. Return the premature board cards to the deck stub and reshuffle the entire stub. Re-deal the flop (without another burn) from the newly shuffled stub.


B: A premature turn card is put to the side. Another card is burned, and the normal river card is used as the new turn card. After action on the turn, the premature turn card is placed back in the stub, the stub is reshuffled, and a river card is dealt without another burn. 


C: A premature river card is placed back into the remaining stub, and the premature river burn card is left as the river burn. Once action on the turn is completed, reshuffle the stub and deal the river without a new burn card.


Play: Bets & Raises


40:  Methods of Betting: Verbal and Chips 

A: Bets are by verbal declaration and/or pushing out chips. If a player does both, whichever is first defines the bet. If simultaneous, a clear and reasonable verbal declaration takes precedence, otherwise the chips play. In unclear situations or where verbal and chips are contradictory, the TD will determine the bet based on the circumstances and Rule 1. See Illustration Addendum. See also Rule 57.


B: Verbal declarations may be general (“call”, “raise”), a specific amount only (“one thousand”) or both (“raise, one thousand”).


C: 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.


41:  Methods of Calling

Standard and acceptable forms of calling include: A) saying “call”; B) pushing out chips equal to a call; C) silently pushing out an overchip; or D) silently pushing out multiple chips equal to a call under the multi-chip rule (Rule 45). Silently betting chip(s) relatively tiny to the bet (ex: blinds 2k-4k. A bets 50k, B then silently puts out one 1k chip) is non-standard, strongly discouraged, subject to penalty, and will be interpreted at TDs discretion, including being ruled a full call. 


42:  Methods of Raising 

In no-limit or pot-limit, 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. [C: two-motion raises eliminated]. It is the responsibility of players to make their intentions clear. 


43:  Raise Amounts

A: A raise must be double the previous full bet or raise of the current betting round. A player who raises 50% or more of the largest prior bet but less than a minimum raise must make a full minimum raise. If less than 50% it is a call unless “raise” is first declared or the player is all-in (Rule 45-B). Declaring an amount or pushing out the same amount of chips is treated the same (Rule 40-C). Ex: NLHE, opening bet is 1000, verbally declaring “Fourteen hundred” or silently pushing out 1400 in chips are both calls unless raise is first declared. See Illustration Addendum. 

B:  After the flop, a player goes all-in for less than the big blind.  The other players have three options.  They can fold,  call the lower amount (not whatever the big blind is) or they can raise.  If they choose to raise they have to raise at least to the minimum bet before the all-in action. 


For example:  Blinds are 200/400.  Four people are in the hand after the flop.  The first player to act goes all-in for 75.  The next two players both call the 75.  The fourth player want to raise.  He has to raise at least to 400.


B: Without other clarifying information, declaring raise and an amount is the total bet. Ex: A opens for 2000, B declares “Raise, eight thousand.” The total bet is 8000.


44:  Oversized Chip Betting (Overchips) 

If facing a bet or blind, pushing out a single oversized chip (including your last chip) is a call if raise isn’t first declared. To raise with an overchip you must declare raise before the chip hits the table surface. If raise is declared but no amount is stated, the raise is the maximum allowable for the chip. If not facing a bet, pushing out an overchip silently (no declaration) is a bet of the maximum for the chip.


45:  Multiple Chip Betting 

A: If facing a bet, unless raise or all-in is declared first, a multiple-chip bet (including a bet of your last chips) 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-1: Player A opens for 400: B raises to 1100 total (a 700 raise), C puts out one 500 and one 1000 chip silently. This is a call because removing the 500 chip leaves less than the 1100 call amount. Ex-2: NLHE 25-50. Post-flop A opens for 1050 and B puts out his last chips (two 1000’s). B calls unless raise or all-in was first declared.

B: If every chip is not needed to make the call; i.e. removal of just one of the smallest chips leaves the call amount or more: 1) if the player has chips remaining, the bet is governed by the 50% standard in Rule 43; 2) A bet of a player’s last chip(s) is an all-in bet whether reaching the 50% threshold or not. See Illustration Addendum.


46:  Prior Bet Chips Not Pulled In

A: To avoid confusion, players with prior-bet chips not yet pulled in who face a raise should verbalize their action before adding chips to the prior bet. 


B: If facing a raise, clearly pulling back a prior bet chip binds a player to call or raise; he or she may not put the chip(s) back out and fold.


C: If new chip(s) are added silently and the bet is unclear to the house, the call and raise rules 41-45 apply as follows: 1) If prior chips don’t cover the call AND are either left alone OR fully pulled back, an overchip is a call and multiple new chips are subject to the 50% raise standard (Rule 43). 2) If prior chips are partly pulled back OR if prior chips cover the call, the combined final chip bet is a raise if reaching the 50% standard (Rules 43 & 45), if less it is a call. See Illustration Addendum.


47: Re-Opening the Bet.

A: In no-limit and pot limit, an all-in wager (or cumulative multiple short all-ins) totaling less than a full bet or raise will not reopen betting for players who have already acted and are not facing at least a full bet or raise when the action returns to them. If multiple short all-ins re-open the betting, the minimum raise is always the last full valid bet or raise of the round (See also Rule 43).


B: In limit, at least 50% of a full bet or raise is required to re-open betting for players who have already acted. See Illustration Addendum.


48:  Number of Allowable Raises

There is no cap on the number of raises in no-limit and pot-limit. In limit play, there is a limit to raises even when heads-up until the event is down to 2 players; the house limit applies.


49:  Accepted Action

Poker is a game of alert, continuous observation. It is the caller’s responsibility to determine the correct amount of an opponent’s bet before calling, regardless of what is stated by others. If a caller requests a count but receives incorrect information from a dealer or player, then pushes out that amount or declares call, the caller has accepted the full correct action & is subject to the correct wager or all-in amount. As with all situations, Rule 1 may apply at TD’s discretion. See also RP-12.

50: Acting in Turn 

A: Players must act in turn verbally and/or by pushing out chips. Action in turn is binding and commits chips to the pot that stay in the pot.


B: Players must wait for clear bet amounts before acting. Ex: NLHE, A says “raise” (but no amount), and B quickly folds. B should wait to act until A’s raise amount is clear.


51: Binding Declarations / Undercalls in Turn

A: General verbal declarations in turn (such as “call” or “raise”) commit a player to the full current action. See Illustration Addendum


B: A player undercalls by declaring or pushing out less than the call amount without first declaring “call”. An undercall is a mandatory full call if made in turn facing 1) any bet heads-up or 2) the opening bet on any round multi-way. In other situations, TD’s discretion applies. The opening bet is the first chip bet of each betting round (not a check). In blind games the posted BB is the pre-flop opener. All-in buttons reduce undercall frequency (See Recommended Procedure 1). This rule governs when players must make a full call and when, at TDs discretion they may forfeit the amount of the intended undercall and fold (see Illustration Addendum). For underbets and underraises, see Rule 52.


C: If two or more undercalls occur in sequence, play backs up to the first undercaller who must correct his or her bet per Rule 51-B. The TD will determine how to treat hands of the remaining bettors based on the circumstances.


52: Incorrect Bets, Underbets & Underraises

A: In limit and no-limit, opening or raising less than the minimum legal amount is corrected anywhere on the current street (if on the river any time before showdown starts). Ex: NLHE 100-200, post-flop A opens for 600 and B raises to 1000 (a 200 underraise). C and D call, E folds then the error is noticed. Increase the bet to 1200 total for all bettors any time before the turn is dealt. After the turn the error stands. For undercalls, see Rule 51.


53:  Action Out of Turn (OOT)

A: Any action out of turn (check, call, or raise) will be backed up to the correct player in order. The OOT action is subject to penalty and is binding if action to the OOT player does not change. A check, call or fold by the correct player does not change action. If action changes, the OOT action is not binding; any bet or raise is returned to the OOT player who has all options: call, raise, or fold. An OOT fold is binding. See Illustration Addendum.


B: Players skipped by OOT action must defend their right to act. If a skipped player had reasonable time and does not speak up before substantial action (Rule 36) OOT occurs after the player, the OOT action is binding. Action backs up and the floor will rule on how to treat the skipped hand given the circumstances, including ruling the hand dead or limiting the player to non-aggressive action. See Addendum.


54: Declaring “I bet the pot” is not a valid bet in no-limit but it does bind the player to making a valid bet (at least a minimum bet) and may be subject to penalty. Players facing a bet must make a valid raise.


55: Invalid Bet Declarations

If a player faces no bet and: A) declares “call”, it is a check; B) declares “raise”, the player must make at least a minimum bet. A player declaring “check” when facing a bet may call or fold, but cannot raise.


56:  String Bets and Raises 

Dealers will call string bets and raises.


57:  Non-Standard & Unclear Betting

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 legally have multiple meanings, it will be ruled the highest reasonable amount that is less than or equal to the pot size* before the bet. Ex: NLHE 200-400, the pot totals less than 5000, player declares “I bet five.” With no other clarifying information, the bet is 500; if the pot totals 5000 or more, the bet is 5000. *The pot is the total of all prior bets including any bets in front of a player not yet pulled in. See Rules 2, 3, 40 & 42.


58:  Non-Standard Folds

Any time before the end of the final betting round, folding in turn if there’s no bet to you (ex: facing a check or first to act post-flop) or folding out of turn are binding folds subject to penalty. See also 15-B.

59:  Conditional & Premature Declarations

A: Conditional statements of future action are non-standard and strongly discouraged. At TDs discretion they may be binding and/or penalized. Example: “if – then” statements such as "If you bet, I will raise.”


B: If Player A declares “bet” or “raise” and B calls before A’s exact bet amount is known, the TD will rule the bet as best fits the situation including possibly obliging B to call any amount.


60:  Count of Opponent’s Chip Stack

Players, dealers, and the floor are entitled to a reasonable estimation of opponents’ chip stacks (Rule 25). A player may request a more precise count only if facing an all-in bet and it is his or her turn to act. The all-in player is not required to count; on request the dealer or floor will count it. Accepted action applies (Rule 49). Visible and countable chip stacks (Rule 25) greatly improve counting accuracy.


61:  Over-Betting Expecting Change

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. Ex: the opening bet is 325 to player A who silently puts out 525 (one 500 and one 25), expecting 200 change. This is a raise to 650 under the multiple chip rule (Rule 45).


62: All-In with Chips Found Behind Later

If A bets all-in and a hidden chip is found behind after a player calls, the TD will determine if the chip behind is part of accepted action (Rule 49). If not part of the action, A is not paid off for the chip(s) if he or she wins. If A loses, he or she is not saved by the chip(s) and the TD may award the chip(s) to the winning caller.


Play: Other


63:  Chips Out of View and in Transit

Players may not hold or transport chips in a way that takes them out of view. A player who does so will forfeit the chips and may be disqualified. The forfeited chips will be taken out of play. The TDA recommends the house provide racks or bags to transport chips when needed.


64: Lost and Found Chips

Lost and found chips for which ownership cannot be determined will be taken out of play and returned to tournament inventory.

65:  Accidentally Killed / Fouled / Exposed Hands

A: Players must protect their hands at all times, including at showdown while waiting for hands to be read. If the dealer kills a hand by mistake or if in TDs judgement a hand is fouled and cannot be identified to 100% certainty, the player has no redress and 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. 


B: If a hand is fouled but can be identified, it remains in play despite any cards exposed.


66:  Dead Hands and Mucking in Stud

In stud poker, if a player picks up the upcards while facing action, the hand is dead. Proper mucking in stud is turning down all up cards and pushing them all forward face down.


Etiquette & Penalties


67:  No Disclosure. One Player to a Hand 

Players must protect other players in the tournament at all times. Therefore players, whether in the hand or not, must not:

     1.  Discuss contents of live or mucked hands,

     2.  Advise or criticize play at any time,

     3.  Read a hand that hasn't been tabled.

One-player-to-a-hand is in effect. Among other things, this rule prohibits showing a hand to or discussing strategy with another player, advisor, or spectator.


68:  Exposing Cards and Proper Folding

Exposing cards with action pending, including the current player when last to act, may result in a penalty but not a dead hand. Any penalty begins at the end of the hand. When folding, cards should be pushed forward low to the table, not deliberately exposed or tossed high (“helicoptered”). See Rule 66.


69:  Ethical Play 

Poker is an individual game. Soft play will result in penalties, which may include chip forfeiture and/or disqualification. Chip dumping and other forms of collusion will result in disqualification.


70: Etiquette Violations

Etiquette violations are subject to enforcement actions in Rule 71. Examples include but are not limited to: persistent delay of the game, unnecessarily touching another player’s person, cards or chips, repeatedly acting out of turn, maintaining poor card or chip visibility and countability, betting out of reach of the dealer, abusive conduct, offensive hygiene, and excessive chatter. 


71:  Warnings, Penalties, & Disqualification 

A: Enforcement options include verbal warnings, one or more “missed hand” or “missed round” penalties, and disqualification. For missed rounds, the offender will miss one hand for every player (including him or her) at the table when the penalty is given multiplied by the number of penalty rounds. Repeat infractions are subject to escalating penalties. Players away from the table or on penalty may be anted or blinded out of a tournament.


B: A penalty may be invoked for etiquette violations (Rule 70), card exposure with action pending, throwing cards, violating one-player-to-a-hand, or similar incidents. Penalties will be given for soft play, abuse, disruptive behavior, or cheating. Checking the exclusive nuts when last to act on the river is not an automatic soft play violation; TD’s discretion applies based on the situation.


C: Players on penalty must be away from the table. Cards are dealt to their seats, their blinds and antes posted, their hands are killed after the initial deal, and if dealt the stud bring-in they must post the bring-in.


D: Chips of a disqualified player shall be removed from play.

E. Penalties for violations: 1st violation - verbal warning, 2nd violation - miss a hand,  3rd violation - miss a round and 4th violation - disqualified.


RP-1. All-In Buttons

All-in buttons clearly indicate a player is “all-in.” The dealer should keep the buttons (not each player). When a player bets all-in, the dealer places an all-in button in front of the player, in full view of the rest of the table. 


RP-2. Bringing in Bets is Discouraged

Routinely bringing in chips as betting and raising proceeds around the table is poor dealing practice. Reducing bet stacks can influence action, create confusion & increase errors. [Eliminated: Dealers should not touch a player's bet unless a count is needed]. Only the player currently facing action may ask the dealer to bring-in bets.

RP-3. Personal Belongings

The table surface is vital for chip stack management, dealing, and betting. The table and nearby spaces (legroom & walkways) must not be cluttered by non-essential personal items. Each cardroom should clearly display its policy on items allowed in the tournament area. 


RP-4. Disordered Stub

When cards remain to be dealt on a hand and the stub is accidentally dropped and appears to be disordered: 1) first try to reconstruct the stub in its original order if possible; 2) If not possible, create a new stub using only the stub cards (not the muck & prior burns). These should be scrambled, shuffled, cut, & play proceeds with the new stub; 3) If when dropped the stub is mixed in with the muck and/or burns, then scramble the mixed cards together, shuffle, and cut. Play proceeds with the new stub. 


RP-5. Prematurely Dealt Cards

Board and burn cards are sometimes dealt prematurely, before action on the preceding round is finished. The general procedures for these situations are:


A: Premature flop, leave the flop burn card as the burn. Return the premature board cards to the deck stub and reshuffle the entire stub. Re-deal the flop (without another burn) from the newly shuffled stub.


B: A premature turn card is put to the side. Another card is burned, and the normal river card is used as the new turn card. After action on the turn, the premature turn card is placed back in the stub, the stub is reshuffled, and a river card is dealt without another burn. 


C: A premature river card is placed back into the remaining stub, and the premature river burn card is left as the river burn. Once action on the turn is completed, reshuffle the stub and deal the river without a new burn card.


D: For a premature card in stud, additional cards are dealt and placed to the side along with the premature card(s) to represent an entire round of cards for the remaining live players. Once action on the round is complete, burn and deal the next street as normal. On the final street the premature and additional cards set aside are placed back into the stub. Re-shuffle the stub and deal the final street.


RP-6. Efficient Movement of Players 

Moving players for breaking and balancing should be expeditious so as not to unduly miss blinds or otherwise delay the game. If possible, players should have racks for chip transport and sufficient color-ups should be done so players do not carry unusually large numbers of chips (see Rules 10, 11 & 63).  


RP-7: Hand for Hand Procedures

A: Payoff eligibility starts at the announcement: “finish the current hand you’re on then hold up, we are going hand for hand”. If enough players bust on the current hand to break into the money, the busting players will be eligible for a share of the place(s) paid on the current hand. Example: NLHE tournament paying 50 players. 52 players remain when the announcement is made and during the current hand 3 players bust. All 3 players will share in the 50th place payout.


B: Players are encouraged but not required to remain seated during H4H play.


C: In the event of an all-in and call during H4H, the cards of all players in the hand should remain face down. Dealers should not deal additional cards until instructed.

Illustration Addendum 2019 Rules can be found on the Poker TDA app!

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