Rules


1. The Tournament Directors (TD’s), being all current committee members, are to consider the best interest of the game and fairness to all players as the top priority in the decision-making process. Unusual circumstances can, on occasion, dictate that the technical interpretation of the rules be ignored in the interest of fairness. Their decision is final.

 

Betting Procedures

2. The action of betting is physically defined as the release of chips after a single, forward motion. String betting is not permitted and the bet will stand based on the first forward movement of chips.  In the event of the incorrect amount of chips being bet, if it is over 50% of the amount required to raise then the player must add enough chips up to the minimum requirement for a raise. If the amount of chips placed is less than 50% of the amount required to raise then the bet is considered to be a call and the player is entitled to receive the balance of their chips back. All chips should be placed in front of the bettor until that round of betting is complete. Change will then given and the chips can be placed into pot. No chips should 'splash the pot' when a bet is placed and no player should touch the pot at any time during betting.

3. Above all, verbal declarations in turn are binding. A player who declares a call, raise, or fold, must do so to the limit that the chips allow. If simultaneous declarations are made (tossing in a raise and saying call), the verbal declaration takes precedence.

4. Playing out of turn is not binding if the action changes before it gets to the player who acted out of turn. However, if the play was passive by the out of turn player (call or check) then they do not have the right to change their bet to a raise under any circumstances.

5. After the flop, the minimum bet must be at least the amount of the big blind amount for that hand. In all rounds, the minimum raise amount must include the previous raise amount and at least the same amount again and does not have to be double the bet, it is always the raise amount that is at least doubled.  Bets pre-flop are based on the big blind amount being the initial bet size so the first raise pre-flop must be double the big blind but subsequent bets take into account the most recent raise amount only.  

6. When a player throws in an oversized chip without making a verbal declaration before the flop it is considered to be a call.  After the flop, if the initial bettor throws in an oversized chip the value of the chip will constitute the size of the bet. After the flop, an oversized chip by a player facing a bet will be considered a call.

6a. In the event of no previous raise, the action of the big blind pushing or throwing their chip(s) forwards without an accompanying verbal declaration or gesture, shall be deemed as representing a check and no further betting action or raise can be made until the next round of betting.

6b. If a player is not in the room when the deal commences their cards will be automatically mucked. If a player is in the room or approaching the table when the deal commences their cards will be live if they sit down by the time the deal is completed. If they are not seated, or about to be seated, when the deal is completed their cards will be automatically mucked. Common sense should be used when making decisions about whether player's cards are live or should be mucked.

 

Split Pots, Side Pots, and Going All-in

7. Any player who is all-in must show their cards immediately, at the showdown, if community cards are still to be laid.

8. When a player creates a side pot by going all-in, the side pot will be the current pot plus each call, up to the amount of the all-in. Any raises (or calls in the case of a below the limit all-in) go into the main pot. The player who is all in wins both blinds in additional to any chips from players who have called, as long as the blinds are less then the amount of their all in.

9. At the showdown with a side pot, the player who is all-in can only win the pot set aside when he or she went all-in. After the winner of that hand is resolved, the players involved in the main pot determine the winner without regard to the all-in hand.

10. In case of multiple side pots, a player can only win up to the amount they have put into the pot multiplied by the number of calls up to the all-in amount.


Blinds

11. When heads up, the blinds are reversed. The player on the button deals, is the small blind, and is first to act pre-flop. After the flop the big blind is first to act.

12. When the blind levels are increased, if either the next small or big blind has their chips in position before the computer beeps for the blind level to go up, then the blinds are considered to be in for the next hand and that hand will be played at the lower blind level. This is only valid if the previous hand is completed.

13. When the game is down to three players, if the next player knocked out is in the dealer position (button), then the next deal moves to the player who was previously big blind omitting the player who was previously small blind. The big blind will consequently move to the player who was previously small blind.

 

Chips

14. All chips must be visibly displayed in clear unmixed stacks at all times. Players may not have tournament chips in their pockets at any time. A player who has chips in their pocket will forfeit the chips and the forfeited chips will be taken out of play from the tournament. Players must not hide large denomination chips from view.

15. There will be no foreign chips allowed on the table.

 

Killing A Hand and Dead Hands

16. If a live player leaves during a hand, there will be no minute countdown and the hand will be declared dead.

17. A player must be in the room when the deal commences and at their seat by the time the deal is completed in order to have a live hand otherwise their hand is ruled as dead. Some degree of common sense should be used particularly if a TD is briefly away from the table to peform an act relative to the running of the tournament such as busting a player out of the tournament on the computer or chipping up.

18. If a live hand touches the muck pile (all folded hands) or is moved over the marked lines on the table (or where the lines would be on an unmarked table), it will be ruled dead, however, if any cards in the process of being mucked touch a live hand, that hand shall be deemed as still live and in play, and the mucked cards should be moved to the muck pile, providing the live cards were positioned on the table surround, outside of the marked lines on the table, in a position that would be deemed outside marked lines on a table which has no marked lines, or if the cards are protected by a card guard. In the event of a hand being mucked that player shall not only forfeit all chips already in the pot but will also forfeit any chips that have been declared as a bet prior to the hand being mucked, including an all in declaration. If a player mucks their hand based on a false declaration by a player of their own hand then the TD can retrieve the mucked hand in the interests of fair play, if it is possible to determine what it was, and allow the hand to be in play, and the player who made the false call, be it deliberate or accidental, shall receive a behaviour warning. An intentional misdeclaration of a hand is a serious breach of poker etiquette and persistent offenders may be asked to sit out of a game for a period of time or even be disqualified from a tournament. However, if a player mucks their hand based on an announcement of what a player’s hand may be, made by another player or a spectator then the mucked hand cannot be retrieved and will be considered dead. In the spirit of sportsmanship and etiquette no player should intentionally misdeclare their own hand and no player or spectator should make an announcement of what a player’s hand may be which could mislead a player and cause them to muck their hand before the cards are revealed in the showdown. It is a player’s responsibility to wait until other players in the hand have revealed their cards before mucking their own cards.
18a. No player should touch the muck pile at any time during a live hand and no cards from the muck pile should be exposed at any time by any player while the hand is still live.
19. If a dealer mistakenly kills an unprotected hand (a hand on the playing surface without a card protector), the player will have no redress and will not be entitled to their chips back. An exception would be if a player raised and their raise had not been called yet, the player would be entitled to receive their raise back. If a player mistakenly mucks their cards under the misconception that they have won the hand while heads up, their cards will be deemed dead and the other player shall take the pot. However if the player who has mucked their cards has done so after raising or going all in and the other player has not called the bet then the other player may only win the chips in the pot and/or to the value of their bet or ante from the player who has mucked their cards.
20. A dealer cannot kill a winning hand that was turned face up and was obviously the winning hand.

20a. If a pack of cards is found to have cards missing or duplicated the hand where the error is discovered shall be killed and re-deal with a new pack. However any hands which have already been played will stand and no chips that have already been won shall be returned.

20b. If a player is mistakenly dealt three cards and this is discovered during the deal the hand will be deemed a misdeal and must be re-dealt. If it is discovered before the flop, even if bets have been made, the hand shall be deemed a misdeal and must be re-dealt, and any chips in play should be returned to the bettor(s). If it discovered after the flop, the player(s) with three cards must muck their hand and will forfeit any chips that they have already put into the pot.


Verbal Discussion

21. Players and spectators should refrain from making statements or any comments whilst a hand is live that could unduly influence the course of play. If a player exposes their cards to a spectator without breaching rule 27 and the spectator makes a comment or statement that influences of affects play then that hand will be considered dead and must be mucked.

22. During the hand, a player may not discuss play with other players, spectators, or the dealer, and it is not acceptable under any circumstances to give away information such as “would have hit the flop” / “should have played the hand” or any other such comments that would give information to players remaining in the hand.

Exposing Cards

23. During the initial deal, if any pocket card is exposed due to dealer error, it is a misdeal.

24. A player who accidentally exposes their card or cards during the play may incur a penalty, but will not have their hand killed and the hand will continue as normal. If any player at the table saw the exposed card or cards, every player at the table has a right to know what the exposed card(s) was/were. If a player unintentionally exposes both their cards during play, their hand will not be ruled dead, although they only have passive options left (call or check) until the hand is ended.

25. At the showdown the player to the left of the last to call is the first to show their cards. Subsequent players, going clockwise round the table, may then show their cards, or muck them if they cannot beat a previously shown hand. If the house suspects cheating or collusion, players may be asked to expose their cards to the dealer, TD, and/or the other players. Players must not mis-declare their cards at showdown prior to showing them as this is considered to be bad etiquette.

26. Any player may ask another player to reveal their cards if they were exposed to any other player at the table.

27. If a player deliberately shows their cards to another player at the table while the cards are still live then their cards will be considered dead and must be mucked. If a player deliberately shows their cards to a spectator after the flop while the cards are still live then their cards will be considered dead and must be mucked. A player may not ask to see another player’s cards if they were only revealed to a spectator.
28. If a dealer exposes the next card before it should have been exposed then the card is re-shuffled into the pack and play shall continue as normal. If potential burn cards only are exposed they should remain face up for all players to see but should still be treated as a burn card. If the error is more involved than the best placed TD will make a decision how to proceed taking all information into account and taking advice from other TD’s if necessary (the best placed TD shall be deemed as one not at the same table if possible). Whatever decision is made will be final.
28a. If a player, while attempting to show his cards at showdown, accidentally turns one or both cards over so that they land face down the cards shall be deemed still in play and are not mucked.


Penalty Situations

29. Penalties available for use by the TDs are verbal warnings, five, ten and fifteen minutes away from the table, these may be used with discretion. A player who is disqualified shall have their chips removed from play.

30. Penalties will be invoked in cases of abuse, disruptive behaviour, or similar incidents.  Aggressive behaviour at any level will not be tolerated and anyone who does not adhere to this will be considered by the committee for temporary, or permanent, suspension from future events, and from the Conservative Club.     


Multi-table Rules

31. The highest numbered table remaining in play shall always be the next table to be broken down even if that table has more players than other tables.

32. Players moving from a table being broken down to a seat on another table will assume the responsibilities of their new position. They may receive any position allocated randomly by the computer from blind to button.

33. If a player is moved to the position between the small blind and the button then the player must sit out the next hand and the button will pass to the player on their left and the player that moved will resume play in the next hand from cut-off position.

 

Miscellaneous Rules

34. A player who wants to make or receive a phone call must step away from the table and their cards shall be considered dead. Other uses of a phone are permitted as long as they do not disrupt or slow down play.  

35. A player must not leave a camera, mobile phone, any recording instrument, or highly reflective item on any part of the playing area of the table. As a courtesy to others, players are requested not to leave any item except a chip guard on the table.  

36. Dress is smart casual in accordance with Conservative Club dress rules. Players may be asked to leave if wearing items not in accordance with these rules such as ripped jeans, vests or sports shorts.

37. Poker Club members may register other members or non-members for tournaments but those players must arrive by the end of the first break (usually eighty minutes after the start of the tournament) otherwise their entry will be cancelled and their remaining chips shall be removed from the tournament and the member who registered them will be liable for the entry fee. Entries for late arrivals will be accepted from members by phone call or text to a TD but players must arrive by the end of the first break (usually eighty minutes after the start of the tournament) otherwise their entry will be cancelled and their remaining chips shall be removed from the tournament but they will still be liable for the entry fee.  

38. No abusive or foul language will be tolerated whether upstairs at the tables or downstairs at the bar.

39. Once a player is out of the tournament they must leave the table.

40. The TD can, if necessary, adjust the blind structure in an attempt to finish the tournament on time by raising or shortening the blind levels, but the blind levels cannot be lengthened or lowered to make the tournament last longer.

41. For under raise rules see separate guidance sheet for when a player is all-in and does not have enough chips to make a legitimate legal raise.

42. In the event of a player knocking out more than one player in a single hand, the losing player’s finishing positions will be determined by their last chip stack amount and not by their hand value (all losing hands are killed and are no longer relevant to the game). 

43. The time allowed to complete an action by any player should be monitored by the dealer, with the assistance of other players if required, reminding them that the decision should be made in a reasonable amount of time: 

Pre-flop and post-flop when not facing a bet - maximum 10 seconds

Pre-flop and post-flop when facing a bet - maximum 15 seconds

When facing a large bet or an all in - after 30 seconds the player facing the bet should be reminded that another 30 seconds will be allowed to decide action and in the event of an extremely difficult decision on the final table only, this could be extended by another 15 seconds maximum. The dealer or best suited TD can insist with a final decision from the player and if they refuse to give an instant reply their hand will be folded and considered dead.

44. The cards must be cut prior to the deal every hand. The cut must be no less than five cards from either end of the pack. If the cut is refused it should be offered to the next player or cut on the table by the dealer. There is no option to place the card protector into the pack.

45. It is not permitted for any player to deliberately slow the game up.

46. Any player who wishes to pay their weekly entrance fee although they cannot attend the game in person, in order to meet their minimum ten game requirement to qualify for the final, may do so up to a maximum of two times. Their chips shall not be placed in play and their entrance fee shall be added to the prize pot for that evening's game (£16) and to the Royal Flushpot and the final (£3) plus £1 rake.


47. If any player leaves the table for any period of time their chips shall remain in play and they

will be blinded out until they return, up to a maximum of two blind levels after the current blind level has finished. However if a player that has left the table states that they will not return to the table for the duration of the game, or does not return to the table after the completion of two full blind levels, their chips shall be removed from the table at the end of the current blind level.


48. Only players who have partaken in that night's tournament, and regular poker league players, will be eligible to play in any cash game run on tournament nights. A regular league player shall be any player who has played five or more games during the current or previous league season. The minimum buy in for cash games is £10.


49. Once the one minute warning has gone off to signify the end of a blind level immediately prior to a break then no more hands shall be dealt and play will only resume after the break has ended.


50. The Royal Flushpot is a rolling cash prize awarded to any member of FPC who gets a Royal Flush during a League game or a League final. The Royal Flush must be attained during live play, shown once the hand is won, and witnessed by a committee member, upon the player winning the hand. To win the Flushpot a player must have at least one card from the Royal Flush in their own hand, the Flushpot cannot be won if all five cards comprising the Royal Flush are community cards. The Poker Club will put £50 into the Royal Flushpot at the start of the season, thereafter each week's £1 entry fees will go towards starting the next Flushpot after it has been won. The winner of the Royal Flushpot will therefore win the total in the pot after the previous week's game. Once a Flushpot has been won the next one will start in the following League game.

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