Showdown Poker Rules

Introduction

  1. The following rules apply in Showdown for the purpose of clarity (every cardroom differs a little bit in rules). Furthermore, rules of Texas Hold’em apply.
  2. A player needs permission from the personnel to enter the game.
  3. The cardroom is not responsible for a misinterpretation of rules by an employee, if the employee acted on a good will.

Buy-in

  1. When entering a game, the player must pay a buy-in.
  2. For no-limit cash game, the minimum buy-in is 1,000CZK for blinds 10/20 and 2,000CZK for blinds 25/50. The maximum buy-in is 5,000CZK for blinds 10/20 and 10,000CZK for blinds 25/50. For other games or private cash games, the players may agree on different buy-in limits. The floorman has the right to change these limits according to the circumstances, or at the request of the players.
  3. A player passing from a closed table to a table of the same type and same blinds has to always keep his chips and does not have to make a buy-in even if the amount of his chips is not higher than the minimum buy-in.
  4. Partial cashout is possible only in exceptional cases. Read more about this subject in the Cashgame section.
  5. The corresponding amount of chips for every participant who has paid the buy-in is placed on the tables at the start of a tournament.
  6. If a paying participant is not present at the beginning of the tournament and he asks for his chips to be left in play, it is respected.
  7. A player does not have to be present in the cardroom to be written on the waiting list, however, it is his responsibility to be present in the cardroom when he is summoned into the game. If a waiting player wants to leave, he should inform the responsible personnel. If he is not present when summoned into the game, his place on the waiting list moves.

General

  1. A player who is not at the table during the tournament always gets cards. Blinds and antes are taken from his chips automatically. To be able to participate in the game, a player has to be sitting on his place until the moment when the dealer deals the last card to other players (last card to the button position). Otherwise, his hand is declared dead and it is mucked. A player has to sit on his place to be able to perform any action or to be able to call the clock (time) on an opponent.
  2. To be able to call the clock or call “time” (for delaying the game), a tournament player has to sit at the table. During a cashgame, only players with cards can call the clock on an opponent. Time is usually counted down by the floorman, in exceptional cases it can be also counted down by the dealer. If the player does not make a decision before the time runs out, the floorman will count down last 10 seconds and after that the hand is dead.
  3. At the moment when the current blind level ends and the floorman announces the next one, the change of blinds takes place from the next hand. A new hand starts at the moment when the dealer starts shuffling the cards (first riffle). At that moment, the validity of the previous hand is confirmed and it is considered to be closed and therefore, any right of objection or discussion about a controversial hand ceases to exist.
  4. Number of players at the tables should be balanced. This can be achieved by moving players.
  5. Chips with higher nominal value have to be placed in such a way that every player at the table can see them. Players are entitled to be able to estimate the size of their opponent’s stacks, so it is recommended to keep the chips in countable columns. The most recommended are columns of 10 or 20 chips.
  6. A player has to protect his cards throughout the game. The cards can be protected by his hand, a chip, or another object placed on them (card protector). If a player does not protect his cards, he is not entitled to complaints, if the dealer takes the cards away as folded. A player is not entitled to be given back the chips he has put into the pot. However, if a player bets or raises and his bet is not called, these chips will be given back to him. The cards have to be easily visible at all times.
  7. Decks of cards are changed only when the deck is damaged or when it is decided by the floorman. Players cannot demand replacement of the deck.
  8. A player can play the game only with chips that he has on the table at that time. Any addition or removal of the chips during the game is prohibited. If a player wants to buy more chips, he is obliged to report it to the dealer.
  9. Personnel are not obliged to rule on private agreements or bets between players. During the cashgame, players can pay off their sidebets only after the hand is finished, even if they’re not in the hand. (If a player loses all his chips in the game, but he wins a sidebet, he is obliged to buy chips to meet the minimum buy-in requirement, if he wants to continue in the game.
  10. Management of the cardroom has the right not to allow two people to play at the same table (family members etc.)
  11. During a hand, it is only allowed to speak Czech, Slovak or English at the table. Talking in different languages during a hand is prohibited and can be penalized.
  12. Inappropriate behavior can be penalized; especially inappropriate behavior can be penalized by disqualification.
  13. Management of the cardroom reserves the right to make decisions in the spirit of fair play, even if the correct interpretation of the rules is in conflict with such a decision. (E.g.: if a player abuses a rule.)
  14. The decision of the floorman or cardroom management is final.
  15. If a player is in the hand, he has to remain at his table.
  16. If a player is all-in, his hand cannot be folded/mucked for technical reasons.
  17. Rabbit hunting (showing the remaining cards on the board after the hand has been finished) is not allowed in the tournaments. In the cashgame, this is allowed with the consent of other players and after paying a small “fee” to the dealer. In this situation, the cashgame jackpot does not apply.
  18. The players are allowed to know the size of the pot in pot-limit games. The dealer does not count the pot in limit and no-limit games. A declaration such as “I bet pot” is not a valid bet in no-limit games, however, the player has to make a bet as such.

Seating

  1. In all the games, the first position of the button is determined by the highest card. In case of two or three cards of the same value, their suit is decisive in this order: spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs.
  2. During the elimination of players from the tournament, the tables are closed according to a predefined key. The players from closed tables are seated on free seats at the other tables depending on a draw.
  3. In games where button is used, the player who was going to pay the big blind the next hand is reseated, when this reseating occurs for the reason of table balance. This player is reseated to a new table and to the worst possible position, even directly to the big blind. The worst possible position never means the small blind.
  4. If the number of tournament tables is reduced to the last one, all the remaining players draw their new position at the final table.
  5. Dead button will be used during the tournaments. This means that the button can be placed in front of an empty chair.
  6. If a player makes effort to avoid the blinds during reseating, he will be penalized.

Tournament

  1. The seating of players at the tables in the tournament is determined by a random draw, or it is firmly determined. For other variants (cashgame), the seating is not determined. A player who sat down on a wrong position in the tournament (but with the correct stack), will be moved together with his stack to the correct seat.
  2. CHIP-RACE – the chip of the lowest nominal value will be eliminated from the tournament when it is no longer needed in the structure of blinds and antes. If it is possible, all the chips of the lowest nominal value are changed for the chips with higher nominal value by the dealer. The remaining chips are exchanged in the following manner: one card is dealt for each of the remaining chips. The cards are dealt clockwise and the first card is dealt to the player on the first position. The dealer gives one card for every chip that a player has before moving to the next player. The player with the highest card gets enough chips to be able to exchange for one chip of higher value. Then then next highest card gets chips etc. A player cannot be eliminated during chip race. Therefore, if a player loses all his chips during chip race, he will afterwards get one chip of the higher nominal value. If there are chips on the table that cannot be exchanged for chips of higher value, the player with the highest remaining card on the table will get a chip of higher value. The players may observe the chip-race.
  3. All the tournament chips have to visible during the entire tournament. Chips that are removed from the table may be removed from the tournament, or a player can be disqualified.
  4. Players cannot borrow or give chips to one another at the table.
  5. If more than one player is eliminated from the tournament at the same time, then the player who started the last hand with more chips ends the tournament in better finishing position. Players who were eliminated in the same hand and started that hand with the same amount of chips will split the prize equally and the undividable part goes to the player with the better cards.
  6. Private agreements between players are not ignored. If an agreement is made, the tournament director can make sure that the prizes will be paid according to such agreement. Private agreements that do not concern all the remaining players are prohibited.
  7. Penalizations imposed by the tournament director / floorman include verbal warning, sit out from the table and disqualification. Sit out can be imposed for one hand or for several orbits. During a sit out, the player has to keep away from the table, but cards are dealt to him and he has to post blinds. In the event of disqualification, the chips are taken away.
  8. It is expected that the tournament will be played until the end. The minimum number of players at the start of tournament is one full table (9 players or 6 players for 6-max tournaments). If the numbers of players in the tournament goes under one full table, it is no longer permitted to buy the so-called absent player stack.
  9. The number of players at the final table is determined by the floorman or the cardroom management.
  10. If a player without chips wants to make a re-buy in the tournament, he cannot miss any hand.
  11. Players who are leaving a closed table are obliged to check their new position. After sitting down at the new table, they may be seated on the big blind or on the button (or any other position). However, they may not be seated between the small blind and the button.
  12. »Hand for hand« can be played at certain moments of the tournament (e.g.: when the prizes change due to several players being eliminated) and only when there is more than one table left. This means that when the hand finishes on one table earlier than on others, the players on these tables have to wait for the hand to finish on the other tables. The dealing of next hands is synchronized this way. During hand for hand play, all the eliminations from the tournament are considered to have happened at the same time (even if players sit at different tables). The final standings are decided according to the size of stacks, not according to who lost his chips first.
  13. A player has to move chips in such a manner that they are always visible. If he breaks this rule, the chips will be impounded and he may be disqualified. The impounded chips will be removed from the game.
  14. Players, who are eliminated from the tournament, will leave the table immediately.
  15. A player cannot show his cards during a hand in the tournament (except for showdown situation). If a player shows his cards, it’s not a fold, but the cards will remain turned for the rest of the hand and the player can finish the hand. However, he cannot make any aggressive action (bet, raise, reraise,…). After the first time he has done this, the player will be warned, if he does this again, he may be penalized. Penalizations will occur after the hand.

Cashgame

  1. An arriving player can immediately join the game without having to post anything.
  2. When changing the table, a player can immediately join the game without having to post anything.
  3. If a player leaves the table (from whatever position) and the blinds pass him, he can wait for the big blind to join the game again after his return. The other option is to post big blind and small blind together and join the game immediately.
  4. If at least two other players are playing, a player cannot show his cards (unless it’s showdown). If he shows his cards, then the rules in the Poker Ethics section apply. A player can show one card at anytime during the cashgame (however, he may be punished for abusing this rule). In heads-up during a cashgame, a player can show both cards and still continue to make aggressive action. If a player declares the strength of his cards verbally, he may be punished. The punishment occurs after the hand.
  5. If a player returns to the same table (same game) in two hours’ time since he left it, he is obliged to make a buy-in of the same amount with which he had left it. During a cashgame, a player cannot make a partial cashout. During a cashgame, a player can pay the refreshments with his chips, if he is not in the hand. However, the maximum sum is 100,- Kč.
  6. A player cannot make a partial cashout when changes tables. If the tables are reseated by the floorman, the same rule applies and partial cashouts are not possible.
  7. Players cannot borrow or give chips to each other at the table, if at least one player disagrees.
  8. Rake is 5%. At NLH tables is cap 300 czk. And at PLO tables is cap 200 czk except lmitits 50/50 and higher where is cap 300 czk.

Misdeal (cards dealt in a wrong way)

The following situations are considered to be a misdeal only in case that the error is discovered (someone announces misdeal or the dealer notices it) before two players make an action (any action – bet, fold, call…)

  1. First or second card is dealt face up or revealed in other manner because of dealer’s mistake.
  2. More than one card is turned face up by dealer’s mistake.
  3. More than one card is dealt outside of the table.
  4. More than one card is face up in the deck.
  5. More than one extra card is dealt.
  6. Any card dealt in wrong order (except for discovered card, which can be taken as burned).
  7. The button is in the wrong position.
  8. The first card is dealt to a wrong position.
  9. The cards were also dealt to an empty position or to a player that is not entitled to it.
  10. A player who is entitled to cards did not receive them.

When three or more players have acted, there can be no misdeal. The hand has to be played with cards that were dealt.

If a player does not have the correct number of cards, his hand is considered dead (automatic fold). The player is responsible for his cards and their correctness. He is also obliged to protect his cards and make sure other players cannot see them.

Situations that may arise during a game

  1. A card, which has been turned over by mistake of the dealer, cannot be left to a player. After finishing the dealing of the rest of the cards, such a card is replaced by the first card in the deck and then it is used as the first burned card.
  2. If during a game a card with a different back side is discovered, all actions are invalid and all chips return to their original owners. If such a card is discovered in the rest of the deck, all actions are valid. The redistribution of chips will be performed only for the last hand.
  3. If two cards of the same suit and same value are discovered, all actions are invalid and the chips return to their original owners. The redistribution of chips will be performed only for the last hand.
  4. A card that is turned over in the deck or it is turned during the dealing process is considered irrelevant and it is replaced. It can be used on board or as a burned card.
  5. A joker or other invalid card is considered irrelevant. If a player plays with such a card, his hand is dead (fold).
  6. If a player plays without looking at his cards, he is responsible for the possibility that he has invalid cards or a joker.
  7. One or more cards missing in the deck does not make the result of a hand invalid.
  8. Players are obliged to have their cards placed on the table in a visible manner during the entire game (not have them in their hands, in their laps or have them covered). If a player drops his cards from the table, he still has to play with them.
  9. If a player knows that the deck of cards is defected in any way, he has to tell that to the dealer.
  10. Cards touched by the dealer or verbally declared as folded by the dealer or the player, are considered to be folded. (In exceptional cases, the management of the cardroom can decided to give the cards back to the player, if that is in the best interest of the game and fair-play.)
  11. Cards tossed into the cards of other player are folded, no matter which side of them is shown.
  12. If the dealer forgets to burn a card or he burns more than one, the mistake has to be corrected before players start to play. If the betting round has begun, the cards are valid.
  13. If 4 cards occur on the flop instead of 3, the dealer has to turn all the cards face down. In that moment, the floorman is called and he randomly chooses one of them. This chosen card will be the burned one and the other 3 will be on the flop.
  14. If a new flop has to be dealt because it was dealt prematurely, before all the players finished their actions, closed turn and river are dealt and then the mistakenly dealt flop is mixed with the rest of the deck, while the burned card remains on the table. The players will finish the betting round and after shuffling the cards, the dealer will deal the flop again without burning a card.
  15. If a new turn has to be dealt because it was dealt prematurely, before all the players finished their actions, closed river is dealt and the mistakenly dealt turn is mixed with the rest of the deck, while the burned card remains on the table. The players will finish the betting round and after shuffling the cards, the dealer will deal the turn again without burning a card.
  16. If the dealer deals the river before all the players finish the betting action, this card is removed from the game (the burned card stays), the players will finish the betting round and then the dealer will mix the prematurely turned card with the rest of the deck. After shuffling the cards, the dealer will deal the river without burning a card.
  17. If the remaining part of the deck is damaged, for example if the dealer thinks that the hand has already ended, the deck has to be reconstructed to the best possible form and the hand has to be finished.

Betting and raising

  1. The smallest chip that can be bet is given by the size of the blind. E.g.: in hold’em games, the smallest amount that can be bet is equal to one big blind.
  2. In no-limit games, it is possible to raise without limitations. In pot-limit games, raising is capped by the size of the pot.
  3. In a tournament, a raise has to have the size of at least the difference between the last two bets. In the cashgame, a raise has to be at least the double of the last bet or raise in the current hand. If the player raises at least 50% and more of the last bet (but at the same time less than the minimum required raise), he is obliged to make the minimum raise. In no-limit and pot-limit games, the all-in bet has to be at least the size of a minimum raise, otherwise the original bettor cannot make additional raises.
  4. The verbal declaration of bets is binding. If a player announces a bet, raise, call, fold or all-in, he has to perform the declared action and do so. The players are responsible for the clarity of his intended action.
  5. Knocking on the table means check (abstaining from betting).
  6. A player has to verbally declare the size of his bet, raise, re-raise etc., or he has to put the chips in front of him in one continuous motion, otherwise it is a string bet. String bet occurs when a player does not verbally declare the size of his bet, does not put the chips into the pot in one continuous motion and puts the chips into the pot gradually. It is necessary to first declare the amount of raise or to put the chips forward all at once. (You cannot even say: “I call 100 and I raise 200”.)
  7. Putting the amount equal to one and a half of full bet or more is considered to be a raise and a player has to complete such a raise.
  8. When a player puts or throws one chip behind the betting line (he had the chip in his hand) without verbal declaration, it is considered to be a bet in the amount of that chip or a call (even if there already were some chips in front of this player, e.g.: small blind. On the big blind position, this is considered to be a call only of other player in the hand has already raised. If all the other players were passive, (they called or folded) the throwing of one chip behind the betting line on this position means a raise). If the chip is of value smaller than the minimum bet, it is considered to be a minimum bet and the player has to complete that bet.
  9. If a player puts more than one chip behind the betting line and the total amount is equal or higher than 50% of the minimum required raise, he is obliged to complete the raise. If the amount he has put behind the betting line is smaller than 50% of the minimum raise, his action is declared as a call.
  10. If a player makes any action out of order, this action might be considered to be binding, if no one behind the player whose turn it actually was has made a bet or raise. A player who checks out of order cannot bet or raise in any case. A player who called out of order cannot raise in any case except when there is a change of action before him. If a player folds his cards out of order, he cannot take them back in any case.
  11. If a player faces a bet and he uses more than chip of the same value (without declaring a raise), it’s always a call, if after removing one of the chips, the amount will be lower than the amount necessary for a call. Example: player A raises 1.200 before the flop with the blinds being 200/400, so he raises by 800. Player B puts two chips into the pot, each of the nominal value of 1.000, without verbally declaring anything. In this case it’s only a call, because taking away one of those 1.000 chips would leave a sum that is smaller than the original bet of 1.200.

Showdown

  1. A player has to show both his cards face-up to be eligible for a win (the whole pot or at least its part). This does not depend on whether his cards are actually a part of the winning combination. (When he plays the board).
  2. The cards speak for themselves. Verbal declaration of the player is not binding. However, if a player deliberately lies about his combination, he may be punished. The dealer can assist during the discovering of the winning combination.
  3. Any player who sees an incorrect assigning of the pot has an ethical obligation to immediately warn the dealer about the mistake.
  4. Show one, show all. The players have the equal right to receive all the information. If a player shows his cards to another player, he has to show them to all players. If this player is already out of the hand, he will show his cards after the bets have been made, so as not to influence the betting.
  5. If there is a side pot, it is assigned first and the main pot is assigned after that. If there is more than one side pot, then the side pot of the players who had the most chips before the hand is assigned as first.
  6. The last player who made an aggressive action (bet, raise) has to show his cards first. This rule also applies if the last round was only checked.
  7. If a player is all-in in the tournament and all the bets are finished, all the cards that are in play are turned over face-up, provided that all the bets have been closed and none of the other players can bet.

Draws

The order of suits is not decisive in poker, although it is set – spades, hearts, diamonds, clubs. It is an order based on the alphabet. Because the order of suits is not decisive, draws may occur. In such cases, the pot is divided into parts. If one chip is left, the situation is dealt with as follows:

  1. The chip is divided to the lowest possible chips that are still in the game.
  2. If one chip of the lowest possible value is left, the player, who is sitting closer to the button in the direction of the game, gets that chip.

Rules concerning blinds

  1. The sizes of the blinds are predetermined and they do not change even if a player does not have enough chips (such a player puts what he has into the pot and the other players play as if the blinds were normal).
  2. The blinds and antes in the tournament are raised in predetermined intervals.
  3. In each round of the game, a player has the option of being on the button and he also has to pay the blinds. This is ensured by the rotation of the button around the table.
  4. Before each hand, the big blind is placed and according to it, the small blind and the button are determined, even if sometimes the small blind or the button may be on an empty spot. (Cashgame players may post a so-called straddle (double the big blind). This bet is placed by the player behind the big blind and other players may place a so-called restraddle (double of the previous straddle.) The last player who can post a straddle is the one on the button. Mississippi straddle is not allowed.)
  5. The player on the big blind has the option of raising when it’s his turn in the first round of betting.
  6. When only two players play, small blind is posted by the player on the button. At the start of a heads-up game, there is a rule that no player can be on the big blind twice in a row.
  7. A new player cannot start playing between the button and the big blind. This is however allowed for the cashgame players, if they post both blinds at the same time.
  8. In games with more blinds, a player that changes places will get cards when he gets to the position he was sitting on originally (if a player moves further away from the big blind, he will get cards when he is on the same position respective to the blinds, in which he was originally, or he has to post). If a player moves closer to the blinds, he can play immediately.

Poker ethics

  1. Players may not discuss the currently running hand, regardless of whether they are in the hand or not, if another player is yet to act. Likewise, discussions about folded cards or possible combinations are prohibited. Players may be penalized for such communication.
  2. If a player notices anything unusual during the game, he is obliged to report it immediately; any delay can affect the decision. Players have to protect other players the whole time (e.g.: if there is a wrong decision about the winning card combination…).
  3. Players can only act when it’s their turn. The player should not fold his cards and get up from the table when it’s not his turn. He may be penalized for such action.
  4. One set of cards can only be played by one player (his fans do not interfere with the game).
  5. A player cannot say which cards he folded or which cards are still in the game.
  6. A player, whether he is in the currently running game or not, cannot give advice or criticize other player’s game.
  7. Players, who aren't playing, cannot sit at the table. Players cannot observe the running tournament or cash game outside the space reserved for that.
  8. Nobody can play with chips belonging to another player.
  9. Players should always play without unnecessary delays and they should try not to delay the game. If a player engages in activities that disturb him from the game, he will be asked to stop them. (Poker is a game, during which it is necessary to observe the action. A calling player has to correctly determine the size of opponent's bet before calling it, regardless of what is said by the opponent or the dealer. If the player asks for a precise chip count, he will get this information from the opponent or the dealer and then he will put that corresponding sum into the pot. It is assumed that he accepts and wants to do this action. In that moment, he is obliged to call the right bet size / all-in, even if the bet size differs from the originally received information. If there is a dispute, floorman’s decision is final.
  10. Players cannot throw chips directly into the pot.
  11. A player can always play only at one table.
  12. The coordination of players or other forms of cheating are prohibited.
  13. The official terms are easy and time-tested statements such as: bet, raise, call, fold, check, all-in, pot (only in pot-limit games, meaning a pot-sized bet) and complete (calling on the small blind). Regional terms belong to this list. In case of non-standard terms, a player risks that his action will be considered to be something else and not what he intended. It is the responsibility of all players to express their intentions most clearly.
  14. Players cannot make phone calls at the table. Other electronic devices are allowed at the table.
  15. To check or to call with nuts on the river in the last position is considered to be a serious offense and the player will be punished. In exceptional cases, the floorman can decide otherwise.
  16. Cash game players cannot divide the pot when they are all in, however, they may ask to be dealt more than one board (turns, rivers). The maximum number is 3. This can be done even for more than two players. The pot as such cannot be divided. Taking money out of pots is not possible. The floorman may decide otherwise in exceptional cases.
  17. Poker is an individual game. Soft play (friendly play) is prohibited and the players will be punished for it, chips may be impounded or the players may be disqualified. Chip dumping (intentionally losing chips to other player) and other forms of collusion will always cause disqualification.
  18. Repeated violations of poker ethics will lead to penalizations. An example of this would be unnecessary touching the chips or cards of other players, delaying the game, repeated playing out of order or inappropriate verbal expression.
  19. The rule about demanding the card revelation exists mainly to keep the integrity and fairness of the game. Cards can be turned/revealed only by the tournament director/floorman in case of suspected fraud or collusion. This rule should not be abused. A player, who mucked/folded his cards, loses any right to see the opponent’s cards.
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