Poker's String Bet Rule hurts the game

November 15, 2011 3:00 AM


You folks already know I am from Oklahoma and that it’s a part of my name by act of the state legislature; I have been honored as being one of the "Favorite Son’s."

So it is ok if I use the name Oklahoma Johnny, which puts me in the same club with Will Rogers, who once said "Neither man nor beast is safe when the legislature is in secession."

Will went on to say, "We have enough laws on the books to last us for quite a spell." With a public approval rating of less than 20% it would just be better if they would shut up and come on home for a while.

Now that I said all of that, the worst thing that has happened in the United States since the Revolutionary War is air conditioning.

Years ago when it got hot in Washington, D.C. the old boys and girls in Congress would get too hot to stay there and talk, change the laws and whatever!

Rogers also said, and I agree, "All I know is what I read in the newspapers!" They should just shut up, come home, sit under a Magnolia tree, cool off and drink a Mint Julep!

But with the advent of AC, hey, just stay in DC and legislate the year round. Think about it, would President Clinton have been interested in Monica if it were not for his office being air conditioned?

It would have been too hot for those carryings on!

OKJ’s Golden Rule!

Now some of you folks may be of the same opinion about the Poker Players Association and Poker Directors Organization.

In my opinion most of the rules of poker are not for the benefit of the game, but for the poker room and the casino. I’ll say more about that if you e-mail me at

As for today’s column, here’s my opinion on the worst rule in poker – the String Bet Rule, which says you can’t call and then raise.

In over 70 years of playing poker, I have never seen this rule help the game of poker, only hurt it. The ones feeling it the most are the novices or unskilled poker players – causing arguments, delays and confusion.

Sure, I understand the defense of the rule – the poker player is trying to get a read on his opponent, pick up a tell as to how much he should bet. However, this is a car load of nonsense!

Only the novice gets called on this rule. He cuts his chips to make the raise, which everyone knows will be a raise. The person not only studies the other players, but most of the time just picks up half of his chips then reaches back to get the other stack to make the raise.

The dealer knows its a raise, the players all know it – only the novice doesn’t know the rule. If you watch poker on television just a little you will see how the expert players get their reads, tells or information.

They will study, select their bets, arrange their chips, count theirs and the opponents or ask him how many he has, etc. Then they will say raise and put the chips in or pick up a great pile in their hand.

Once done, they put their hand out into the betting area and drop the chips a few at a time. Because they have a large amount of chips in their hand they are permitted to put in a few or a lot into the pot to try to get all the information they can from their opponent before they complete their betting action.

Years ago Billie O (now playing in the big game upstairs) was the card room manager of many card rooms. He drew a line on the table in front of all the players. All the chips that the player had in his hand when he crossed that line had to be his bet.

OKJ Tip of the Week

Do not send a boy out to do a man’s work! When playing poker and you want to be called, send a boy out and just bet a little bit.

When you want to win the pot, send a man out and bet them more money than it is poker to call! Then you can take the money home and count it there!

Until next time STAY LUCKY !!!