A few questions about the poker rules answered

Feb 19, 2013 3:00 AM

The other day, I observed a rather heated dispute between two players that made everyone else in the vicinity look up and take note.

Fortunately, the dealer was able to calm both players and then resolve the problem without calling for a floorperson. It was a new game and the table was just opening. The two players were arguing over a particular seat.

There may be reasons why some players prefer certain seats. For example, it is easier to see the cards on the board from seats 4, 5 and 6. A player may not want to be seated to the right of another player who he knows, from previous experience, to be a “maniac.” Or a player may have a favorite seat.

The dealer calmly told them that the rule is the player who arrives at the table earlier gets first choice. But, what if the two players arrived at the same time? In that case, the usual casino rule is the player listed higher on the waiting list has a preference.

So, I thought it might be fun to list a few questions about the poker rules. See how many you can answer before looking at the answers at the end of this column:

1. Being on the button gives that player an edge over all the others at the table. When a button game starts at a table being opened, how is the button-position determined?

2. Several players at your table want to increase the limits. One of them is losing and hopes to up the limits so he can win back faster. What is the rule here?

3. Perhaps you have seen an opponent cover his hole cards with his hands. That makes it difficult for you (and others) to realize he is in the pot until he suddenly makes a bet or a raise. That could influence your playing strategy. Is there a casino rule on this?

The Answers

1. Each seated player draws a card from the deck, face-down. The button will be awarded to the player with the highest card by suit (Ace of spades is highest) for all high and high-low games, and the lowest card by suit for all low games.

2. The game’s betting limits will not be changed if two or more players object. Changing the limits is also subject to the casino management’s approval.

3. Players must keep their hole cards (face-down) in full view at all times. The cards must remain on the table and never be moved past the edge of the table. (Exceptions have been made for players with poor vision.) The cards should not be covered by the player’s hands so they are concealed from view.

I will give you more quiz questions in the future. Get ready.

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