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A blog post from @yourpokerdealer ~ if you enjoy it, give him a follow!


Usually, once a night, I have to quote, enforce or mention the TDA (tournament director association) rules to someone in a tournament.


I think the main reason is that some people, mostly newbies, play at a bar, home game or smaller casino that doesnít enforce their tournaments by the TDA. At the end of the article I am posting the most current version of the rules so that anyone who wants to waste 20 minutes of your life reading boring rules can do so.


What I am going to do in this article is highlight a few points that most people, even tournament regulars donít know, or donít know why the rule is there. Other people may just have to use an obscure rule in their favor someday. Either way I will talk about a few different ones.


2. Player Responsibilities

A bunch of rules stating players are supposed to pay attention, a couple of rules that players seem to have the most problems with are:


Follow the action. I said raise, itís not my fault you didnít see that guy go all in and you said ďcallĒ thinking you are calling the big blind. You came here to play, not flirt with the waitress or listen to your headphones so loud you canít hear yourself think.


Remain at the table with a live hand. Have some respect for play and donít abandon your hand if itís not your turn to act. If you really had to make that phone call or take a piss, just leave before the cards are dealt, donít wait to see you have a bad hand then leave early.


4. Electronic devices

Some houses are different but the rule stated is ďdonít talk on the phone at the tableĒ. Seriously just get up, you lazy ass. Donít sit there and act like ďit will only be a minuteĒ as you rush your phone call.


7. Alternates, Late Entries and re-entries will get full stacks

I love this rule, we used to have to blind off full stacks in some tourneys. Nothing was more annoying than dealing out 9-10 hands to 4 players, mucking 6 hands, every single hand until you finally fill up.


9. Breaking tables

Yes, anyone coming from a broken table can take any position, except between the button and the small blind. Yes, they can take the button (small blind busted the previous hand) and they drew that seat. Yes, they can take the small blind (big blind busted the previous hand).


10. D. play will halt on tables with 3 less than another table

I hear players all the time screaming, ďwe only have 6!Ē it doesnít matter, unless you have 3 players less than a full table.


People crying, ďwe have 8 and they have 10, rebalance us!Ē the tournament director will do a good job. Most times, by the time they get that next big blind over to our table, the other table loses one and now they are 8 handed and you are 9 handed. TDís know what they are doing.


Now you know the rule, only cry when you are 3 short.


15. All cards will be face up with an all-in

The big one people donít understand is that once all betting action is complete if the pot is more than 2 players, ALL HANDS MUST be shown. I donít care if all 10 players are in the hand on the river, with action complete and one player is all-in, the rule states ALL HANDS must be shown. WITHOUT DELAY. Seriously just flip your damn cards, what are you waiting for? To see how far you are behind and how embarrassed you are for playing that cheese? 2 players, 1 all-in, I canít put the board out until you both flip your cards up, come on; itís getting shown no matter what. Hurry up.


18. Asking to see a hand

Iím sort of torn on this rule. Players without a hand cannot ask to see a hand at showdown. Itís a good rule to people that are just trying to get information. But the rule is in place to prevent collusion. If the aggressor is dumping chips to a buddy then mucks the river, no one can ask to see the other players hand.


22. New Hand & New Limits

The next hand will start at the first riffle of the shuffle, or pushing the button with shuffle master tables. I really donít care that you had your blinds up before the level changed (especially if the last hand hadnít even ended yet). I will do my best to get the next hand started as soon as humanly possible.


24. A. Players are entitled to a reasonable count of your stack.

Keep Ďem neat boys, donít see how high of a barber poled stack you can make, or constantly shuffle all your chips, or just have a mess. They recommend 20 high, 30 is fine, 40 looks nice. Whichever way you want, as long as itís somewhat uniform and easily countable. Especially when that guy stacks you and I have to count it fast.


27. Calling for a clock

It says a ďreasonableĒ amount of time. I have no clue what that is. 30 seconds? 5 minutes? Donít be a dick, or be a dick to put them on tilt. No real definition here.


29. At your seat

Your hand is dead if you are not at your seat (within armís reach of your chair) when the 1st card is dealt. Not the last or the 5th or you were running to get here. Why argue? I know where you were when I dealt, itís only one hand and itís your own fault for not being here.


37. A. Verbal bet declarations/undercalls/act in turn

If you verbalize it, that's what you are doing.


If you toss in chips and didnít see the raise, those chips are in the pot, no matter what, you shouldíve paid attention.


Now, because of the new douche move of just throwing in one chip to call the all-in, there are now 2 situations where that under call is now a FULL CALL.


1)   Facing an opening bet on ANY multi-way pot, including big blind pre-flop. Example: Player A bets, player B raises, player C under calls. This is NOT the opening bet and chips in the pots stay, but has option to still fold. If player A goes all in and player B calls and player C under calls, since this is the opening bet in a multi-way pot, he MUST call the bet.


2)   Itís always a full call heads up. If you arenít paying attention to a bet heads up what tournament are you playing?


38. Action out of turn

If someone acts out of turn and the action doesnít change (the other players fold or call) they are BOUND to the same action, same size bet. If itís raised or opened, then the OOT player may do as they wish. This is a huge advantage to a player that was skipped, as you know they have to bet the same bet and you can bet into them, or just checking knowing they have to bet and you can raise.


41. B. If a player goes all in for less than a FULL RAISE it DOES NOT reopen the betting for the initial better/raisor.

Meaning if player A bets 1000 and player B goes all in for 1975 that is not a full raise and player A cannot re-raise.


Player A bets 2000, player B raises to 5500, Player C goes all in for 8500. The initial raise was 3500, the all-in raise was 3000 so it doesnít reopen for player B, but it does for player A as he was legally raised by player B.


43: Multiple Chip Betting

Too damn confusing to explain. Just state what you want to do, before putting chips into the pot!


47. Pot size

Players are only entitled to know the size of the pot in POT LIMIT ONLY.


Quit asking ďwhatís in the pot?Ē in no limit. And you canít bet the pot (or expect me to count it) in no limit.


49. Non-standard & unclear betting

The only thing to take from this is if you say, ďI bet 12Ē (meaning 1,200 or 12,000) the lessor bet that is acceptable will be used. If the blinds are 400-800 it will be a 1,200 bet, but if the blinds are 800-1600 then ď12Ē will mean 12,000 since you canít bet 1,200.


50. Folding

I donít care how bad your hand is, you canít fold unless there is a bet. I will take your hand, and hopeful you get a penalty.


52. Count of chips stacks

I can and will count an all-in chip stack, I cannot and will not count someoneís chips that arenít in the pot. Example: Player A bets and players B asks me to count player Aís remaining chips. I will not, and player A is not entitled to count his chips either, only to make them visible.


53. Over-betting expecting change

Player A bets 350 and player B puts out 550 expecting change without saying anything. This is a raise, dumbass, and you will be forced to raise to 700 as your 200 raise is more than half the full 350 raise. I know youíre trying to help, but most of the time, I donít need your help to make change, and I will ask if I need you to throw in the 50.


55. Chips in transit

LOL once a month some idiot sticks chips in his hat, pocket, etc. in transit from a broken game and loses them.


58. A. Penalties

Do not expose cards with action pending, ever, even heads up.


Do not soft play (checking the nuts in position). Most times itís a mistake, but the rule is there so you donít take it easy on your buddy. Bet your hand.


59. No disclosure

Do not disclose contents of live or folded hands. Advise or criticize play. Read a hand that hasnít been tabled. Itís not live until itís tabled; donít help someone see what they missed. No recourse for the player that gets beat, they wonít kill the hand but you may get a penalty. One player to a hand, donít show your hand to anyone, even if you want them to ďsweat itĒ, just bad etiquette and giving info to players that other players arenít entitled to.




Poker TDA Rules (updated 2013)