Las Vegas Poker: It pays to know the rules

TDA rules supplement the House Rules of the casino or card room.

Always keep your cards and chips on the table in plain view.

Know how to protect your hand! Be especially careful when seated immediately left or right of the dealer as most “accidental” muck incidents involve these positions.

Know the proper mechanics of the game you are playing before you sit down at the table. They are posted (usually on the wall) near the desk, and often available online or you can request a printed copy.

Don’t splash (throw your chips into) the pot. House rules apply to all other forms of electronic devices.

The Poker Tournament Directors Association (TDA) rules are used in most live poker tournaments and set the standard for tournament poker. Don’t call, bet or fold unless it’s your turn.

Know your position and when it’s your turn to post the blinds (and antes).

25: Rabbit Hunting

No rabbit hunting is allowed. “Any player who uses such language or makes a foul, profane, obscene or vulgar statement, or speaks abusively to another player, a dealer or a Tournament staff member, will be penalized or ejected.”

You can see the complete TDA Rules at

Don’t Tap the Glass. All Players have the right to sit down at the table, and expect that the game is going to be fair.

Don’t switch seats unless asked by an official or leave the table when it’s your turn at the blinds.

27: Action Pending

A player must remain at the table if he has a live hand.

Know when it’s your turn to act, and always play in turn. Next time you visit the Poker Room, check the house rules to avoid any trouble. Rabbit hunting is revealing any cards “that would have come” if the hand had not ended.

And Know a few Unwritten Rules…

Every Casino and Poker Room will have its own unique house rules. Don’t be a pig…

Know the Basic Poker Rules and Etiquette…

There are currently 54 TDA rules, here are a few samples…

As a Las Vegas Poker Dealer and Certified Poker Tournament Director, I often see poker players inadvertently violate rules in both live (cash) games and tournaments. Place bets in front of you so that they can be counted and verified. House rules generally supersede TDA rules when conflicting rules apply to a situation.

Never comment on the players’ cards if you’re not in the hand.

If you eat or drink at the table, don’t make a mess. The Dealer will then rake the bets into pot after the betting round is complete.

Don’t talk $#@! All casinos, poker rooms and card rooms prohibit the use of obscene language. Don’t criticize the novice players’ action and scare the fish away.

Know Your House Rules…

Know the Applicable TDA Rules…

4: Communication

Players may not talk on the phone while at the poker table. Say “raise”, and the amount that you want to raise before putting your chips in the pot.. Understand antes and blinds, position, how to raise and when to act in turn.

Know how to raise and avoid string bets. A brief study of Poker Rules will greatly improve your table image and help you avoid possible costly penalties or even disqualification.

These rules are in place to insure game integrity

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