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Home Game Rules

Discussion in 'Home Poker Rules' started by CraigT78, Oct 5, 2015.

  1. CraigT78

    CraigT78 Active Member

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    Hello y'all! I'm looking for some advice on creating a house rules sheet to post for my monthly game. I just recently received an email from one of my regular players who brought to my attention that the last game we had some questionable play from another guy at the table. Apparently the guy (my neighbor, two doors down) was constantly showing his cards to the players to his right and left. He also may have been looking at the burn cards while it was his turn to deal. Obviously this is not okay, and before I bring this up to him, I wanted to create and send out a rule sheet to specify actions that are not allowed. I do not want to turn into a dictator, as my games are a "friendly" neighborhood game where everyone knows at least three other players at the tables. Other than the obvious rules like the ones above and no splashing the pot, acting out of turn, spilling beer on the table....what are some that y'all would include?
     
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  2. DrStrange

    DrStrange Creativity Alliance
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    The full version of Robert's Rules of Poker could run 100 pages. Editing it down just to cover Texas Hold'em - I guess it might run 50 pages. And even then, several of the issues discussed in the original post would not be plainly discussed but rather handled generically as "one player per hand" for example.

    It is a great idea to have a set of rules but don't mistake this for an easy task. It is hard, time consuming and prone to errors of omission.

    DrStrange
     
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  3. CraigT78

    CraigT78 Active Member

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    50 pages!! I was thinking more like 2 pages. Ugh, how about a sign? Rule #1 "The host is always right" Rule #2 "See rule #1"
     
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  4. Trihonda

    Trihonda Well-Known Member

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    1 page, pasted from my actual rules sheet that I have taped to my wall during tournaments. There are other rules I could see people listing, but these are rules I've used (some of which were included to deal with specific incidents that occurred).

    1. No splashing the pot. When betting, place chips in front of you.
    2. Raises must be 2x the previous bet/raise
    3. Verbal is binding. If you say “call”, you’ve called.
    4. 1 Chip Rule. Betting 1 chip, is always a call-unless you’re 1st to act.
    5. You must keep your cards on the table during play.
    6. Mucked cards (in the middle) are dead.
    7. You may not look at mucked cards (especially someone else’s).
    8. If you win because everyone folds, you may muck your hole cards without showing. You don’t have to show a bluff.
    9. If you fold, you should muck your cards without showing. However, if you show one person, you should show everyone.
    10. No talking about the hand until a winner is decided. This includes commenting on the board, or hinting about what hand you would have had, or offering “advice” to others such as “I’d call him”…
    11. No Food or Beverages are allowed ON the poker tables. Period!
    12. If you are playing a hand, please pay attention. Players should wait until they have folded a hand (or a break) to chat, check their phone, go to the restroom, or to get food or drink.
    13. It is bad form to “Slow Roll” at showdown. This means you have the winning hand (Four Aces?) and you purposely wait to show your hand in order to sweat out your opponent. This is poor form.
    14. However, it’s ok to “Slow Play” a hand, meaning you have a strong hand, but bet and play as if you don’t, trying to elicit your opponent to bet into you… but once it’s time to show, just show.
    15. Touching other players’ stacks/chips is not normally allowed.
    16. When dealing, you should leave the cards in the order they were dealt, never arranging them to show potential hands (ie. Straights).
    17. Most importantly, everyone here is a guest in my home. Please treat each other with courtesy and respect… and have fun!
     
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  5. TexRex

    TexRex Well-Known Member

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    Our recently updated rules are 22 pages and use primarily a combination of WSOP and TDA rules. I should add these are tournament rules only -- not cash rules. The problem with a short set of rules is that they leave too many issues unaddressed. I play in a game with no formal rules. Recently new players have caused some issues because they have their own ideas about what the rules are.

    Despite our lengthy set of rules, we rarely have any issues. I might be called upon to make a ruling once every 3 or 4 games. Without rules, issues seem to come up more often.

    Trihonda has a good idea in posting a short summary, but they are far from comprehensive.

    Dr. Strange is right -- a good set of rules will be long. But that doesn't mean having them makes you a dictator. Just the opposite in fact. Rules create order. Having a long set of rules I've found does two things. First, it reduces the number of disputes, especially if you have some key players who are familiar with the rules. Second, when a dispute arises, you can point to something in writing to resolve it.

    I've been playing for about 35 years. I've seen disputes destroy more than one game and it's because two (or more) players say "Everybody knows you do it this way." The problem is they don't all have the same "this way." And they think everyone who disagrees with them is wrong and an idiot.
     
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  6. TexRex

    TexRex Well-Known Member

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    Craig -- I just realized we aren't very far apart. I live just a few miles north of Dallas and play in the Little Elm/Frisco/Prosper area. I'll email you our rules if you like.
     
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  7. CraigT78

    CraigT78 Active Member

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    Please do! I hadn't thought of keeping a long list of rules, and posting the common ones. That's a great idea. My game has grown over the the last 7 months to a solid core group and then a handful of randoms who only make it once or twice here and there. I suspect some of them are here to just have fun, and don't realize their actions take the fun away from those who are serious about the game, which is their fun. I'm trying to keep the peace :) Anyway, I PM'd you my email.

    I live off the 635/75 area in Lake Highlands - other than my monthly game, I don't get out to play much. Once the kids are older, I hope that changes!
     
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  8. abby99

    abby99 Admin / Chip Magpie
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    1. The best interest of the game and fairness are top priorities in decision-making. Unusual circumstances occasionally dictate that decisions in the interest of fairness take priority over technical rules. Floor decisions are final. (from TDA rules)

    2. With only a few exceptions, we follow Robert's Rules of Poker for Home Games. The major exception is that we do not allow the I Want to See That Hand (IWTSTH) rule.

    3. Don't be a d!ck.

    Having a set of rules in place and following them consistently helps to ensure a fair game. As hosts, we never want it to seem that we are making up rules as we go along or shading a ruling to favor a friend.
     
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  9. QuiQuog

    QuiQuog Well-Known Member

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    I like the idea of a full set of rules to cover disputes of technical nature, and a shorter one with the more commonly broke rules and etiquette breaches that can be posted on the wall.

    It drives me nuts when a turn card comes and someone who folded earlier says "Awe! I would have had a boat/quads/trips".

    I know Texas is big, but are you able to send e-mails out of the state? :wink: I'd like to see what your rules look like also.
     
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  10. TexRex

    TexRex Well-Known Member

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    Qui, I'd be happy to send them. PM me your email address.
     
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  11. CraigT78

    CraigT78 Active Member

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    I really like this. This is exactly what I was looking for, but after reading through some of Tex's rules, I see the need for those as well. My next game is next weekend, so I think I will start with a one or two pager to cover some of the needed rules now, and work on a more comprehensive set of rules going forward.

    Now the question is do the same rules apply to cash games? And if not, what are the differences?
     
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  12. abby99

    abby99 Admin / Chip Magpie
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    My suggestion is that you print a copy of RROP for home games and keep it on hand, or download it to your phone. When you look through it, skipping the sections for the games your group doesn't play will make it less taxing.

    Although most of the text in RROP for home games deals with cash games, there is a good section on tournaments and how they differ from cash games. For good measure, check out the current version of the TDA's tournament rules.

    My theory is that the host doesn't have to commit RROP and/or TDA rules to memory. Many issues come up rarely. It's useful to recall that a rule exists, and it's relatively easy to find through the table of contents. Yes, you will find a short list useful for the things you want to correct or avoid, but it never hurts to be prepared in the event that something unusual occurs. Chances are, there's a rule for that.
     
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  13. TexRex

    TexRex Well-Known Member

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    Craig, I've not dusted off our cash rules in a while because I play almost entirely tournaments. The rules are different. Cash rules will also vary by the game you are playing, and whether it's dealer's choice, limited dealer's choice, or just one game.
     
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  14. QuiQuog

    QuiQuog Well-Known Member

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    I don't know if I would want to go so far as to take the rule out completely. It may have the appearance of a house that's trying to hide something. I would rename the rule though, to the ISC rule, I Suspect Collusion. That way, a player really has to think about it before calling out someone for cheating. They would have to make a case before any cards are turned.
     
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  15. abby99

    abby99 Admin / Chip Magpie
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    That's actually what I did but I could have worded it better.
     
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  16. TexRex

    TexRex Well-Known Member

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    One of the changes I found interesting is that the WSOP used to have an absolute right for any player at the table to ask to see any hand that called the last bet. You might have to actually read the WSOP Dealer's Guide to see it though. The TDA only allowed that if you claimed possible cheating. Both changed. The now common rule is that any player who called the last bet has the absolute right to see any other hand that called the last bet.

    We followed the WSOP rule because I didn't want people to have to accuse others of cheating. Our speculation about why the WSOP changed is this scenario.

    A, B, and C are playing. A folds. B and C both call on the river. B shows a straight. C mucks his cards but has 2 pair. A asks to see C's hand. It's turned over, and C didn't realize he made a flush on the last card. C wins.

    We don't know for sure, but it makes sense that A should only have that right if he still has cards. However, it also means he doesn't get to see what C played if he doesn't have cards.

    Obviously the accusation of cheating means there would have to be a high burden of proof, and the implications might be something A wouldn't want to bring up. I never liked the old TDA rule because you did have to accuse someone of cheating and there is no face-saving way out if you ask to see the cards. On the other hand, sometimes cheating might not be obvious unless you see the hand. Having to try to prove it without seeing the hand might be impossible.

    I'm honestly not sure I like the change, but we made it. The few players I have who have discussed it with me liked the old WSOP rule better, but in years of playing, it hasn't come up even one time.
     
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  17. Cu3 O_o

    Cu3 O_o Well-Known Member

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    My house has a friendly atmosphere, I tell all new players that I use Vegas rules. If there is any question we bring up the Roberts rules on my tablet. I have never had to do this, how ever I have had discussions with people at the table and they were successful in being sorted out.

    I also remind people at the time they Splash the pot by moving there chips away from the pot, after a few times they learn, I also remind card showers by showing there hand after the current hand is done, they learn after the second time usually...

    Basically I keep it friendly by talking about the "mistake" at the time it happens.
     
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  18. TKE4LIFE

    TKE4LIFE ChipTalk.net Supporter
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    We only play with dealers .. game flows so much better with them... we run tournies and the rules to differ from cash but at the end of the day its about making money and having fun...

    291.JPG
     
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  19. bordizzle

    bordizzle Well-Known Member

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    you aren't being a "dictator" when enforcing the rules and ensuring the integrity of the game.... anybody who takes issue with that prolly has cruddy intentions in the first place

    remember... your home, your rules... it's your responsibility to make sure nobody gets cheated or receives an unfair advantage... most of your players will appreciate this

    but yeah, you can condense RROP into a couple sheets for quick reference... and if you need to go into more detail, have the link saved on your phone for quick reference

    good luck!
     
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  20. TexRex

    TexRex Well-Known Member

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    I keep a notebook with the rules printed. I can't recall when they were actually consulted. I have a smaller version I take to games that is part of my equipment I take to a game. It's not hard to have written rules. I'm not dependent on phone service at a location, or my phone not being dead, or just getting poor reception. But Bordizzle's right -- it's not hard to have more comprehensive rules readily available.
     
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