TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR RULINGS ARE FINAL. We will always attempt to make unbiased decisions, and in the interest of fairness for all players involved. If you disagree with any ruling, you are welcome to sit out from the game and discuss it with the tournament director.
TABLE STAKES. All poker tournaments are table stake games. You can only win or lose the chips you have on the table at the beginning of the hand. A member cannot be eliminated from a hand by not having enough chips to cover the bet. They are guaranteed action on their remaining chips. A side pot will be created for any additional wagers made by the remaining members.
BUTTON RULES. A “dead button” is used in tournaments. The button or small blind positions may be in empty seats to keep the rotation of blinds. No player will have to pay more than one big and one small blind per orbit. In Arizona Poker, button rules are for ring games. We may have a small-small-big blind situation, in other words.
CARDS SPEAK. Verbal declarations are not binding, the value of a hand is the value of the cards in the hand itself, no matter what anyone declares. Do not make intentional, incorrect verbal declarations of your hand with the intent of getting the other member to muck or your hand may be ruled dead at the discretion of the floor manager.
TABLE TALK. In main event tournaments, do not suggest other member’s hands when you are no longer in a hand. Do not "read the board". Do not react to the flop when your mucked hand hits. Giving away such information, even falsely, even non-verbally, can often affect the equality of strategic competition between the players still in the hand. In Arizona Poker, the rules for table talk are suspended, in order to simulate ring game action.
CHIPS AND CARDS must remain on the table at all times. Do not hide cards behind your chips or under your hands. Larger denomination chips shall not be placed behind smaller ones. Always keep your chip stacks “clean” so everyone can easily assess how much you have on the table at any given time.
CELL PHONES should be on silent or vibrate. Cell phone use at the table is allowable -- to a degree -- at our casual, but competitive, poker events, provided that players do not slow the game down or start to annoy other players at the table. Please do not talk on your phone at the table (that's rude and against the rule for allowance here). If your call is important, then fold your hand, roll back or step away if you must talk on the phone. Management reserves the right to ban specific individuals from using their cell phone at the table so the entire membership isn’t prohibited from use because of a few repetitious abusers. Play your games, watch your shows, read your books, but don't slow the game, annoy others, or talk on your phone at the tabl
ENGLISH ONLY. The objective of this rule is to prevent players from communicating (and easily colluding) with each other by speaking a language not everyone at the table understands. In the spirit of friendliness and respect for the game, please try to refrain from speaking any language other than English while at the table.
THREATS, ARGUMENTS, INSULTS AND CURSING will not be tolerated. Take your losses and wins gracefully. Do not create a hostile environment for other players. In order to retain a positive environment for all participants, please refrain from using excessive, “colorful” language. Remember too, we're playing in third party venues, and want to project an atmosphere of social/recreational gaming. Do not insult another member’s game play decisions, directly or indirectly. Verbally threatening, insulting, or arguing with another member is cause for a "yellow card" warning followed by a "red card" removal from the game, where you may be asked to step outside our private space and/or leave the premises entirely. We will not hesitate to call the police for assistance if we perceive a threat to our property, the venue's property, or any person. Repeat offenders may have their membership suspended for a period of time determined by the Final Table (our elected executive committee).
CHOPPED BLINDS are not allowed in main event tournament play. This is commonly called "take your blinds back". Chopping blinds is allowed in "Arizona Poker" tournament play.
CHOPPING POSTED PRIZE POOLS are allowed in main event tournament play with the unanimous consent of all remaining players. Players do not need to be in the money to discuss a chop. However, if one player declines the proposed chop, only that player may counter or propose a new chop until at least one more player is removed from the tournament, at which point any remaining player may propose a new chop. Players no longer in the tournament may not be involved in chop discussions. The event staff do not get involved in negotiating or suggesting chops. In Arizona Poker, the players must unanimously agree to pay the posted prize pools, as these events are concluded at a fixed time.
“RUNNING IT TWICE“ is not to be allowed in main event tournament play. It slows the game down, which can be important in multi-table events where players want to see as many hands as possible before condensing down. Arizona Poker tournaments, attempting to emulate ring games, allow players to run it two or three times, offer insurance, and make proposition side bets if they want.
RABBIT HUNTING is never allowed in main event tournament play. It may not slow the game down as much as running it twice, but it does sometimes affect a decision to call or not call. Rabbit Hunting in Arizona Poker tournament play is allowed for a toke.
DON’T SLOW ROLL. The player who showed aggressive action at the end of the hand is required to show their hand first, but any member who believes they have the likely winner is encouraged to show their hand quickly so the next hand can begin. If everyone checks on the last round of betting, then the member first to act will start the showdown. Turn your hand over quickly and allow the dealer to declare the winner(s).
CALLING FOR A CLOCK. Any player with chips on the table may call for a one-minute timer if another player is taking too long to make decisions. The floor will count down one minute, adjusted conservatively for delay in getting the clock started. If the member does not make a decision by the countdown, their hand will be declared dead.
NO PHOTOGRAPHS OR VIDEOS are to be taken at Real Poker events without prior permission from tournament director or member of the Final Table. Some club members do not wish for their image or likeness to be used for personal or promotional purposes. For this reason, we ask that only authorized Real Poker event staff take photos or videos, which can be conscientiously framed and composited, reviewed and/or scrubbed as necessary to protect the privacy of all Club members.
ILLEGAL SUBSTANCES will not be tolerated. Members must abide by local laws and rules of specific venues.
TOBACCO USE. Participants at APT venues shall adhere to the rules of the venue regarding tobacco, including spit tobacco, and vaporizers. The Club may, with majority approval, establish additional rules for any vices or table annoyances.
IN YOUR SEAT. Latest official rules of tournament poker state that you must be in your seat when the last card is dealt to the last player of a new round/hand of main event tournament poker. If you are not in your seat, your hand will be mucked immediately. In the Arizona Poker tournament games, your hand is mucked if you are not in your seat when it is your turn to act. If not in your seat, you will continue to be blinded out (no missed blinds).
Member’s Suggested Poker Etiquette Guidelines
Rules of poker etiquette are provided as guidelines to help make good sportsmanship the standard for all members of the Club. Following these guidelines will help make you a welcome player at any poker table worldwide.
Trash talking among friends is okay, but don’t cross the line and be so cocky that everyone at the table dislikes you. Keep the free poker lessons to a minimum. It isn't necessary to waste a lot of time talking about your hand when you shouldn't even be talking about your hand. Even heads up. Blinds are going up. Remember this is a tournament, not a cash game.
Bathe. Employees must wash hands before returning to work (of course), but employees and members should make every effort to look -- and smell --good at the tables. If you don't have time to shower, consider coming late. We want our games to be fresh and bright, and one stinky stinker at the table can quickly ruin an otherwise positive experience for all. Likewise, too much perfume or cologne can be overbearing.
If you're not in the hand, don't engage or talk to someone who is in the hand. Quietly carry on a conversation with another person who has folded, but never talk about a hand when you aren't in it. Giving advice to a live player is against the rules. The members who are still in the hand don't want to have to listen to your noise pollution when they're trying to focus on their hand and other live opponents.
Don't blame the dealer. Don’t wing your cards at the dealer after a bad beat. Dealers truly have no control over what cards are dealt. They are just there to do their job and they deserve our appreciation and respect. Real Poker tries hard to find and retain the best dealers that each bring a different combination of mechanics and speed mixed with their unique personality and charisma. You may prefer certain dealers over others, but please remember that they'd all probably rather be playing than dealing, and that they're spending their time trying to do the best job possible for you to benefit and enjoy.
Don't fold out of turn and get up from the table. You're giving certain players information that they wouldn't normally have.
When a player busts out, don't be the first player to start talking about that player or their play after he or she has left the table.
Avoid talking about politics and religion at the dinner table, as well as the poker table. Especially in this divisive era.
Don't give lessons at the table. It is in your best interest ot keep the opponents in the dark about how badly they played that hand. Don't let your ego get the better of you by announcing to the world how poker savvy you are. Some people don't know or care about how many outs you had compared to them. Remember, it was your choice to tangle with the loose wildcard everyone wants to snap... if he snapped you, that's poker pal. Next hand please.
Lose courteously. Watch the old-timers. They have taken so many bad beats and been on the receiving end of some good luck, that it doesn’t faze most of them either way anymore. Players who blow up emotionally over bad beats are just not cut out for the variance inherent in the world of poker. It’s that variance that makes the game so much fun to play, but so damn frustrating at the same time.
We want a pleasant environment for our members, and staffers. Please try hard not to use profanity at our events. At certain tables, you know it's okay to cut loose a little bit, but even then repeated F-bombs cab get annoying and will be considered discourteous by many players. Yes, we are all adults, and we're not all perfect angels. Keep in mind that our Club is operating in a public facility, and we want our games to be considered "family friendly". If you frequently curse and swear, try telling yourself you’re at a friend’s house who has a 6 year old kid and they don't want them hearing R-rated language. We'll all be better for it.
If you are felted, be a good sport, shake the winner’s hand and leave with a courteous, “Good luck all” with truly as little sarcasm as possible.
Winning graciously requires as much discipline as losing. Don't pump your fists or run around the room like you just scored a goal in soccer.
Don't ask a player who just lost what he had.
Keep an eye on the action. Know when its your turn to act and don't act out of turn. Don't get distracted and make other players wait on you and be quick with calls you don't have to think about. Post your blinds and/or antes promptly and don't make people have to remind you. It slows down the game.
Do not to splash the pot. Players don't want to worry about such issues. The best way to present a bet, call or raise is in a neat stack in front of you.
If you decide to show your cards even though everyone else folded, make sure to show everybody at the table. If you show just one player your cards, anyone else at the table has the right to see them too. Might as well not give them the satisfaction of invoking this rule anyway.
Don't play around with the Dealer Button. It needs to be visible and clearly in front of a player at all times, so putting your hands on it or moving it is a bad idea. If you do move the button, make sure you let the dealer know. "Button Moved". It's best to let the dealers do it though.
If you have a cough, don't cough into your hand. Cough into your elbow crease. Everybody is going to touch the same cards and chips, so coughing into your hands is just as bad as coughing on other players' hands. Eww. You hadn't thought of that till now.
No string bets is a rule. Dealers will call string bets. (Don't say or act as in "I call and raise". Simply "raise".)
Some of our tables have a line or track in the center. That is NOT a betting line. Forward motion is binding. If you're angle shooting with your chips, the dealers will call you on it and make sure you understand forward motion in our tournaments.
The main reason we play poker is to have fun. Some people may argue that money is the actual motivation. But most people don't actually make money playing poker. Most lose money. But poker is a fun, social game, so we play. There are also other ways to make money, so why did we choose a game like poker to earn it? The answer is because poker is an enjoyable game. Of the other exclusions available, amusement gambling offers the lowest return on investment with its tax and online payment processing fees which alone can take 15% of our gross. Those same non-members will claim that this “type of unregulated gambling” attracts crime into neighborhood establishments, suggesting money laundering and racketeering. Our operating agreement provides measures to prevent infiltration by organized crime, and protects the club with minimal internal control standards for ensuring ethical behavior by members, managers and event staff. The argument could be made that intellectual amusement gambling is also regulated gambling, with ARS 13-3311 acting as the enabling rule or statute that regulates it. But regardless of the success of our grassroots efforts to "repeal and replace" the poison pill clause or see a constitutional referendum on the ballot that prohibits future “compacts by initiative”, amusement gambling poker tournaments are here to stay.
And best of all, since the amusement gambling exclusion for mind sports has always been available, it doesn't invoke the poison pill clause of the 2003 compacts. AGPTs contribute 8.7% of gross revenue to the general fund while tribal poker rooms tithe about 4% to a special interests fund they created with their potentially illegal and unconstitutional “compact by initiative” in 2002.
© 2018 Real Poker LLC. All Rights Reserved. All opinions expressed
herein are those of private individuals and not an attorney