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Rules & Etiquette

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Real Poker’s “House Rules” for Poker Tournaments

We don't want Real Poker AGPTs and contests to become too rules-centric. We want to keep the game fun and enjoyable for all members. Our house rules are designed to allow maximum flexibility while creating a foundation of understanding for all members. The latest versions of Robert’s Rules Of Poker and the rules of the Tournament Directors Association apply. Copies are available for consultation at the events and here. All members are encouraged to actively participate in the evolution our House Rules. Our objective is to control our games within a framework of mutual understanding.

Members all have equal voting rights in such matters. Through our meetings, we, the members, control the game, which is one of the benefits of participating in AGPTs. Our primary concern in stated rules is protecting the integrity and ethics of our games, the cooperative and our members, and our third party Tour Stop partners. If the rules are unclear or confusing, or you have a problem, misunderstanding or disagreement with any house rules, please talk to a staff member. If any rules are abused or not working as intended, we will revisit them at our next monthly meeting

FLOOR MANAGER 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 floor manager.

TABLE STAKES. You can only win or lose the amount of 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 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 (provided they are not required to post a missed blind).

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. 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 if your 2-6 off flopped a boat.

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 allowed, provided that players do not slow the game down or start to annoy other players. Please do not talk on your phone at the table – 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 repeat abusers.

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, especially if any players are still in a hand.

THREATS, ARGUMENTS, INSULTS AND CURSING will not be tolerated. Take your losses and wins gracefully. Do not create a hostile environment for other members. In order to retain a positive environment for all members, please refrain from using excessive, “colorful” language. Do not insult another member’s game play decisions, directly or indirectly. Verbally threatening, insulting, or arguing with another member is cause for removal from the game and you may be asked to step outside or leave. We will not hesitate to call the police for assistance if we perceive a threat to our property or another member of the club.

CHOPPED HAND POTS are not allowed. This rule may be temporarily overridden with the unanimous approval from all players at the table, but the decision to override this rule must be made between tournament hands, not during a hand. Please do not abuse this privilege. Personal pot chopping policies should be equitable for all players at the table and generally increase the duration of the tournament.

“RUNNING IT TWICE“ is not allowed. This rule may be temporarily overridden with unanimous approval from all players at the table, but the decision must be made between hands, not during a hand. Do not abuse this privilege by running it twice on small pots (<100) or running it more than three times.

RABBIT HUNTING is never allowed in tournament play.

DON’T SLOW ROLL. The member who showed aggressive action at the end of the hand must show their hand first, but any member who believes they have the likely winner are 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.

CALLING FOR A CLOCK. Any member at the table may call for a one-minute timer. 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 floor manager or member of the Final Table.

ILLEGAL SUBSTANCES will not be tolerated. Members must abide by local laws.

TOBACCO USE. AGPT participants at APT venues shall adhere to the rules of the venue regarding tobacco, including spit tobacco, and vaporizers.

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.

Do not reveal your cards to anyone while a hand is still live.

Do not react to the flop (or the turn or river) if you've folded.

Do not use excessive foul language. Never curse or call another member a name directly.

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, please. 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.

If you're not in the hand, you should never talk to someone who is in the hand. Quietly carry on a conversation with another member 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 the other live opponents.

Don't blame the dealer. Don’t wing your cards at the dealer or not tip him as a result of previous bad beat. They really, actually, and truly have no control over what cards are dealt. They are just there to do their job and they deserve respect.

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 after he or she has left the building. Don't rush to the cage window after the live one busts out. At least wait till that player has left the building.

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.

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.

Don't swear or curse. We want a pleasant environment for our members, and staff for that matter. You shouldn't 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 are annoying and considered discourteous by many of our members. Yes, we are all adults. Let's try to act like it and adhere to the language policy.

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. The reason that players aren't supposed to is because you could potentially toss in fewer chips. Other players at the table don't want to worry about that. The best way to present a bet 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.

If you are still in a hand, make sure that your cards are front of you are visible to all other players. If they aren't visible, another player may accidentally act out of turn not realizing you are still in the hand.

Tip the dealer. Even small pots sometimes warrant a small tip. Real Poker provides participants with the option to purchase 5 plain white $1 dealer appreciation chips that can be used as individual hand gratuities . White chip tips are not pooled like tips, if any, that may be provided by event winners. Real Poker dealers are generally paid minimum wage as tipped employees. This means $7/hr, with aguaranteed $10 from tips. If a dealer doesn't reach the $10/hr mark, then the Club has to pay them the difference. So please, tip your dealers by purchase a $5 stack of white appreciation chips. If you win money, a 5-15% is always appreciated by the event staff. They keep 100% of their tips. (The white dealer appreciation chip is a method innovated by Jeff Geller of Dream Dealers, a "charity fund raising casino night" operation primarily, but they also dabble in free pub poker events using "volunteer" dealers that only work for tips. I'll admit, I got spoiled by Dream Dealers for a while. It was free pub poker but with real dealers. But it was still not very competitive. You have to slog through multiple tables of wild free pub play to win a $100 credit voucher to the host venue.

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 have a cough, don't cough into your hand. Cough into your shoulder. Everybody is going to touch the same cards and chips, so coughing into your hand is just as bad as coughing on the other players' hands.

No string bets is a rule. Dealers will call string bets.

The main reason we play poker is to have fun. Some [non-members] may argue that money is the actual motivation. But most people don't actually make money playing poker. Most people lose money. There are also other ways to make money, so why did we choose a risky 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. 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, but also for employees. 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.


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