Call the floor, Dec. 2010: Poker rulings analyzed



In a Delaware poker room, the dealer overturned the first card dealt to the button. The card was shown to everyone, and the dealer continued to pitch cards in order. When the dealer reached the button again, he gave the button two consecutive cards (the one he was destined to receive and the original burn card). Three or so players at the table objected. Was the dealer correct? — glance 302, via

JODY: Sure. There’s nothing wrong with what the dealer did there. I tend to believe as long as a player receives two random cards everything is good. The way the dealer handled the situation is the standard procedure for tournaments per the TDA. Some rooms do have a different procedure for this situation in cash games. I recently worked in a room where the dealer had to cut down into the deck and retrieve a second card for the player then muck the exposed card, but if the second card to the button was exposed the player received the next card off the deck (the burn) and the exposed card became the burn. The important thing to bear in mind here is did the dealer follow the house procedure?

Table 12 is always the Omaha/8 table. I signed up and put my players card in front of the seat I wanted and waited for the game to open. Everyone who plays does this. Another player moved my card before the game opened, and the floor ruled that he was higher on the list so he got the seat, even though a floor saw me put my card down. — betseythebets, via

JODY: That’s one way to rule. The floorman’s decision is final. Go back tomorrow to the same room, same situation, different floor person and you may get a different decision. It’s a trivial situation at best in which the floor person should do what he/she feels is best for the room and the players. Dealer pitches a card, which flips up. The player was expecting a card to replace it, but the dealer said, “It hit your hand. It’s is not my fault it turned up.” Play continued without replacing that card. — mcomikey, via forum
Any time you disagree with the dealer you can always ask for a floor decision. Properly trained dealers know they must call the floor person once it has been requested.

— Jody Russell is a veteran poker room manager in Nevada who also runs the Ante Up Poker Room. Email him at

TDA Rules

Each month Jody Russell will interpret one rule from the TDA.

COMMUNICATION: Players may not talk on the phone while at the poker table. House rules apply to all other forms of electronic devices.

JODY SAYS: If you’re at the table, you’re not on the phone. Simple enough for most people. When I play in tournaments I turn off my phone. When there’s a lot of money at stake there shouldn’t be any reason for someone to wonder if a person is colluding with someone else via cell phone. Additionally, people on phones slow down the game, which isn’t good in a timed situation.

MORE TDA RULES: Go to to see all 44 TDA rules.

Ante Up Magazine

Ante Up Magazine