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Old 06-11-2017, 09:25 PM   #1
Deal!
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Looking for advice on a poker rule book

It seems to me like a good idea to have your home game rules set and available to everyone so if a problem happens it can be handled well.

Can any hosts out there recommend a poker rule book or offer their take on creating a firm but friendly set of rules for their game?

I've found Roberts Rules of Poker version 11 after a quick google search. Is this the best out there? It seems kind of cumbersome and over detailed but maybe that is what's best?

Playing .25/.25 NL mostly if that matters, but something covering the standard rules of all games would be great.

I.E. 1. dealer flopped 4 cards face up, what do we do?
2. seat 4 bet out of turn. is he required to take it back, keep it out
there, other options...
3. Bubba just showed up late and wants to sit in. does he have to wait
for the BB or can he see cards right away?

Instead of 3 guys debating their version of the rules lets all play by the "book"
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Old 06-11-2017, 11:10 PM   #2
BigBlue56
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Re: Looking for advice on a poker rule book

I've played in a lot of games, with many different groups over the years. For a long time, we just made stuff up, and quite frankly a lot of it was wrong (going back to the 80s).

At some point, maybe 2002-ish, when another group of guys was learning, I printed out RROP, as well as a few other etiquette sheets for reference. I found things on the internet and while I 'knew' the rules, I wanted a printed copy for optics. That is, I didn't want people to think I was making things up, or playing favorites.

Due to some recent errors, and the lack of a standard set of rules to cover some very non-standard games, I'm thinking of adding to RROP and bringing it to my current game. Most players have been playing for years, some in a casino, others tourney and home game guys. Always social first, and never significant money at stake.

The toughest part of the home game 'floor', is recognizing when to make a ruling that is fair to the game, even when it goes against a published rule. Rule 1 is often quoted

Quote:
1: Floor Decisions 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.
Critical, IMHO, is stopping the action when there is a mistake, and getting clarification. Take into account whatever is appropriate. For me, it includes intent, typical action, if the player has made the same mistake, or the same mistake has been made recently. Explain the rule, and why you are making the ruling that you are. If you are familiar with the commonly accepted reasons for the rule, that may be added into a discussion after the game has moved on.

1. I'm making sure everyone sees the cards. If it's 100% clear which one was the next burn, make it the next burn. If not, shuffle those 4, reflop 3 and use the 4th as the next burn.
2. I'm in the minority here, I want 4 to take the action back, the bet back and act in turn with all options. RROP and many rooms will require 4 to keep it out there if there is no raise before them. If there is a raise, then they can take it back and have all options open.
3. I'm dealing Bubba in right away, assuming he's not taking a SB or the BTN. TBH, if Bubba sits in the SB spot, I may allow him just to post a BB and play that hand with only a BB. Our current game is dealer ante, so we'd let Bubba sit and take his button.
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Old 06-12-2017, 03:14 AM   #3
sw_emigre
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Re: Looking for advice on a poker rule book

Only thing I can add to Blue is that there is a difference between Bubba just got there, and Bubba went out for a smoke break. In the 2nd case, he has to either wait for the BB, or he has to post both blinds: the SB goes in the middle, the BB goes in front of him and is part of his bet or call.

RRoP Rule #1 can't be emphasized enough. If you know some clown just wasn't paying attention and tried to limp when there was a raise in front of him, we (almost) always let them take it back. We're trying to have fun and donk around, not prep for a bracelet event. Our guys are in varying states of drunk/stoned, ours is a beers and BS game. (Blinds .25/.50 or occasionally .50/1.) If it's a chronic issue (pun intended), we will sometimes give a warning first time, then hold them to whatever mistake they made.

Another spot that comes up is when dealing and a card is exposed. For 1 exposed card, say utg's first card was flipped, just move on to utg+1 and deal out the hand, then at the end give utg a replacement card. The exposed card is the first burn card, and make sure everyone sees it. 2 exposed cards is misdeal.

Even at the casino, floors and to some extent dealers have wide discretion to aim for the best interest of the game. In my mind, that usually means let fish be fish (within reason).
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Old 06-12-2017, 07:10 AM   #4
Deal!
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Re: Looking for advice on a poker rule book

Thanks for the responses. So, is there a good hard copy rulebook that we can have at the table to settle rules disputes/ questions?

Edit: or even a copy of a specific casino's poker room rules? Like, "Good evening acquaintance of a poker friend, the game is .25/.25 NL holdem. We play by Aria's poker room rules. There's a printout available over by the beer cooler. "

Last edited by Deal!; 06-12-2017 at 07:17 AM.
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Old 06-12-2017, 11:01 AM   #5
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Re: Looking for advice on a poker rule book

Let's say you did have a hard copy rulebook, but then a situation came up that is not covered by the book. What would you do? You would probably make a decision in the best interest of the game, and then whatever came of that would be the rule or procedure going forward, right?

In case you don't already, realize two things:
  1. RRoP is a descriptive document. That is, it is used to describe a set of commonly agreed upon rules. It does not prescribe your rules to you.
  2. Knowing that RRoP is descriptive, many rooms use it as a basis for their rules.
If you want a prescriptive reference ("We play by Aria's rules") then just go download and print Aria's rules [PDF]. It's still going to be incomplete, and you're still going to run into situations that are not covered by their rules, so you will still end up with your own rule book that uses another document as its basis.

My suggestion is to take what you like from RRoP and evolve your own book from there.
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Old 06-12-2017, 11:29 AM   #6
Deal!
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Re: Looking for advice on a poker rule book

Quote:
Originally Posted by albedoa View Post
Let's say you did have a hard copy rulebook, but then a situation came up that is not covered by the book. What would you do? You would probably make a decision in the best interest of the game, and then whatever came of that would be the rule or procedure going forward, right?

In case you don't already, realize two things:
  1. RRoP is a descriptive document. That is, it is used to describe a set of commonly agreed upon rules. It does not prescribe your rules to you.
  2. Knowing that RRoP is descriptive, many rooms use it as a basis for their rules.
If you want a prescriptive reference ("We play by Aria's rules") then just go download and print Aria's rules [PDF]. It's still going to be incomplete, and you're still going to run into situations that are not covered by their rules, so you will still end up with your own rule book that uses another document as its basis.

My suggestion is to take what you like from RRoP and evolve your own book from there.
Makes sense.

It's not like it's an unfriendly game just that there's likely multiple interpretations of the "rules" after a situation and after resolution we are no clearer on what "should" happen.
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Old 06-12-2017, 01:59 PM   #7
psandman
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Re: Looking for advice on a poker rule book

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBlue56 View Post
I've played in a lot of games, with many different groups over the years. For a long time, we just made stuff up, and quite frankly a lot of it was wrong (going back to the 80s).

At some point, maybe 2002-ish, when another group of guys was learning, I printed out RROP, as well as a few other etiquette sheets for reference. I found things on the internet and while I 'knew' the rules, I wanted a printed copy for optics. That is, I didn't want people to think I was making things up, or playing favorites.

Due to some recent errors, and the lack of a standard set of rules to cover some very non-standard games, I'm thinking of adding to RROP and bringing it to my current game. Most players have been playing for years, some in a casino, others tourney and home game guys. Always social first, and never significant money at stake.

The toughest part of the home game 'floor', is recognizing when to make a ruling that is fair to the game, even when it goes against a published rule. Rule 1 is often quoted



Critical, IMHO, is stopping the action when there is a mistake, and getting clarification. Take into account whatever is appropriate. For me, it includes intent, typical action, if the player has made the same mistake, or the same mistake has been made recently. Explain the rule, and why you are making the ruling that you are. If you are familiar with the commonly accepted reasons for the rule, that may be added into a discussion after the game has moved on.

1. I'm making sure everyone sees the cards. If it's 100% clear which one was the next burn, make it the next burn. If not, shuffle those 4, reflop 3 and use the 4th as the next burn.
There is only 1 instance in which you can be 100% sure which is the extra card and that is if you see the dealer separately deal four cards and flip them before you can stop him. If you don't explicitly see that happen you can't be sure which card is the fourth card.


Quote:
2. I'm in the minority here, I want 4 to take the action back, the bet back and act in turn with all options. RROP and many rooms will require 4 to keep it out there if there is no raise before them. If there is a raise, then they can take it back and have all options open.
I agree with you with the following caveat. If the out of turn action causes action after it ... the pot action should be binding. Also I believe in a heads up situation it should be binding.

Quote:
3. I'm dealing Bubba in right away, assuming he's not taking a SB or the BTN. TBH, if Bubba sits in the SB spot, I may allow him just to post a BB and play that hand with only a BB. Our current game is dealer ante, so we'd let Bubba sit and take his button.
I think either rule is acceptable in a cash game. For friendly games I see no reason to make a new player post. If I was making a rule in a casino I would probably go with postING requirement in limit games and no posting in no limit or pot limit games.

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Old 06-12-2017, 08:18 PM   #8
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Re: Looking for advice on a poker rule book

Dont splash the pot is a good rule to have.

And also having ONE person having access to the bank/chips. Keeping a record of funds.

And also, it helps to keep track of the action and whos doing what, even when youre not in the hand
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