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Old 10-02-2009, 04:25 AM   #1
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Proper Dealing Procedure (or "How I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love A Clean Game")

tl;dr: Trust me, read this, if you have any interest in helping your game run more smoothly. It's broken down into digestible nuggets, feel free to pick and choose. This isn't stuff I made up; I'm explaining how to do it and why it's important. Dealers far better than I established all of this long ago.

I've joined some new games lately, and I'm tilted by how spoiled I've been. The mechanics of dealing are quite petty, and seem like nothing much, but spread over the course of a night they add up, in both time and aggravation. It's important not to seem like you're rushing it, but a game running a smooth clip with unambiguous action and a quick clearing of the board after the pot is pushed is a fun game. Nothing makes stuck players grumpy like watching a hand they're not in drag on forever because nobody's running the game.

Cleaner games = less whinging = more enjoyable experience for everybody.

Here are some tips. I encourage you to try some of these out. I'm assuming people know the absolute basics, such as "don't roll the deck" and "don't pre-run the board". These are intermediate dealer tips.

PAY ATTENTION ... This seems obvious, but I've seen countless home game dealers who throw the hole cards out and then forget all about it. You're there to make sure it all goes smoothly the entire time. You only have to do this once an orbit, after all. Step up and do it right, and others may follow suit.

COUNT WHILE YOU DEAL ... in your head or aloud. This greatly reduces the number of misdeals. Count the number of players the first time around, then count them again the second time. If the numbers don't match, something's wrong. On top of that, it sets the dipswitches in your brain to know how many actions you expect to see around the table. It's subconscious, but it can help you sense when something's off. It also establishes a rhythm, which results in smoother pitching.

ANNOUNCE PLAYERS PER STREET ... "Four players to the flop." You're not only reminding yourself, you're reminding those at the table. Maybe there's a fifth person and this is how someone recognizes someone hasn't acted. It's information that players want to have, and it saves them from having to crane their necks around the table, asking how many are in. Errors reduced, information spread, time saved.

PROMPT PLAYERS FOR ACTION ... open palm, up or down. Do not point. Lightly tap the table. Use names. "Action's on Jerry, it's eight to call." Now nobody is looking around wondering what the heck is going on.

NARRATE ACTION ... Related to prompting, it lets people know the action, especially if there's been a raise. "Three players to the flop, action's on Roger, check or bet. Bet 8. Action's on Jerry, it's 8 to call. Raise 14 for 22 total. The total bet is 22, action's on Linda, 22 to call. Pass. Action's back to Roger. You're in for 8, it's 14 more to call, for 22 straight." It seems overly repetitive because it is. You'll still have some players asking how much is the bet, but not nearly as many. A couple seconds saved per player per street adds up in a hurry.

RAP THE TABLE BEFORE YOU BURN ... For good measure, I also rap the table after I burn, giving people that much more time to tell me to stop. This is exactly why we do it, to let the players know they need to speak up if the pot isn't right, and an extra half beat to make sure you didn't burn two cards. Don't rush it. While we're at it, if you can, keep the burns separate from the muck. Some people like to put them under the dealer button, but I find this leads to confusion when people think the dealer is in the hand. Under the pot is where they should be.

Last edited by pfapfap; 10-02-2009 at 04:44 AM.
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Old 10-02-2009, 04:37 AM   #2
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Re: Proper Dealing Procedure (or "How I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love A Clean Game")

Now for some advanced stuff... Not that it's all that hard, but this is getting to the little things that make the difference between a good dealer and a great dealer. You want the table to be as efficient as possible, and that means keeping things clear. Someone should be able to walk up to the table and understand what's going on, at any point in the hand. You may think this is minor, but I promise you it makes a difference. If it's so minor, what's the harm in trying it out?

KEEP THE MUCK SEPARATE AND CONTAINED ... Cards all over the place only add to confusion and make it more likely a problem will occur or chips will get hidden. Worst case is someone presses down on the muck pile and a hidden chip creases the cards. Do not lift mucks up off the table! SLIDE them around to a spot away from everything else, but not too close to a player's hand. Do not put the board cards on top of mucked cards. This not only makes it take longer to clear the board (and any bets intermingled), it greatly increases the chances of other cards being exposed after the hand. If you just pulled off a masterful bluff, you really want someone seeing that the nut cards were the burns? However, do not square up the muck pile. It should be tight, but messy. And absolutely don't add mucked hands to the bottom of the deck. You should be using a cut card anyway.

KEEP BETS IN FRONT OF PLAYERS UNTIL ACTION IS COMPLETE ... Yes, this is basic, but it's advanced stuff trying to retrain a group of people used to splashing the pot. If a player splashes, just quietly pull it out and set it in front of the player. If it persists, say something. Never make change from the pot for an oversized chip until after ALL action is complete. Again, this is simple in concept but difficult in execution, because now you're insulting people's ability to do math. It's not math, it's ease of use. And it's not just for that one person doing it, it's for everybody watching. However, if someone does it, best to let it be, then pull the oversized chip into the pot and pull out the proper amount to put in front of the player. (For example, if on the flop someone bets 18 and someone else calls with a 25 chip and pulls 7 off of the 18, do this: pull the 25 into the pot from the previous street, and break it down. Put 18 in front of the player who grabbed the change too soon, and add the remaining 7 to the bet that was reduced to 11.)

DON'T LET PLAYERS STRESS ABOUT MAKING CHANGE ... It's hard to do this without seeming patronizing, but do your best. "It's okay, just put the chip out, I'll take care of it." Almost always, change is available from the pot. If it's not, as the dealer you can find a good spot to ask a player who's not in the hand to break the chip. (It's a strange phenomenon: people like to wait to ask for change until it's their turn to act, or they ask for change from those whose turn it is to act, or they offer to make change when it's their turn to act. It's nuts. The worst is for antes during tournaments, which is the most ridiculous time because there are 7-9 other antes out there immediately available for making change.) Put the big chip out, it will be okay, I promise. "Andrew calls 18, change coming." But again, wait until all action is complete before breaking it, because often someone will raise anyway. If the person folds, let 'em know it will be okay. "Andrew folds, change is coming." The time to make change is immediately before you rap the table for the next burn card. "The bet was 18, here's your 7 change." Whenever possible, pull change from bets made that street. Because...

KEEP THE POT TOGETHER, BUT NOT STACKED OR PILED ... It's important to be able to reconstruct the hand, and for this you need to keep the action of the pot clear. Generally you pull in preflop bets before the flop. You can stack them as you gather, but then lay them out once you've collected them. For later streets, you can pull in before or after you lay out the next card. Again, stack them together, then lay them out, but do not mix or stack them with the best from previous streets. They should be grouped tightly next to each other, but not jumbled up. Since you're keeping all the mucks out of the way, there's plenty of room to do this.

BE CAREFUL WITH SIDE POTS ... For one thing, don't start bringing in the bets until at least one level of the bet has been called (or folded to) all around. I see it constantly, where there's a bet, a call, a push, and a re-raise, and people start bringing in the bets from those who haven't even called the first push. Don't do it. Once the betting is complete, you can match the bets, or you can do the much simpler thing and use math. Leave the bets out while you narrate it, so people can follow along "Bob's all-in for 28, and there are two players on the side for 35 total. 35 less 28 is 7, and two times 7 is 14 on the side." Boom, done. It doesn't matter the source of the 14: you can pull it all off of one bet. This eliminates all the confusion that comes from people multiplying the all-in player and then forgetting about the blinds or those who called some but not all of the bets. It seems silly, but it happens more often than I care to have witnessed. Repeat yourself a couple of times, and then repeat who's in what pot before you turn the next card. "Bob's all-in for the main pot, while you two are working on this live side-pot here." There are some shortcuts that work for creating two side-pots on the same street, but let's get used to this before we complicate things with fourth grade arithmetic.

KILL ALL LOSING HANDS BEFORE PUSHING THE POT ... Even if you see all the hands tabled and it seems obvious to you who is the winner, others may not see it. Or worse, you could be wrong. In many pots, the losers concede and the winners muck, but when multiple hands are face-up on the table, you need to kill them. You do this by turning them down where they lie and THEN pulling them into the muck. This lets the player know, "Hey, your hand isn't winning here. If you disagree, speak up." Even if the hands are face-down, it's best to mix them in to avoid the sorts of things we read about in B&M all the friggin' time. Never, ever push a pot while someone is holding untabled cards, no matter what the person says.

PUSH THE POT, MOVE THE DOT, PULL THE SLOT ... Variations of this are common lingo in cardrooms. It's more important when you're dealing many hands in a row, as this is a job of repetition, and it helps if you have a smooth and consistent method. But even once an orbit, it's a lot cleaner. Once all losing hands are mucked you keep the winning hand and the board face up. You can slide them to the side to make room to push the pot. This won't take very long, since the mucks were collected into one pile long before showdown, and the pot was pulled into one spot in the middle of the table. After this, move the button while announcing, "Button moves." Then, clear the board by turning over the seven exposed cards and pulling them into the muck. By the time the second deck is finished being cut, the table will be clear. No hands getting in the way to expose the new cards, no slowdown whatsoever. It's completely transparent to everybody watching, and allows the most potential to correct an error while it's still easily corrected.

BE TRANSPARENT WITH CHIP MANIPULATION ... This is partly why we spread the bets, to make sure the dealer isn't palming. You may be a close group of friends, but you still want to avoid the appearance of impropriety, especially if you have the occasional outsider. This is partly why you narrate what you're doing, so that people can verify you're doing it right. Whenever you touch a stack or pull in a bet or push a pot, do the open-palmed flip thing. Avoid wearing shirts with loose cuffs.

...

That should cover it for now. I know it's wordy, but a lot of this stuff is subtle and requires explanation for why we do it. I've also left out a lot. Others, please add to this. I welcome any questions anybody might have. Trust me, all of this works. Pay attention in casinos to the dealers you like. You might not know why you like them, but I bet they do most if not all of these. The bad dealers don't, and players know they're bad, no matter how sociable and friendly they might be. They players may not be able to pinpoint why they dealers are bad, but the cumulative effect of poor dealing leaves a mark.
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Old 10-02-2009, 04:39 AM   #3
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Re: Proper Dealing Procedure (or "How I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love A Clean Game")

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Originally Posted by pfapfap View Post
PAY ATTENTION ... This seems obvious, but I've seen countless home game dealers who throw the hole cards out and then forget all about it.
This really is the basic thing from which everything else drops down. When it's their turn to deal people need to realise they are in charge of this hand and are responsible for making it go well.

It's also nice to relax in hands in which you are not involved or not dealing knowing that the guy who is dealing knows what he's doing. If the guy isn't paying attention having to remind him constantly of what's going on takes that relaxing away from you.

Great posts. Will keep them bookmarked.
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Old 10-02-2009, 04:40 AM   #4
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Re: Proper Dealing Procedure (or "How I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love A Clean Game")

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This really is the basic thing from which everything else drops down. When it's their turn to deal people need to realise they are in charge of this hand and are responsible for making it go well.

It's also nice to relax in hands in which you are not involved or not dealing knowing that the guy who is dealing knows what he's doing. If the guy isn't paying attention having to remind him constantly of what's going on takes that relaxing away from you.
Exactly right on both counts. People frequently complain that they don't want to have to worry about all this stupid stuff. And y'know what, I agree. That's why we want everybody to learn these basic skills, so that 9 times out of 10 you're not worrying about it.

People enjoy returning to games that have a relaxed atmosphere, and a clean game goes an incredibly long way toward achieving this. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

(Edit to add, after seeing your edit: Thanks!)
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Old 10-02-2009, 05:10 PM   #5
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Re: Proper Dealing Procedure (or "How I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love A Clean Game")

This is good stuff for designated dealers, but it seems that a lot of it wouldn't/shouldn't apply to rotating dealers.

-Making change: It can be tough for the dealer if he's at the wrong end of the table.

-Keeping muck in one pile: That's a lot of reaching to do

-Narrate action: If the dealer is playing, and he's still in the hand, his narration may be confused with his actions. Thus, someone raises, the dealer then says "raise" and everyone thinks the dealer is re-raising, so they fold. Meanwhile, the original raiser demands that the dealer is obligated to re-raise. I'm sure there are ways around this, such as always using names or "I" but player-dealers are bound to screw up.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pfapfap View Post
but do not mix or stack them with the best from previous streets.
I don't think this last one would be manageable for pot-limit games, since it would make the pot too hard to count. Any specific advice for PL?


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Originally Posted by pfapfap View Post
keep the burns separate from the muck. Some people like to put them under the dealer button, but I find this leads to confusion when people think the dealer is in the hand. Under the pot is where they should be.
Hmmm... first, I don't think a player should ever be allowed to put their hole cards under the dealer button. The button doesn't belong to the player. Furthermore, to use the button as a card protector, that either means the dealer's hole cards are too far in the middle (thus suggesting not in play) or the button is too close to the rail (thus hiding the button from some people). Why not just use a chip like everyone else? That way other players can just scan the table looking for cards where they may normally be, which is close the player.

In any case, if you allow a player to put his hole cards under the button, then you should ban other player/dealers from putting burn cards there, because of the confusion it will cause.


As for using the pot to put the burns, the problem is that it it might look any other muck card, if the mucks weren't collected in one pile (which is tough to do from the far side of the table). This could create disputes over how many cards were burned.

I like burns put under the button, or if that's too difficult to do (if you don't have felt), they can be placed next to and perpendicular to the board. (I think I saw this done at a WSOPE table.)
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Old 10-02-2009, 05:27 PM   #6
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Re: Proper Dealing Procedure (or "How I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love A Clean Game")

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I don't think this last one would be manageable for pot-limit games, since it would make the pot too hard to count. Any specific advice for PL?
Keep track of the pot by counting the bets as they go in. You should never have to actually count the pot. Learning to do this will make you a better player as well.
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Old 10-02-2009, 06:32 PM   #7
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Re: Proper Dealing Procedure (or "How I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love A Clean Game")

Great post pfapfap.

And you're absolutely correct that running a smooth game requires not just being aboveboard, but also maintaining proper procedures so as to always appear aboveboard.
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Old 10-02-2009, 06:53 PM   #8
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Re: Proper Dealing Procedure (or "How I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love A Clean Game")

Thanks for taking the time pfap. Good stuff.
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Old 10-02-2009, 07:06 PM   #9
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Re: Proper Dealing Procedure (or "How I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love A Clean Game")

We have problems with Dealers not paying attention. It is so annoying you say their name to let them know, and they get ****ty and say they have already folded.

The problem with where I play, it is very social. So you won't be able to get a lot of those things into play. I just work on that most of them are just dealing to turn a card over. I sit there and pay attention to the action and hurry people up (when players are chatting rather than betting).
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Old 10-02-2009, 07:58 PM   #10
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Re: Proper Dealing Procedure (or "How I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love A Clean Game")

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Originally Posted by dismalstudent99 View Post
This is good stuff for designated dealers, but it seems that a lot of it wouldn't/shouldn't apply to rotating dealers.
I see very little that doesn't apply. You're not going to change behavior in one night, but if you keep up with this, others will recognize benefit, and will start to help. At least, this has been my experience.

I'm also a strong advocate of circular or octagonal tables for self-dealt home games, for more reasons than just this.

Quote:
-Making change: It can be tough for the dealer if he's at the wrong end of the table.
If you're dealing from one end of an oval to the other, sure. But you're not going to be there every time, and like I said, the point is to start good practices so that others follow suit. If people stop from making change before action is done, you can pull change from bets that ARE close to you, toss them to the other table, and ask them to push their bets in. Or just watch 'em make change from their end. The real point is to stop people from making change before action is complete.

Quote:
-Keeping muck in one pile: That's a lot of reaching to do
Not if others recognize the value and help you out. Also, I've found this phrase to work almost every time: "Can you folks slide those cards this way, please?" A messy table is a slow table, on all streets, and especially at showdown.

Quote:
-Narrate action: If the dealer is playing, and he's still in the hand, his narration may be confused with his actions. Thus, someone raises, the dealer then says "raise" and everyone thinks the dealer is re-raising, so they fold.
VERY good point, thank you for mentioning it. You just gotta be careful when action is near you. "Billy calls, action's on me, and I...." Not really a difficult task.

Quote:
but player-dealers are bound to screw up.
Exactly, which is why I'm advocating using good and consistent procedures, to reduce screwups. An attentive dealer narrating action saves a LOT of time and headache. Having to be extra careful the few times you're in the hand is an acceptable trade-off. Remember, you're not looking to train others, you're looking to train YOURSELF. In time, others will see that it works.

Quote:
I don't think this last one would be manageable for pot-limit games, since it would make the pot too hard to count. Any specific advice for PL?
Quote:
Originally Posted by psandman View Post
Keep track of the pot by counting the bets as they go in. You should never have to actually count the pot. Learning to do this will make you a better player as well.
What he said. In games I play where they do stack the pot, I have the number ready before the dealer is done stacking.

And it's not from experience. I had only dealt or played PL a couple of times before I got the gig to deal a high stakes home PL game. To prepare, I learned the math and the shortcuts for it, invited a few friends over, and perma-dealt a microstakes PL game for a few hours. Now I'm an expert.

Quote:
Hmmm... first, I don't think a player should ever be allowed to put their hole cards under the dealer button.
"Allowed"? I don't make the rules in most of the games I play, and this is a rather silly thing to nit up. Some players use it as a card protector, some players keep it behind their cards, some players aren't even aware it exists. In MY game, I keep it out where it should be, but I don't control others at other games. I agree with everything you say and why, I just think it's hard to control in games that you don't host.

Quote:
Why not just use a chip like everyone else? That way other players can just scan the table looking for cards where they may normally be, which is close the player.
I fully agree. However, this past week I had an entire table tell me that they don't think it's something that should be done. They also keep the mucks spread out everywhere, and splash the pot a lot. I don't think they realize how much faster this game would run if they picked up a few good habits. When I write my treatise on how to behave as a player, I'll surely include it.

Quote:
As for using the pot to put the burns, the problem is that it it might look any other muck card, if the mucks weren't collected in one pile (which is tough to do from the far side of the table). This could create disputes over how many cards were burned.
A lot of people agree with your "burns under the button" philosophy, and I can dig it, but I still think it creates confusion because some people DO use the button as a card protector. I see it all the time, where people are waiting for the button to act. If you're managing the mucks well (remember: "Can y'all slide those down, please?"), then there's no confusion on the times you deal. Gotta start somewhere.

And please, even if you refuse to gather the mucks, keep the chips out of the pile of cards. If as you describe is how you're used to doing it, you're going to be shocked how much faster showdown is if you follow what I wrote.

Quote:
they can be placed next to and perpendicular to the board. (I think I saw this done at a WSOPE table.)
That's fine too, as it's nearly impossible to slide cards under chips on a flat surface, and it's difficult still on unpadded felt. The point is that it helps if they're keeps separate and distinct, and not close to a player.

I'm not trying to get you to force everybody else to do this, I'm trying to get people reading this to just start these practices themselves. Being on 2p2, you've demonstrated an interest in learning and improving. When you deal, you're affecting everybody else, so dealing is the easiest thing to slowly train others to do semi-competently. It's not hard to deal well, and when you get down the basic routine, everything goes much more smoothly. The only difference between my home game and someone else's is that I've been working on this from the start. It took a while, but everybody eventually got there. Now that most people are good at it, newcomers quickly fall into step. This ain't rocket science. Just do it well yourself. In time, they'll notice. Eventually they may ask you for tips. And you can always nudge from time to time.
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Old 10-02-2009, 08:01 PM   #11
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Re: Proper Dealing Procedure (or "How I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love A Clean Game")

Glad y'all are enjoying it, thanks for the props.

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We have problems with Dealers not paying attention. It is so annoying you say their name to let them know, and they get ****ty and say they have already folded.
Haha, absolutely. The worst are dealers who like to burn before action is complete. Two or three people will yell "Stop!" to which the dealer indignantly says, "I know!"

Uh, dude, we're doing exactly what we're supposed to do. You're not. Don't get pissy with us over it.

Quote:
The problem with where I play, it is very social. So you won't be able to get a lot of those things into play. I just work on that most of them are just dealing to turn a card over. I sit there and pay attention to the action and hurry people up (when players are chatting rather than betting).
For sure, and you can't force 'em to do it. But you can still do it well yourself. They might even catch on.
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Old 10-02-2009, 08:15 PM   #12
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Re: Proper Dealing Procedure (or "How I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love A Clean Game")

Why do you have a dealer button in a game where the deal is passed from player to player?
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Old 10-02-2009, 08:19 PM   #13
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Re: Proper Dealing Procedure (or "How I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love A Clean Game")

Outstanding post on an important topic.

TY
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Old 10-02-2009, 08:29 PM   #14
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Re: Proper Dealing Procedure (or "How I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love A Clean Game")

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Why do you have a dealer button in a game where the deal is passed from player to player?
I'm surprised you'd ask this.

With two decks in play, and people frequently getting up for drinks or the bathroom, or otherwise distracted from dealing (maybe he just won a huge pot and someone is dealing for him as he stacks chips), it's important to know where the action is. Also, post-flop, frequently there are two decks sitting on the table. Sure, one of 'em doesn't match your cards, but people don't always think about that. Besides, since the deck in use DOES match your cards, it doesn't always jump out at a quick glance. When there's no button, people ask "Who dealt?" almost every street.

A button is a big bright, differently shaped, differently colored object, that greatly contrasts with the table surface. It sits inside from the cards, it never gets picked up by another player during the hand, and it never stops from its steady progression. It has tremendous value.
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Old 10-02-2009, 08:37 PM   #15
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Re: Proper Dealing Procedure (or "How I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love A Clean Game")

Oh, I thought your suggestions were for hosts who want to implement/enforce better dealer procedures.

Leading by example is good.

However, I'm pretty pessimistic about this since people are lazy and good dealing takes work. From what I've observed, few people revise their dealing style unless they are instructed to.
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Old 10-03-2009, 09:30 AM   #16
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Re: Proper Dealing Procedure (or "How I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love A Clean Game")

thanks allot been looking for some thing like for awhile I'm going to save it.
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Old 10-03-2009, 09:51 AM   #17
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Re: Proper Dealing Procedure (or "How I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love A Clean Game")

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Originally Posted by pfapfap View Post

Quote:
Why not just use a chip like everyone else? That way other players can just scan the table looking for cards where they may normally be, which is close the player.
I fully agree. However, this past week I had an entire table tell me that they don't think it's something that should be done. They also keep the mucks spread out everywhere, and splash the pot a lot. I don't think they realize how much faster this game would run if they picked up a few good habits. When I write my treatise on how to behave as a player, I'll surely include it.
Really? They don't think it should be done? What possible reasoning could they have for this?
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Old 10-03-2009, 11:49 AM   #18
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Re: Proper Dealing Procedure (or "How I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love A Clean Game")

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I'm surprised you'd ask this.

With two decks in play, and people frequently getting up for drinks or the bathroom, or otherwise distracted from dealing (maybe he just won a huge pot and someone is dealing for him as he stacks chips), it's important to know where the action is. Also, post-flop, frequently there are two decks sitting on the table. Sure, one of 'em doesn't match your cards, but people don't always think about that. Besides, since the deck in use DOES match your cards, it doesn't always jump out at a quick glance. When there's no button, people ask "Who dealt?" almost every street.

A button is a big bright, differently shaped, differently colored object, that greatly contrasts with the table surface. It sits inside from the cards, it never gets picked up by another player during the hand, and it never stops from its steady progression. It has tremendous value.
It probably stems from the fact that I came up playing stud. We had never heard of a dealer button. We never seemed to have all this difficulty figuring out whose deal it was.
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Old 10-03-2009, 12:05 PM   #19
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Re: Proper Dealing Procedure (or "How I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love A Clean Game")

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Really? They don't think it should be done? What possible reasoning could they have for this?
I have no idea. They bristled so much at the suggestion, I didn't want to push it.

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It probably stems from the fact that I came up playing stud. We had never heard of a dealer button. We never seemed to have all this difficulty figuring out whose deal it was.
Uh... you are aware that in Stud, action is not determined by who dealt, right? It's not "all this difficulty" it's just a second or two of "Who dealt?" every street. In every game I play, even with a rotating deal, the "dealer" is not always the person with cards.
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Old 10-03-2009, 05:23 PM   #20
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Re: Proper Dealing Procedure (or "How I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love A Clean Game")

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I have no idea. They bristled so much at the suggestion, I didn't want to push it.



Uh... you are aware that in Stud, action is not determined by who dealt, right? It's not "all this difficulty" it's just a second or two of "Who dealt?" every street. In every game I play, even with a rotating deal, the "dealer" is not always the person with cards.
Of course action is governed .... by who dealt. If the dealer can't remember that he is the dealer who is going to deliver the cards
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Old 10-03-2009, 06:47 PM   #21
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Re: Proper Dealing Procedure (or "How I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love A Clean Game")

Just glanced over OP, but fwiw Cliff Notes of good habits to have (in my experience):

1) Announce # of players, tap, burn, and turn, in that order... and don't get a head start on any of these steps.

2) If someone looks confused as to what you're doing, about to do, or what cards play (etc.)... just slow down, and if needed ask politely if they have a question - esp with new players. Sometimes you could be the one making an error.

3) Count the stub on occasion, but avoid messing with it if a bunch of players are up to go to the bathroom or away from the table for a minute. People don't like seeing someone figiting with the deck while they're away.

4) Use a nice set of custom chips, if you're playing for any money that matters.

5) Actually have a set of rules that you play by to include policies on irregularities, Robert's Rules has some kind of form you can fill out. Or, get a copy of a casino's Rules & Irregularities book and use that. (I believe I have a couple of these from AC Houses I'll try to dig out come to think of it).

6) Everyone should know the correct way to handle multiple side pots. They're somewhat rare, but can get confusing if you don't know how it's done and are used to playing online. If you make a mess of it things can get bad. First hand I ever dealt was a tourney with 3 players all in and then the big stack covering, and they hadn't been colored up so people had amounts like 2275 and whatnot.

The biggest thing is that people you play with understand that it's to be taken seriously, and in my experience the noob saying "just do this" or "it's no big deal about that, stop being a nit" will be the first guy crying about how he wants his money back, because two streets before the dealer never burned a card.

Last edited by Gonzirra; 10-03-2009 at 06:54 PM.
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Old 10-04-2009, 10:53 AM   #22
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Re: Proper Dealing Procedure (or "How I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love A Clean Game")

Great thread Dr. Strangelove

Re: KILL ALL LOSING HANDS BEFORE PUSHING THE POT

This is something I need to do better. Although I do a decent job of calling the action and such, I'm often guilty of checking out of the hand after dealing the river (usually if its not a particularly interesting hand). I'll dump the stub and go head for another beer, come back and say "who won that pot?".

This thread will remind me to stick with the hand until a winner is determined.
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Old 10-06-2009, 10:25 PM   #23
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Re: Proper Dealing Procedure (or "How I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love A Clean Game")

That's a great post. So, I hate to do this, but there are a few mistakes. However, since I don't want to come out sounding too negative, I'll include everything, positive and negative.

PAY ATTENTION - Absolutely right.

COUNT WHILE YOU DEAL - Not really. Actually deal to chips, not players, and you'll be fine.

ANNOUNCE PLAYERS PER STREET - Definitely a mandatory action.

PROMPT PLAYERS FOR ACTION - Kind of...but use your eyes before you use an open palm or make remarks. However, don't wait too long. If they may not know it's their turn, do exactly what is said above.

NARRATE ACTION - Definitely do NOT do this. The dealer should only announce raises and all-ins (and some say calls, others say do not announce calls). Definitely do not announce folds and there is no need to announce how much it is to a person to call unless he is not paying attention.

RAP THE TABLE BEFORE YOU BURN - Each and every time. Also, the statement made was to keep the burn and muck separate if possible. Make it possible. Never combine the two. As was stated, keep the muck in a pile and the burn cards tucked (and identifiable) under the edge of the pot.

KEEP THE MUCK SEPARATE AND CONTAINED - I will also add, always keep it in the same place and protected.

KEEP BETS IN FRONT OF PLAYERS UNTIL ACTION IS COMPLETE - Very true, but I will add one comment and one correction. Comment: Don't even rake the "call portion" of bets. It's OK to separate the "call" portion from the "raise" portion, but still leave it in front of the players. Correction: If somebody touches the pot, tries to make change, etc., DO NOT LET IT BE. Stop them immediately. Nobody should be doing this except the dealer in any situation.

KEEP THE POT TOGETHER, BUT NOT STACKED OR PILED - This is true, but do mix the streets together. The pot should be one pile, not several.

BE CAREFUL WITH SIDE POTS: I'd only add the word "very". Very wise statements here.

KILL ALL LOSING HANDS BEFORE AWARDING THE POT: Definitely right...except in the case of side pots, of course.

The most important thing is to do things in the right order and to be very consistent in doing these things. Never stray from the proper routine. Consistency is the key. If you are consistent, you won't get yourself confused.

Gobbs
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Old 10-06-2009, 10:52 PM   #24
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Re: Proper Dealing Procedure (or "How I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love A Clean Game")

I appreciate the feedback. I think you may not have realized this is in Home Poker, so some things you say which are appropriate for dealer-run casino games do not necessarily apply for drunken home free-for-alls.

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COUNT WHILE YOU DEAL - Not really. Actually deal to chips, not players, and you'll be fine.
I agree with deal to chips. You're not counting in order to ensure you have everybody, you're counting to "set" the number in your head. It helps me, it helps other professional dealers with whom I've discussed this, and it's helped every single home game player I've suggested try it. So since I've only ever seen it help, I'm sticking by it.

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PROMPT PLAYERS FOR ACTION - Kind of...but use your eyes before you use an open palm or make remarks. However, don't wait too long. If they may not know it's their turn, do exactly what is said above.
In a casino, I absolutely agree. In a home game, you're not just doing it for the sake of the player whose action it is, you're doing it for the sake of everybody else, too. If you're not playing in home games where people are drunk out of their minds and don't know what's going on, you're not playing in the right home games.

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NARRATE ACTION - Definitely do NOT do this. The dealer should only announce raises and all-ins (and some say calls, others say do not announce calls). Definitely do not announce folds and there is no need to announce how much it is to a person to call unless he is not paying attention.
Again, I must stress, drunken home game here. In a casino the level of narration depends very much on the stakes and sophistication of the game. 3/6 LHE needs hands held every action, while 30/60 requires little more than "button moves". There's no stock answer for how much to narrate, and a good dealer takes the temperature of the table. As a default in a home game setting, start with full narration, tone it down as needed.

I've yet to join a home game that didn't need it. I consider this a good thing.

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KEEP BETS IN FRONT OF PLAYERS UNTIL ACTION IS COMPLETE - Very true, but I will add one comment and one correction. Comment: Don't even rake the "call portion" of bets.
Y'know, I'd like more opinion on this one. I used to be very strongly in the "leave the bet as it is" camp, but on all my trips to Vegas, the dealers always separate it out and pull it in.

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Correction: If somebody touches the pot, tries to make change, etc., DO NOT LET IT BE. Stop them immediately. Nobody should be doing this except the dealer in any situation.
Again, these are home games, and there are not dedicated dealers. Somebody just taking his turn in a rotation-deal game at someone's house is not going to have much luck being the change nit. You need to give in order to get. Choose your battles.

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KEEP THE POT TOGETHER, BUT NOT STACKED OR PILED - This is true, but do mix the streets together. The pot should be one pile, not several.
I disagree strongly. What is your basis for this?

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Consistency is the key. If you are consistent, you won't get yourself confused.
Very true.
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Old 10-06-2009, 11:04 PM   #25
Lottery Larry
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Re: Proper Dealing Procedure (or "How I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love A Clean Game")

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was to keep the burn and muck separate if possible. Make it possible. Never combine the two. As was stated, keep the muck in a pile and the burn cards tucked (and identifiable) under the edge of the pot.
I like the burn cards under the button, myself.... though I guess you have to know the dealer isn't a potential cheat.

KEEP THE MUCK SEPARATE AND CONTAINED - I will also add, always keep it in the same place and protected.

Quote:
Comment: Don't even rake the "call portion" of bets. It's OK to separate the "call" portion from the "raise" portion, but still leave it in front of the players.
I do this sometimes, but generally I agree it's not a good practice. If nothing else, it distracts the players in the hand.

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KILL ALL LOSING HANDS BEFORE AWARDING THE POT: Definitely right...except in the case of side pots, of course.
I'm trying to think of a situation where the dealer couldn't kill the losing hands because of a side pot.... ?



Otherwise, generally good addition, sir.
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