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Old 07-10-2018, 08:17 PM   #1
sharkem
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player tabling hand before call is made

My opponent made a bet on the river, and I was getting ready to call him. As I reached for calling chips, he seemed like he was excited and getting ready to turn his cards over. Then I had the chips in my fist. Around the time my fist was entering the airspace of the betting ring, he tabled his hand. I then withdrew my fist and set my chips down by my stack. I was confused, and it took me several seconds to read his hand. Then I realized my hand was better and tabled my hand. The dealer said that I called him and pushed all the chips to me. My opponent was upset but unable to express himself well because he didn't speak English well.

I don't go for angles, but obviously when he tables his hand early, I don't want to put any chips in unless I have a winner. So I am wondering: at what moment would a call have officially taken place? Is it when my fist touches the felt, when my chips touch the felt, or something else?

Could I have raised when I realized my hand was the winner?

What if he didn't table his hand early but just seemed like he was getting ready to table as I am starting to move my fist forward? Would it then be OK to pause and then fold hands that were in the bottom of my calling range?

Last edited by sharkem; 07-10-2018 at 08:36 PM.
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Old 07-10-2018, 08:28 PM   #2
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Re: player tabling hand before call is made

It depends on the house rules
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Old 07-10-2018, 09:52 PM   #3
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Re: player tabling hand before call is made

Unless you're leaving out something, it seems to me that you never called, so I don't know how you could be awarded the main pot, much less his last bet.

But if the house rule is that your motion was a call, it would have been a call even if you had the worst hand, and the dealer should have said something before you had time to figure out what the other guy had.

I recommend finding out the rules at your place and being more careful in the future.

Last edited by chillrob; 07-10-2018 at 10:02 PM.
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Old 07-10-2018, 10:02 PM   #4
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Re: player tabling hand before call is made

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Unless you're leaving out something, it seems to me that you never called, so I don't know how you could be awarded the main pot, much less his last bet.
Well, OP obviously would have called after seeing he has beaten the opponent's hand...

I don't see the problem here. Whether or not your action until the point you saw his hand constitutes a call, it ends with you calling. There would be a problem if you say you wanted to raise or if you wanted to fold after seeing his hand was better than yours.

I would definitely not try to argue for being able to raise. That seems unethical unless your intention was to raise in the first place.
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Old 07-11-2018, 12:24 AM   #5
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Re: player tabling hand before call is made

Depends on the rules. Some rooms do not have a forward motion rule. Some do. Some places the chips have to be on the table for it to be a call. In this situation it depends on the rules of the room.
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Old 07-11-2018, 02:14 AM   #6
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Re: player tabling hand before call is made

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Unless you're leaving out something, it seems to me that you never called, so I don't know how you could be awarded the main pot, much less his last bet.
Let's go to the logical conclusion of what you're getting at. They both have their hands tabled. Action's on the guy with the better hand. I turn to him and say "Action's still on you". He calls. I push the pot. Let's move onto the next hand.
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Old 07-11-2018, 02:36 AM   #7
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Re: player tabling hand before call is made

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Let's go to the logical conclusion of what you're getting at. They both have their hands tabled. Action's on the guy with the better hand. I turn to him and say "Action's still on you". He calls. I push the pot. Let's move onto the next hand.
That's the best way to handle it if the first action wasn't a call in your room. But the dealer here didn't do that. He didn't handle things properly for any rule set.
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Old 07-11-2018, 09:06 AM   #8
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Re: player tabling hand before call is made

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That's the best way to handle it if the first action wasn't a call in your room. But the dealer here didn't do that. He didn't handle things properly for any rule set.
Actually if the rule was the forward motion constituted a call, the dealer would seem to have handled this properly (perhaps he could have explained it better or announced the call quicker but substantively it would be correct)
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Old 07-11-2018, 09:48 AM   #9
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Re: player tabling hand before call is made

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Actually if the rule was the forward motion constituted a call, the dealer would seem to have handled this properly (perhaps he could have explained it better or announced the call quicker but substantively it would be correct)
He definitely needed to announce it quicker so the other player didn't feel cheated.
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Old 07-11-2018, 11:16 AM   #10
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Re: player tabling hand before call is made

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He definitely needed to announce it quicker so the other player didn't feel cheated.
This is way more important than people probably recognize.

The appearance of impropriety is at least half as bad as actual impropriety.
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Old 07-11-2018, 11:16 AM   #11
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Re: player tabling hand before call is made

Room dependent .. but NOT a call in a lot of rooms, especially the rooms that allow players to 'cut and paste' a bet .. as I call it. (Bring out a large stack and 'cut' a bet onto the table and bring the rest back to their stack.)

In those 'lot of ' rooms you hadn't even called when you were pushed the pot either, but with two exposed hands it's pretty hard to believe that you're not at least calling there so let's push the pot and move on. GL
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Old 07-11-2018, 11:59 AM   #12
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Re: player tabling hand before call is made

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This is way more important than people probably recognize.

The appearance of impropriety is at least half as bad as actual impropriety.
But if you look at it logically ....

Either it was a call or it wasn't

If the bettor thought it was a call the bettor has no reason to feel cheated.

If the bettor thought it wasn't a call why did he turn up his hand?
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Old 07-11-2018, 12:17 PM   #13
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Re: player tabling hand before call is made

Extending your fist with chips into the airspace above the pot is either a call or it isn't, depending on house rules. If the dealer ruled it a call, it probably was.
If it was a call, then he wasn't tabling his hand "early", and you had no further options.
If it wasn't a call, then tabling was a mistake on his part, and you hadn't acted yet. If you wanted to take advantage of his mistake, yes, you could have read his hand and then called, raised, or folded.
The other guy was probably upset because he lost, not because he thought you hadn't called.
However, I would point out that doing this deliberately to induce an early tabling, in today's environment, would be a real angle. Many years ago, the most common rule was that a non-verbal bet wasn't committed until chips were actually "released into the pot" (or at least touched the table). You could (and many people did) pump-fake while looking for a reaction. It wasn't even really viewed as a serious angle at that time, because lots of people did it, and almost everyone knew the rules and just waited. Today, with lots of rules variations and lots of new players, it probably should be viewed differently.
In this case, you didn't do it intentionally, so no deliberate angle. You might or might not choose to take advantage of his error (if you still had options), depending on how you feel about the ethics of the situation and the other guy.

Last edited by MJ88; 07-11-2018 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 07-11-2018, 01:09 PM   #14
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Re: player tabling hand before call is made

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Either it was a call or it wasn't

If the bettor thought it was a call the bettor has no reason to feel cheated.

If the bettor thought it wasn't a call why did he turn up his hand?
All three lines have problems.

1. While it may be true that from an omniscient point of view the rules will clearly state one or the other, sometimes the rules are not precise (e.g., if the rules state that chips must cross a line, but the chip lands on the line so its front edge has crossed but the back edge hasn't), and sometimes people don't know the rules (so there is confusion at the table even if it is true that there shouldn't be).

2. Whether or not the bettor was cheated has no bearing on whether he feels cheated. Take the dark scenario where the bettor realizes he wasn't cheated but could have been, and then devises a way to angleshoot others in the future.

3. This is the easiest conceptually - maybe he thought his opponent folded and he was unnecessarily showing as a courtesy.

I'm not saying that any of these alternate scenarios are true. I'm saying they could be true, and the ambiguity of whether they are true is itself bad.

Clearing up ambiguity is one of the most underappreciated parts of a dealer's job. Instead of assuming everyone knows whether it's a call or fold, dealer should say the obvious. Like if someone flips their hand to get a read, dealer should instinctively clarify, "Action is on Seat 5" so that nobody thinks Seat 5 mumbled a verbal action or whatever.
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Old 07-11-2018, 01:17 PM   #15
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Re: player tabling hand before call is made

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Well, OP obviously would have called after seeing he has beaten the opponent's hand...

I don't see the problem here. Whether or not your action until the point you saw his hand constitutes a call, it ends with you calling. There would be a problem if you say you wanted to raise or if you wanted to fold after seeing his hand was better than yours.
In this case, intent was pretty clear. With the winning hand, OP is certainly going to at least call.

Quote:
I would definitely not try to argue for being able to raise. That seems unethical unless your intention was to raise in the first place.
I've seen this more than once, usually when a player thought it was heads-up and there were actually 3 in the hand. Often the third guy just shoves, leaving the hand revealer to guess whether he's bluffing or not.
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Old 07-11-2018, 01:18 PM   #16
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Re: player tabling hand before call is made

Why would he think his opponent had folded? Nothing that happened would indicate that so if he thought that it isn't based on anything that happened.

What I am saying is that the dealers "delay" in announcing the call (if in fact it was a call under the house rules) can not rationally be said to have affected the outcome. If the bettor irationally feels cheated .... Then there is no reason to assume that even 8f the delaer immediately announced the call he wouldn't also irrationally feel cheated.
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Old 07-11-2018, 01:49 PM   #17
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Re: player tabling hand before call is made

The other player may think it is being ruled a call because the reg has the better hand, but if he didn't he would have been allowed to fold. It's unlikely this is true, but a rec at a new casino may not realize that, and think he is being cheated, or at least not treated as fairly compared with the regs.
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Old 07-11-2018, 06:06 PM   #18
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Re: player tabling hand before call is made

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Originally Posted by chillrob View Post
The other player may think it is being ruled a call because the reg has the better hand, but if he didn't he would have been allowed to fold. It's unlikely this is true, but a rec at a new casino may not realize that, and think he is being cheated, or at least not treated as fairly compared with the regs.
insert lesson about turning your hand up before ensuring that the action is correct and understood
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Old 07-11-2018, 06:36 PM   #19
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Re: player tabling hand before call is made

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insert lesson about turning your hand up before ensuring that the action is correct and understood
Yep, if villain were the one asking here, I would have given him that advice.
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Old 07-12-2018, 01:37 AM   #20
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Re: player tabling hand before call is made

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Originally Posted by callipygian View Post
This is way more important than people probably recognize.

The appearance of impropriety is at least half as bad as actual impropriety.
Quoted for truth.

It often comes up in the context of split pot games* but it's true here: Transparency is almost as important as getting it right. This is people's money!



*No, pushing the low half a stack of












and the high half









is not fine and dandy just because you tell me that you got the extra $5 and $4 to the right home.
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Old 07-12-2018, 01:44 AM   #21
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Re: player tabling hand before call is made

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Extending your fist with chips into the airspace above the pot is either a call or it isn't, depending on house rules. If the dealer ruled it a call, it probably was.

This is why I think the forward motion rule is far preferable. As I understand it OP is basically saying he simulated a call, but when he saw the simulation had led the other guy to flip his hand over, he decided to think better of it so he could read the hand. I'm unaware of any legitimate poker play that would require picking up a stack of chips, moving them forward to hover over the betting area, and then folding.

(Which is not to say OP was shooting an angle since he clearly didn't know whether he had called or not, just that this rule lends itself to angleshooting.)

Granted there is some legit deception to touching one's chips to get a tell etc. But a forward motion is a fundamentally different motion, one that a reasonable newcomer to the room or even newcomer to poker would interpret as a call.

Rules that privilege rules lawyers are generally bad rules.
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Old 07-12-2018, 10:08 AM   #22
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Re: player tabling hand before call is made

I don't think he said he simulated a call. I think he said he began to call but his opponent jumped the gun.

(Though he may have actually called if the rooms rules are that crossing the line in the air with calling chips is a call ...... In a room where releasing chips is the rule his action was too simulate anything)
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