Buffalo Pub Poker Guidelines & Tournament Rules

The following rules are to be enforced by the Tournament Director. If they are not respected players may receive 10-minute penalties, elimination from the tournament, forfeiture of any points or prizes, and possibly elimination from eligibility for Buffalo Pub Poker (BPP) events!

* There are many players who are new to Texas Hold 'Em poker. If a player is obviously new to the game, and still learning the rules, they should receive courtesies to an extent. BPP’s goal is for all of our participants to have fun and to make new players feel welcome!

Please be respectful of these rules and the Tournament Directors.

*** No Gambling ***

This rule is taken very seriously. BPP and the bars/restaurants that host BPP can be subject to penalties if there is any gambling in their establishment. Any player caught wagering cash, property, or anything of value will be barred from any and all BPP events, NO EXCEPTIONS!

Cheating

If you suspect a player is cheating, let the Tournament Director know immediately. Their ruling on the situation is final. Cheating can include colluding with other players, dumping chips or intentionally trying to look at another player’s hand. If the players decide to split up remaining prizes and or points this may be allowed, but will first need to be approved by the Tournament Director. Talking on cell phones or texting while playing at the table is not allowed. Player can be permitted to step away from the table to utilize cell phones.

Starting Chip Count

The minimum starting chip count for weekly tournaments is $2,000 in chips. This amount must be the same for every player, no exceptions. The "Top 40" tournament at the end of the quarter will have a larger starting chip stack than the weekly events.

Blind Structure

Blinds will increase every 15 minutes. Cards will be dealt to chip stacks, not to players at their seats. If a player is not in their chair they will be dealt cards and the cards will be mucked unless the player makes it back to the table before all of the cards are dealt. Essentially, every time the deal goes around the table, every player will be dealt in whether they are at their seat or not. Players must pay both Large and Small Blinds. If your neighbor is unavailable/unable to deal, please be a Good Samaritan and deal for them. We’re all here to have fun!

Misdeals

If a card flips over during the initial deal, it is an automatic misdeal. In a misdeal, all cards are returned to the dealer, reshuffled and a new hand is dealt. If there is an error during the deal that can be rectified by returning the cards to the dealer that have not yet been seen by any player, call over tournament director, and they can attempt to fix the error in this manner. Anyone who has not yet looked at their cards can call a misdeal if they feel the cards were dealt incorrectly.

Sitting at the Table

If a player is eliminated from the tournament they can no longer sit at the table. This will cause confusion and could result in an increased number of misdeals. Spectators may sit behind a player if they are in the tournament as long as it is not bothering any other players at the table. Relax, grab a drink and enjoy the show!

Betting

Verbal is binding! if a bet is not declared verbally it is not considered a bet until the chip is released from the players hand. If a player wishes to raise, it is always best to verbally announce “raise”. If you are unsure of the minimum amount needed to raise, announcing “raise” will ensure that your raise is official. All raises must be equal to or greater than the size of the previous bet or raise in that betting round. Of course, all-in wagers are an exception to the rule. If a player throws in one chip that is larger than the amount of the call, it will be an assumed call unless the player verbally announces “raise”, even if the chip is large enough to constitute a raise. This is called the “one chip rule”.

If a player needs change from the pot when calling with a chip larger than the bet, to avoid confusion, it is always best to wait until the end of the betting in that round to get change. For example, if player A calls a $100 blind with a $500 chip and grabs his/her $400 change from the other players blinds, and player B re-raises all-in for $1500 there will be confusion as to how much player A still owes if he has already grabbed his change. Remember, if there is any confusion it is always best to call the tournament director over to make a ruling.

Splashing the Pot

When placing a wager, a player must place the bet directly in front of them. If the player puts the chips directly into the pot (splashing the pot) it will be difficult to tell if the player put the correct amount in. Do Not Splash the Pot!

Folding

All players are responsible for protecting their own hands. If cards touch the muck (the pile of folded cards), they are dead (out-of-play). Cards will never be pulled out of the muck. If a player didn’t intend to fold and does so out of confusion, the cards may be given back to the player as long as they have not touched the muck. Remember all rulings in this regard are at the discretion of the Tournament Director.

Exposed Card(s)

If a community card(s) is/are exposed prematurely, the card(s) will NOT be used. Call the Tournament Director over to the table to fix the situation.

Showdown

The showdown is when the hand is over and the players are showing their hands to determine the winner. A player must show at least 2 cards in order to win the pot. The person who bet last has to show their hand first. If there was not a bet, then the player closest to the dealer button has to show their hand first. Losing hands do not have to be shown.

Exposing Your Hand

In the case of an all-in bet, hands will be turned face up whenever a player is all-in and the betting action has been completed. If a player accidentally exposes one of their cards before all players have acted, they must turn up both cards (this is to prevent players purposely doing this to read another players reaction). A player cannot intentionally show his hand before the showdown. If a player appears to be exposing his/her cards purposely, it is at the discretion of the Tournament Director whether a warning will be issued, or the player may be eliminated should the behavior continue. AGAIN, this is up to the Tournament Director. If there is not a showdown, and a player shows their hand to anyone at the table, the hand must be shown to the entire table. The “show one show all” rule is common in most gaming rooms throughout the country.

All-Ins

A player can only win what’s in front of them, in the case where a player is all-in for less than the blind there will be a side pot. If there is any confusion in this regard call over the Tournament Director.

Split Pots If there is a split pot situation (when players have the same hand and the pot is split up evenly) the chips will be split up equally to the players in the hand. Any extra chip goes to the position closest to the dealer.

Multiple Players Eliminated at the Same Time

In the case where two or more players are eliminated at the same time the placing will be according to chip stack at the beginning of the hand. If the rare case of multiple players starting the hand with the exact number of chips the points will be awarded to each player.

Playing Heads Up

When playing heads-up, the Dealer will always the Little Blind, and first to act pre-flop (before the flop), but last to act after the flop.

Combining Tables

When moving to a new table, attempt to sit in a similar position to the dealer. If 2 or less players move to a new table and sit in the Big Blind, they have the option of sitting out until the deal passes them. If 3 or more move to a new table, first ace will determine the new dealer position.

Equal Players/Table

The Tournament Director will attempt to keep the tables as balanced as possible. If the Tournament Director sees that the tables are unfairly balanced he/she may stop play until they are equally balanced. Within two players is considered equally balanced.

Leaving the Table

If a player leaves the table during play to use the bathroom, get a drink, etc. . . . they are dealt in the hand. If they have not returned by the time it is their turn to act, their cards are mucked (returned to the pile) and their blinds placed in the pot.

***If a player must leave the table for an extended period of time, please notify the Tournament Director. At the discretion of the Tournament Director, if a player misses an excessive number of blinds that player’s chips will be removed from play. Please remember that this is strictly for entertainment!

Leaving Early

If a player has to leave the tournament early or is ejected from the tournament the chips are removed.

General Rules for the Game of Texas No-Limit Hold'Em Poker

1. Depending on the limit and betting structure, players will place out blinds and antes so there is an initial amount to get things started. This is called posting.
2. The dealer shuffles up a standard deck of 52 playing cards.
3. Each player is dealt two private cards face down. These are called your hole cards or pocket cards.

4. Then there is a round of betting starting with the player to the left of the blinds. This is the preflop betting round. Like most games of poker, players can call, raise, or fold.

5. After the betting round ends, the dealer discards the top card of the deck. This is called a burn card. This is done to prevent cheating.

6. The dealer then flips the next three cards face up on the table. This is called the flop. These are communal cards that anyone can use in combination with their two pocket cards to form a poker hand.

7. The player to the left of the dealer starts another betting round.

8. After the betting concludes, the dealer burns again then flips another communal card onto the table. This is called the turn.

9. The player to the left of the dealer begins another round of betting. In many types poker of games, this is where the bet size doubles.

10. Again, the dealer burns a card and places a final card face up on the table. This is called the river. Players can now use any of the five cards on the table or the two cards in their pocket to form a five card poker hand.

11. There is one final round of betting starting with the player to the left of the dealer.

12. After that, we have the showdown. Players who have not folded reveal their hands, beginning with the player to the left of the last player to call. Players use a combination of their pocket cards and the community cards to form a five card poker hand.

13. The player who shows the best hand wins! Although sometimes players with the same hand split the pot.