TEXAS HOLD ‘EM for the DTTF Free Amateur Poker League

RULES AND REGULATIONS

DTTF / APL is a forum where players can come to hone their poker skills and abilities free of charge.  There is no gambling involved. There will be NO CASH / CASH EQUIVALENT / ITEMS OF VALUE exchanged between players and DTTF staff.  Failure to comply with this regulation will result in banishment from the DTTF / APL.

GAME DESCRIPTION

In Texas hold ‘em, players receive two down cards as their personal hand (hole cards), after which there is a round of betting.  Three board cards are turned simultaneously (called the “flop”) and another round of betting occurs. The next two board cards are turned one at a time, with a round of betting after each card.  The board cards are community cards, and a player may use any five-card combination from among the board and personal cards. A player may even use all of the board cards and no personal cards to form a hand (play the board).  A dealer button is used. The usual structure is to use two blinds, but it is possible to play the game with one blind, multiple blinds, an ante, or a combination of blinds plus an ante.

TOURNAMENT RULES

By participating in any tournament, you agree to abide by the rules and behave in a courteous manner.  A violator may be verbally warned, suspended from play for a specified length of time, or disqualified from the tournament. Chips from a disqualified participant will be removed from play. Players, whether in the hand or not, may not discuss the hands until the action is complete. Players are obligated to protect the other players in the tournament at all times. Discussing cards discarded or hand possibilities is not allowed. A penalty may be given for discussion of hands during the play.

1. Whenever possible, all rules are the same as those that apply to live games.

2. Initial seating is determined by random draw or assignment. (For a one-table satellite event, cards to determine seating may be left faceup so the earlier entrants can pick their seat, since the button is assigned randomly.)

3. A change of seat is not allowed after play starts, except as assigned by the director.

4. The appropriate starting amount of chips will be distributed by an official DTTF Tournament Director.

5. If an entrant is absent at the start of an event, at some point an effort will be made to locate and contact the player. If the player requests the chips be left in place until arrival, the request will be honored. If the player is unable to be contacted, the chips may be removed from play at the discretion of the director anytime after a new betting level is begun or a half-hour has elapsed, whichever occurs first. No Points will be accrued by said player (you must be in attendance when you get knocked out to accrue points)

6. A starting stack of chips may be placed in a seat to accommodate late entrants (so all antes and blinds have been appropriately paid). An unsold seat will have such a stack removed at a time left to the discretion of the director.

7. A no-show or absent player is always dealt a hand. That player’s stack will post chips for blinds and antes, and have the forced lowcard bet put into the pot at stud. 

8. In all tournament games using a dealer button, the starting position of the button is determined by the players drawing for the First Ace. 

9. Limits and blinds are raised at regularly scheduled intervals.

10. If there is a signal designating the end of a betting level, the new limits apply on the next deal. (A deal begins with the first riffle of the shuffle.)

11. The lowest denomination of chip in play will be removed from the table when it is no longer needed in the blind or ante structure. All lower-denomination chips that are of sufficient quantity for a new chip will be changed up directly. All chips being removed will be rounded up to the next lowest chip still in play at the discretion of our tournament Director.

12. A player must be present at the table to stop the action by calling “time.”

13. A player must be at the table by the time all players have their complete starting hands in order to have a live hand for that deal. (The dealer has been instructed to kill the hands of all absent players immediately after dealing each player a starting hand.)

14. As players are eliminated, tables are broken in a pre-set order, with players from the broken tables assigned to empty seats at other tables.

15. In button games, if a player is needed to move from a table to balance tables, the player due for the big blind will be automatically selected to move, and will be given the earliest seat due for the big blind if more than one seat is open.

16. New players are dealt in immediately..

17. The number of players at each table will be kept reasonably balanced by the transfer of a player as needed. With more than six tables, table size will be kept within two players. With six tables or less, table size will be kept within one player.

18. In all events, there is a redraw for seating when the field is reduced to three tables, two tables, and one table. (Redrawing at three tables is not mandatory in small tournaments with only four or five starting tables.)

19. If a player lacks sufficient chips for a blind or a forced bet , the player is entitled to get action on whatever amount of money remains. A player who posts a short blind and wins does not need to make up the blind.

20. A player who declares all-in and loses the pot, then discovers that one or more chips were hidden, is not entitled to benefit from this. That player is eliminated from the tournament if the opponent had sufficient chips to cover the hidden ones . If another deal has not yet started, the director may rule the chips belong to the opponent who won that pot, if that obviously would have happened with the chips out in plain view. If the next deal has started, the discovered chips are removed from the tournament.

21. All players must leave their seat immediately after being eliminated from an event.

22. Showing cards from a live hand during the action injures the rights of other players still competing in an event, who wish to see contestants eliminated. A player in a multihanded pot may not show any cards during a deal. Heads-up, a player may not show any cards unless the event has only two remaining players, or is winner-take-all. If a player deliberately shows a card, the player may be penalized (but his hand will not be ruled dead). Verbally stating one’s hand during the play may be penalized.

23. The limitation on the number of raises at limit poker is also applied to heads-up situations (except the last two players in a tournament are exempted from a limitation on raises).

24. At pot-limit and no-limit play, the player must either use a verbal statement giving the amount of the raise or put the chips into the pot in a single motion. Otherwise, it is a string bet.

25. Non-tournament chips are not allowed on the table.

26. Higher-denomination chips must be placed where they are easily visible to all other players.

27. All tournament chips must remain visible on the table throughout the event. Chips taken off the table or pocketed will be removed from the event, and a player who is caught doing this may be disqualified.

28. Inappropriate behavior like throwing cards that go off the table may be punished with a penalty such as being dealt out for a length of time. A severe infraction such as abusive or disruptive behavior may be punished by eviction from the tournament.

29. The deck is not changed on request. Decks change when the dealers change, unless there is a damaged card.

30. The dealer button remains in position until the appropriate blinds are taken. Players must post all blinds every round. Because of this, last action may be given to the same player for two consecutive hands by the use of a “dead button”. 

31. In heads-up play with two blinds, the small blind is on the button.

32. At stud, if a downcard on the initial hand is dealt faceup, a misdeal is called.

33. No Re Entries at any point in a down to the felt tournament with exception to multiple elimination tournaments.

34. All hands will be turned faceup whenever a player is all-in and betting action is complete.

35. If multiple players go broke on the same hand, the player starting the hand with the larger amount of chips finishes in the higher place for prize money and any other award. 

36. Management is required to rule on any private deals, or redistribution of the prize pool among finalists.

37. Private agreements by remaining players in an event regarding distribution of the prize pool are not condoned. (However, if such an agreement is made, the director has the option of ensuring that it is carried out by paying those amounts.) Any private agreement that excludes one or more active competitors is improper by definition.

38. A tournament event is expected to be played until completion. A private agreement that removes all prize money from being at stake in the competition is unethical.

39. Management retains the right to cancel any event, or alter it in a manner fair to the players.

DECISION-MAKING

1. Management reserves the right to make decisions in the spirit of fairness, even if a strict interpretation of the rules may indicate a different ruling.

2. Decisions of the Tournament Director are final.

3. The proper time to draw attention to an error or irregularity is when it occurs or is first noticed. Any delay may affect the ruling.

4. If an incorrect rule interpretation or decision by an employee is made in good faith, the establishment has no liability.

5. A ruling may be made regarding a pot if it has been requested before the next deal starts (or before the game either ends or changes to another table). Otherwise, the result of a deal must stand. The first riffle of the shuffle marks the start for a deal.

6. If a pot has been incorrectly awarded and mingled with chips that were not in the pot, but the time limit for a ruling request given in the previous rule has been complied with, management may determine how much was in the pot by reconstructing the betting, and then transfer that amount to the proper player.

7. To keep the action moving, it is possible that a game may be asked to continue even though a decision is delayed for a short period. The delay could be needed to check the overhead camera tape, get the shift supervisor to give the ruling, or some other good reason. In such circumstances, a pot or portion thereof may be impounded by the house while the decision is pending.

8. The same action may have a different meaning, depending on who does it, so the possible intent of an offender will be taken into consideration. Some factors here are the person’s amount of poker experience and past record.

9. A player, before he acts, is entitled to request and receive information as to whether any opposing hand is alive or dead, or whether a wager is of sufficient size to reopen the betting. 

PROCEDURES

1. Only one person may play a hand.

2. No one is allowed to play another player’s chips. 

3. Management will decide when to start or close any game.

4.No Player will ever pay or Gamble with any articles holding Consideration in Down To The Felt Tournaments, Any player caught will be suspended or banned from returning to the League.

5. Cash is not permitted on the table. 

6. The establishment is not responsible for any shortage or removal of chips left on the table during a player’s absence, even though we will try to protect everyone as best we can. No Chips may leave the Table at any Point.
7. Players can be entered into the tournament up to one hour after the cards go in the air. Chips will be deducted from the players stack in accordance with the blinds missed. 

8. All chips and must be kept in plain view. 

9. There are no Re Entries at any point in the same location on the same evening.

10. Playing out of a rack is not allowed.

11. Permission is required before taking a seat in a game.

12. English only at the table. No other language is to be spoken amongst players while they are involved in the tournament.

13. Pushing bets (“saving” or “potting out”) is not allowed.

14. Pushing an ante or posting for another person is not allowed.

15. Splitting pots will not be allowed in any game. Chopping the big and small blind is not allowed.

16. Insurance propositions are not allowed.

17.. Raising the blinds  is subject to management approval.

18. Players must keep their cards in full view. This means above table-level and not past the edge of the table. The cards should not be covered by the hands in a manner to completely conceal them.

19. Any player is entitled to a clear view of an opponent’s chips. Higher denomination chips should be easily visible.

20. Your chips may be picked up if you are away from the table for more than 30 minutes. Your absence may be extended if you notify a floorperson in advance. Frequent or continuous absences may cause your chips to be picked up from the table.

21. No seat may be locked up for more than ten minutes if someone is waiting to play.

22. A new deck must be used for at least a full round (once around the table) before it may be changed, and a new setup must be used for at least an hour, unless a deck is defective or damaged, or cards become sticky.

23. Looking through the discards or deck stub is not allowed.

24. After a deal ends, dealers are asked to not show what card would have been dealt.

25. A player is expected to pay attention to the game and not hold up play. Activity that interferes with this such as reading at the table is discouraged, and the player will be asked to cease if a problem is caused.

26. A non-player may not sit at the table.

27. In tournament games, you may have a guest sit behind you if no one in the game objects. It is improper for a guest to look at any hand other then your own.

28. Speaking a foreign language during a deal is not allowed.

SEATING

1. You must be present to add your name to a alternate  list .

2. It is the player’s responsibility to be in the playing area and hear the list being called. A player who intends to leave the playing area should notify the list-person.

3.. A new player will be sent to the game most in need of an additional player. A transfer to a similar game is not allowed if it makes the game being left shorter-handed than the game being entered.

4. A player may not hold a seat if there is an alternate list.

5. The house reserves the right to require that any two players not play in the same game (husband and wife, relatives, business partners, and so forth).

6. When a button game starts, active players will draw a card for the button position . The button will be awarded to the first Ace.

7. Management may reserve a certain seat for a player, as to assist in ease of reading the board for a person with a vision problem, or some other good reason.

8. To avoid a seating dispute, a supervisor may decide to start the game with one extra player over the normal number participating. If so, a seat will be removed as soon as someone is eliminated from the game.

9. When a game reaches the final table of a tournament , each player may draw a card to determine the seating order for a similar game. 

RULES FOR IRREGULARITIES

1. If the initial holecard dealt is exposed, a misdeal results. The dealer will retrieve the card, reshuffle, and recut the cards. If any other holecard is exposed due to a dealer error, the deal continues. The exposed card may not be kept. After completing the hand, the dealer replaces the card with the top card on the deck, and the exposed card is then used for the burncard. If more than one holecard is exposed, this is a misdeal and there must be a redeal.

2. If the dealer mistakenly deals the first player an extra card (after all players have received their starting hands), the card will be returned to the deck and used for the burncard. If the dealer mistakenly deals more than one extra card, it is a misdeal. 

3. If the flop contains too many cards, it must be redealt. (This applies even if it were possible to know which card was the extra one.)

4. If the dealer failed to burn a card before dealing the flop, or burned two cards, the error should be rectified by using the proper burncard and flop, if no boardcards were exposed. The deck must be reshuffled if any boardcards were exposed. 

5. If the dealer burns and turns before a betting round is complete, the card(s) may not be used, even if all subsequent players elect to fold. Nobody has an option of accepting or rejecting the card. The betting is then completed, and the error rectified in the prescribed manner for that situation. 

6 . If the dealer fails to burn a card or burns more than one card, the error should be corrected if discovered before betting action has started for that round. Once action has been taken on a boardcard by any player, the card must stand. Whether the error is able to be corrected or not, subsequent cards dealt should be those that would have come if no error had occurred. For example, if two cards were burned, one of the cards should be put back on the deck and used for the burncard on the next round. If there was no betting on a round because a player was all-in, the error should be corrected if discovered before the pot has been awarded.

7. If the flop needs to be redealt because the cards were prematurely flopped before the betting was complete, or the flop contained too many cards, the boardcards are mixed with the remainder of the deck. The burncard remains on the table. After shuffling, the dealer cuts the deck and deals a new flop without burning a card. [See “Section 16 – Explanations,” discussion #4, for more information on this rule.] 

8. A dealing error for the fourth boardcard is rectified in a manner to least influence the identity of the boardcards that would have been used without the error. The dealer burns and deals what would have been the fifth card in the fourth card’s place. After this round of betting, the dealer reshuffles the deck, including the card that was taken out of play, but not including the burncards or discards. The dealer then cuts the deck and deals the final card without burning a card. If the fifth card is turned up prematurely, the deck is reshuffled and dealt in the same manner. 

9. You must declare that you are playing the board before you throw your cards away; otherwise you relinquish all claim to the pot. (The rule for tournament play is you must retain your hand and show it if asked, in order to win part of the pot.)

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