Tournament Rules

By participating in a 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 a hand possibility 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.
  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 placed on the table for each paid entrant at the beginning of the event, whether the person is present or not.
  5. If a paid 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.
  6. A starting stack of chips may be placed in a seat to accommodate late entrants (so all 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.
  8. In all tournament games using a dealer button, the starting position of the button begins in the 9-seat.  If that seat is not sold, then the button advances clockwise to the next player.
  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 structure. All lower-denomination chips that are of sufficient quantity for a new chip will be changed up directly. The method for removal of odd chips is to deal one card to a player for each odd chip possessed. Cards are dealt clockwise starting with the 1-seat, with each player receiving all cards before any cards are dealt to the next player. A player may not be eliminated from the event by the chip-change process. If a player has no chips after the race has been held, he/she will be given a chip of the higher denomination before anyone else is awarded a chip. Next, the player with the highest card by suit gets one new chip (only one allowed per player no matter how many high cards received). This process continues until all new chips are passed out.
  12. A player must be present at the table to stop the action by calling “time.”
  13.  A player must be at his/her seat by the time the first card is dealt in order to have a live hand for that deal.
  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 to a table as a result of balancing tables are dealt in immediately unless they are in the small blind or button position, where they must wait until the button has passed to the player on their left.
  17.  The number of players at each table will be kept reasonably balanced by the transfer of a player as needed.
  18.  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 is left in his/her stack. A player who posts a short blind and wins does not need to make up the blind.
  19.  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 (A rebuy is okay if allowable by the rules of that event). 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.
  20.  All players must leave their seat immediately after being eliminated from an event.
  21.  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 multi-handed 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.
  22.  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).
  23.  Non-tournament chips are not allowed on the table.
  24.  Higher-denomination chips must be placed where they are easily visible to all other players.
  25.  All tournament chips must remain visible on the table throughout the event. Chips taken off the table will be removed from the event, and a player doing this may be disqualified.
  26.  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 or number of hands. A severe infraction such as abusive or disruptive behavior may be punished by eviction from the tournament.
  27.  The decks are not changed unless a card is damaged.
  28.  The dealer button remains in position until the appropriate blinds are taken. Players must post all blinds every round.
  29.  In heads-up play with two blinds, the small blind is on the button. When play becomes heads-up, the player who had the big blind the most recently is given the button, and his opponent is given the big blind.
  30.  If a player announces the intent to rebuy before cards are dealt, that player is playing behind and is obligated to make the rebuy.
  31.  All hands will be turned face up whenever a player is all-in and betting action is complete.
  32.  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. Players eliminated on the same deal who start their final hand with an equal amount of chips receive equal prize money, with the best hand on that deal receiving any non-divisible award.
  33.  Management is not required to rule on any private deals, side bets, or redistribution of the prize pool among finalists.
  34.  Private agreements by remaining players in an event regarding distribution of the prize pool are not recommended. (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 does not include one or more active competitors is improper by definition.
  35.  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.
  36.  Management retains the right to cancel any event, or alter it in a manner fair to the players.