Las Vegas Poker Rules
Whether you are playing poker at a friend’s house, online, or in Las Vegas there are rules you must abide by in order to keep the game running smoothly.
The first thing to keep in mind is how you should present yourself when playing at a live poker table in Las Vegas and maintaining good poker etiquette. You should avoid confrontation with other players at all cost. Not only does this make you look bad but it slows down the game and causes a strained atmosphere for you and all other players involved.
Swearing, throwing things, or damaging the cards including bending or tearing them should also be avoided. Playing under the influence of alcohol or illegal substances may interfere with your game play so try to play with a clear head. You don’t want your judgment to be clouded by this type of stuff.
Things such as carrying a weapon, destroying property, or threatening employees or other players will get you escorted from almost any poker room in Las Vegas.
When playing at the table you should avoid throwing chips purposely past the pot, playing out of turn, playing out of a rack, chatting on a cell phone, or taking extended periods of time to play when it’s your turn for no specific reason. If your head is not into the game or you are on a losing streak get up from the table and take a walk or play on a different day.
You should never touch another player’s chips or cards. Only one player is allowed to play with the chips placed on the table and the cards dealt to them. You should also never touch the discard pile or ask to view cards once a hand is over with. Dealers are told to not turn over remaining cards once a deal is completed. Most Las Vegas casinos require that you only speak English while playing at the tables and discourage those who aren’t playing from sitting to close to the table. Most poker rooms will allow a guest to sit behind a player as long as no other players object or the guest does not attempt to cheat by looking at other players hands.
If you are constantly absent from the table, chatting on a cell phone, or doing other things to hold up the game it’s possible that management will remove your chips from the table.
If you have a variety of chips on the table you should make all larger denominations viewable by other players. If you are in a current hand another player may request a chip count at any time on any of the players currently in the hand.
The Buy In, Blinds, & Other Buttons
The buy in is the amount that is required per table. Normally most casinos in Las Vegas have a minimum and maximum amount for all types of cash games. For limit poker, your full buy-in should be at least 10xs the maximum bet unless otherwise stated. For additional chips you may purchase in between hands if your chip count is below the maximum amount allowed.
The blinds are the minimum amount that is brought in at the start of each hand and the amount used for raising during that hand. If at a cash table the blinds will remain the same for the remainder of time the table stays open. Normally there are two blinds one being known as the small blind and big blind. The blinds will remain the same even if the people in the blinds do not have enough chips to post.
Every hand dealt one person will have a chance to receive the button which gives that player a chance to see their cards without paying a blind and also being the last person to make any type of decision. The two players in front of the button are known as the small blind and the big blind. Once that hand is completed the button will now move to the person who was small blind last. If a person \misses their blind they will be given a missed blind token and must pay it when returning to the table to be allowed to play.
A new player who enters a table will either wait for the big blind or pay the amount equal to the big blind and small blind to be allowed into the current hand being dealt.
Seating for Las Vegas poker rooms usually includes having players add their name to a waiting list for the desired game of their choice. Most poker rooms require that you be present to add your name to the waiting list and be within the vicinity to hear your name called. Usually they will only call your name 2-3 times max when a seat is available before moving onto the next person on the list. Once you have been seated you are not allowed to sit on your cell phone while a game is in play so keep that in mind otherwise you may lose your seat quicker than you were able to get it.
You can normally purchase chips at a local cage or directly from a cashier in the poker rooms.
Other buttons that you may notice at the table is kill pots, and all in buttons. All in buttons is used when a player calls all in stating that they have pushed all chips into the pot leaving none in front of them. At this time a side pot may be created if there are more than two players in the pot. The side pot will be split between all other players included in the current hand other than those who are all in. The kill button is when the same player has won two hands in a row causing the blinds to double. This will end once that player has lost to another player.
Misdeals & Dead Hands
A misdeal is when one or more factors will cause the current hand to be canceled and a new hand to be dealt. If action has already started a misdeal cannot be called. If action has begun then no money will be refunded to anyone and will play out as normal.
Misdeal can be called if the following occurs:
- The dealer exposed the 1st or 2nd card of the hand.
- 2 or more cards have been exposed by the dealer.
- Too many cards have been dealt by the dealer.
- The button was not pushed to the correct person.
- The first card was dealt to the wrong person.
- The cards were exposed of the big blind or small blind.
This is just a few reasons why a misdeal may be called. There could be several other scenarios that may lead to a misdeal.
Dead hands are when your cards are no longer considered valid. There are many factors that may play a part in your hand being declared dead:
- When you verbalize that you are folding.
- When you throw your cards into the muck pile.
- When you push your cards towards the dealer as though you want them to take them.
- When the hand has been declared a misdeal and all other players must fold as well.
- When you are being clocked for taking too long and you exceed the amount of time given to you by the dealer or floor manager.
- Cards purposely thrown into another players hand are automatically considered dead.
Before any cards are dealt the dealer will ask those individuals sitting in the current small blind and big blind to put the correct amount of chips for their blinds into the pot. When each new hand is dealt each player will receive only two cards. You will make the best possible hand with the five cards that will be dealt face up on the table by the dealer. At this point you will need to decide if you plan on playing to see the flop so you must call or raise to stay in the hand. Call is when you post the bet equal to the big blind. Raise is when decide to push in more chips than what is equal to the blinds. If you do not want to play your cards you would simply fold pushing your cards towards the dealer face down. Never reveal your cards while the hand is still going on. Once each player has decided what they want to do the dealer will then turn three cards face up on the board for everyone to see which is known as the flop. At this point the betting will start at the individual who is small blind and proceed around the table. You may opt to check which means you do not want to place a bet at this time. If you choose to check and then someone after you bets you will need to call or fold your cards to proceed in the hand. Once everyone has completed their turn the dealer will turn up another card on the table which is known as the turn. You will repeat the same steps as before until everyone has completed this round. The dealer will then place the fifth and final card on the table which will lead to the final betting round. The final card is also known as the river. Players will then decide whether or not they want to check or bet. Once you are in the final stage of a hand you will be at the showdown phase where eventually someone will win the pot.
Once betting has been completed all players left in the hand should reveal their cards to see who holds the best hand. The player who betted should be the first one to show their cards while others decide whether or not they want to show if their hand is beat. If two players have the same hand they will split the pot equally. If there is only one winner they will receive all of the chips in the pot while other players place their cards into the muck pile. If one player is all in and there is a side pot you may have a chance to win this even if you didn’t win the main pot. Make sure to not throw your cards away until the dealer has declared a winner.
This is a brief description of the rules to keep in mind when you are heading off to Vegas for a weekend of poker fun.