Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Bizarre new "rule"

This post might better be titled, "Dealers who make up their own rules, part IV."

Monte Carlo, last night. There's a guy across the table from me who plays about 90% of hands, and bets or raises post-flop the majority of the time. He's very difficult to put on a hand, because he plays the nuts the same way he plays zippo.

He wins one pot with a bet on the river that an opponent doesn't call. Before he mucks his hand, he shows it to the guy next to him. Before the player has tossed in his cards, I say to the dealer, "Show those, please." The dealer hesitates. I've seen this happen many times, and it's usually because the dealer is busy doing other things and didn't notice one player showing his hand to another--perfectly understandable, with all the other things the dealer is doing when a hand is concluding. So I say, "He showed them to the guy next to him." That explanation is usually sufficient for the dealer to act, or at least to seek confirmation from one of the players involved that the cards were voluntarily shown, before showing the hand.

But this dealer mucks the cards anyway, and explains that the player that was shown the hand was not involved in the pot, so I don't have a right to see them. I think, "Are you f'ing kidding me? Are you just making this up as you go?" Instead, though, I explain that it is never the case that a player can give that information selectively to some people at the table but not to others. The dealer reaffirms that that is the rule--only people who were in the hand can ask to see it. (I was dealt in, but folded pre-flop. This dealer didn't explain how long one has to stay in the hand to retain the right to see the hand, under his bizarro version of the rules.)

Well, I don't believe this for a second. The cards are in the muck, and I'm not so concerned about this one hand that I'm going to try to pluck them out, but this is a principle that's too important to let stand in this idiotic fashion. So I tell the dealer, "Could you call the floor, please?" He does, though obviously he isn't very happy about it.

Predictably, the floor person confirms that "Show one, show all" does indeed apply, providing that the request is made before the cards go in the muck, while they can still be identified. I point out that I did make the request in plenty of time, but the dealer refused it. Neither of them attempts even a token apology, or acknowledges that a mistake was made.

I am usually completely forgiving of dealers' errors, and don't needle them about their mistakes--they're just part of the game, same as referees and umpires making erroneous calls in other sports. But this is one of the most universally recognized and commonly cited rules in the book, one which virtually every player can recite, and I was astounded that a dealer actually didn't know it. After the floor person left, I asked the dealer, "You really had never heard the 'Show one, show all' rule?" He opened his mouth, as if he was going to say something, then apparently thought better of it, turned away, and ignored the question.

For the fourth time in these rants, I have to say that I just don't understand the mindset of dealers who just make up crap completely on their own, and somehow delude themselves into thinking that those are actually the rules. There can't possibly be any person of authority or any book or any dealer school that taught him this. He apparently just made up this exception to the general rule. Who knows how long he has been citing it to players?

What the hell is up with that?

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