• You're in a cash limit hold'em game. Two players are involved in a pot.
They get to the river and there's a showdown. Player A turns up a pocket pair of
nines. Player B shows and tables a single 10 and tosses his other card into the
muck. There's a 10 on the board, so Player B has a pair of tens. Where do you
push the pot? We all know the official rule, the TDA (Tournament Director's
Association) rule, and so on: Player A has a complete hand, Player B's hand is
dead, Player A wins the pot. But we also know that Player B has the best hand.
We could let Player A go through the deck and pick another card for Player B,
and he (Player A) still couldn't win the pot. Now, let's suppose it's obvious to
everybody within a 10-meter radius that Player B is a novice and doesn't know
this rule - that he comes from a home-game environment and/or has never
encountered this situation in casino game before.
Well, years ago, I was a table captain and a rules lawyer. I can produce a
dozen sober witnesses (and scores of non-sober ones) to verify this fact. But
I've changed my tune. I think you give the pot (and a warning) to Player B and
his pair of tens. You don't want to create an upset novice who's likely to walk
out and never come back. By the way, I saw this exact scene in a European casino
recently. The dealer, correctly, called the floorman, who did what I thought was
a very wise thing: He said to Player A, "Look, he's got the best hand, so give
him the pot." Player A hemmed and hawed, but ultimately did the right thing and
told Player B to take the pot. Then, the floorman explained to Player B very
clearly that he was being given a gift. That, in my opinion, is good for the
• I was in a cash limit hold'em game in a European casino. I got involved
in a pot with another guy, on whom I had position. On the river, he checked. I
turned up my hand. My opponent misread my hand, thinking I had a straight. He
tossed his hand facedown in front of him, and it passed over the betting line
that you see on many poker tables in Europe. His cards were, however, a couple
of feet from the muck (we were in the No. 2 and No. 3 seats). Then he looked
again and realized that I had only a pair and a missed gutshot. He turned up and
tabled his hand - trips. The dealer reached out and mucked his hand. In her
opinion (and this may have been house policy, I don't know), his hand was dead -
as it had gone facedown across the betting line. I said, "Give the man the pot -
he's got the best hand." The dealer looked at me quizzically and glared at my
opponent. "Really - he's got trips, and I've got one pair; he gets the pot." She
looked askance at us both and pushed him the pot.
This and the previous ruling are no-brainers. You have to have a really
good reason to give the pot to anything except the best hand. I think that means
that you must suspect fraud, foul play, or, at the least, severe angle shooting
to do otherwise.
This was at a $1/$2 no limit game.
I was in midpostion with Ace Hearts Queen of clubs and 2 had already
limped. I raise it to $10. The button called as did the Small Blind. The 2 other
limpers and BB all folded.
Flop was Queen of hearts 5 of clubs 6 of clubs.
I bet $30. button folds and small blind calls. Turn was a 4 of clubs.
She checks, I check behind her. River was a 3 of clubs.
She bets out $12. At this point I know I am beat but making the crying call
anyways. I flip over both my cards and say I have the queen high flush. I ask
her do you have the straight flush or just the ace high? She flips over her 2 of
clubs, for the straight flush. very nice straight flush. She then tosses her 2nd
card into the muck face down and the dealer ships her the pot. I pipe up and say
"Dude, she just mucked her hand." The dealers eyes got huge as he realized she
did and he had pushed the pot her way.
There was an akward pause at the table.
I said "All I really want to know is what your 2nd car was miss? Please
be honest." She says it was the 3 of hearts. So I said you caught the straight
on the turn then. Yet, I have one more question. Why did you call my raise to
$10 with 2/3 off? Her answer "because I was in the (small) blind." Yikes.
So when I told this story to a few of my friends they had differnt
I had a couple tell me I was wrong to ask her what her 2nd card was,
that she showed me she had me beat and I had lost.
Yet others said, they would have brought the floor over and that $100+
pot would have been theirs/mine as it were.
Mucking one card is effectively the same as mucking both of them. I don't
think there's anything wrong with asking what her other card was, though I don't
think either the question or answer changes anything. If I had the Q-high flush
there, I'd take the pot and not feel a bit guilty about it. A flush beats a dead
hand any day of the week.