Sunday, December 16, 2012

Remedy for a dealer error

Last night I was playing at South Point. In one hand I had a single opponent. I bet the turn, he called. I was waiting for the next card to appear when the dealer said to me, "He called you." This was not news to me. It took me a couple of seconds to realize that the dealer was gently prodding me to show my hand, and another couple of seconds to realize that the dealer had made a major mistake. Somehow thinking that the hand was over, he had dropped the stub of the deck onto the discard pile. To make matters worse, he had somehow mixed the burn cards in with all the rest. (I had been watching my opponent, not the dealer, so I can't explain exactly what the dealer did, but that was the result.)

Floor was called. The stub was not clearly separable from the muck, and I don't know where the burn cards were. The floor guy's solution was to pick up most of the cards from the table, picking what appeared to me to be a completely arbitrary point most of the way down the pile. Then he had the dealer reshuffle those cards, cut, burn one, and finally deal a river card.

In theory, if the dealer had been able to tell him where the burn cards were (i.e., did he drop the stub onto the muck, then the burn cards on top?), they could have separated those out, then counted from the bottom the known number of discards that should be present, thus recreating the stub. I'm not sure why they didn't do that.

Another player who was not involved put up quite a fuss about the procedure, saying that all of the cards, including the discards, had to be included in the reshuffle. The floor guy repeatedly but politely rebuffed him by saying, "Thank you for your opinion," then going on with his instructions to the dealer.

I didn't care much. A random card is a random card, and it makes no difference to me whether they come up with the same random card that, absent the dealer error, would have been put out as fifth street, or a different random card. One is no more likely to be either beneficial or detrimental to my situation than another.

But my guess is that there is, in fact, some standard protocol to be followed in the case of this type of mistake, and that what I saw done was not it. Comments from those more knowledgeable in such arcane matters will be welcome.

1 comment:

Pete said...

I suspect that the floor was basically saying that while he could not clearly determine which cards belonged to the stub, he could determine that a certain section of the pile of cards was not part of the stub. If you find that those cards where not in the stub you should not reshuffle them.......

(I also suspect the floor was probably factually wrong about what he could in fact determine)