Rule Controversies in Poker Home Games

Poker night has been a tradition for decades. Traditionally, it was a male bonding event. Over the years, home poker has grown more into a social event. As of late, more people are engaging in home poker.
Out of all these new players, many are novices and may not the rules. Of course, a more experienced poker player will welcome the novice. Like a shark following chum, the experienced hunt down the novice for fun. However, with so many rookie or new players at the table, there is bound to be some controversies every now and then. What happens when there is a controversy with the rules?

Know the Rules
There really should not be any controversies with the rules, especially when players have experience. Granted, this is not always the case. What if an experienced poker player is playing a different variant of poker? The inexperience player may not know all the rules of the different variants. Always try to follow the rules and regulations of professional tournaments and casinos, unless otherwise noted by the host of the home poker game. Again, the host may have special house rules, and it is completely their right to have house rules, as long as they communicate the house rules before the first hand is dealt.


Everyone should discuss the rules of engagement before someone deals the first hand. If anyone has questions, this is the time when they should ask them. What time will the game stop? How often will the blinds increase? How many times can I rebuy? Does a full house beat a straight? Whatever the question, try to communicate it before the game. Newcomers should be given any pokerhelp deemed necessary.
If it is not possible to ask the question before the game begins, communicate it as clearly as possible when you have one. The wrong way to act is with accusation, intimidation or violence. Speak clearly, and if necessary, resort to an online rulebook to iron out the differences.

Majority Rules

The host should ultimately judge when it comes to rule controversies at home poker games. The players may be the jury, but the host should be the judge. If there are serious discrepancies between the ways two people view a certain rule, then the host should declare who is right and who is wrong. A good host should have no problem handling rule controversies as long as he knows the rules. If the host doesn’t know the rules, then maybe he shouldn’t be hosting.


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