Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Tournament Poker Rules Origins

Even though there are many different casino companies, you will find that all casinos play poker about the same way. Everyone knows the rules, or do they? Each casino company - even each casino - has small variations in the rules. And you would hope that when you play free bar poker you are using more or less the same rules as in a casino.

As it turns out a peer dealt game, as in bar poker, by necessity has some minor rule changes if for no other reason because there is no "staff" dealer at the table. And most bar poker games have a "chip up" when they color up chips rather than a "race off". But all in all, the rules of poker are basically the same for bar poker as for a casino.

So where do these poker rules come from? One of the earliest set of published casino poker rules is Robert Ciaffone's "Robert's Rules of Poker.  Bob Ciaffone setup several of the original poker rooms in casinos and was the man who set the poker rules to be used.

At some point, Linda Johnson - known as the first lady of poker - helped form the TDA (Tournament Director's Association) which now votes on and publishes poker tournament rules. The TDA has members form all the major casinos and they contribute to a standard set of rules you find everywhere.

So do you want to use the same rules as the WSOP (World Series of Poker)? Maybe you want to use the rules from the WPT (World Poker Tour)? Are you happy with Robert's Rules of Poker, or do you want to use the poker rules from the TDA?

For most people, all of these rules will be the same. There are some variances.  For instance at one time the WSOP rules said you had to be "in your seat" when you hand was dealt or you got mucked. The TDA said you had to be "at" your seat. What is the difference? Many players at the WSOP were in their seats, the waitress came by and the needed cash for a tip, so when they stood up to get some money, to tip the waitress, their hands got mucked.

For the next few posts, we will look at the Tournament Directors Association (TDA) rules of poker. Read on, you might learn something.

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