Tournament Rules

The list of rules below are always enforceable and to be done so by the Tournament Director. Breaking of the rules can result in a 10 minute penalty (stepping away from the table for 10 minutes), elimination from the Location and possibly elimination from the League!

PLEASE NOTE: There are many players who are new to Texas Hold ‘Em and every player must be given a “free pass” if they are obviously unfamiliar with the rules. We are here to have fun and make new players feel welcome!

REMEMBER! Rules are different from casino to casino and tournament to tournament. Please do not think that because you played in Las Vegas means that those rules apply to every game. Please be respectful of these rules and the Tournament Directors. HERE ARE THE GENERAL RULES


This rule is taken very seriously. Any Location or Player attempting to wager cash, property, or anything of value will immediately be terminated from the league. NO EXCEPTIONS!

The starting chip count for each tournament is 1,000 in play chips per player, however players can earn extra bonus chips through Steel City Poker promotions.

Blinds will go up either every 15-20 minutes depending on the number of players in the tournament. Every time the deal goes around the table, every player must pay both Little and Big Blinds.

A card flipped over during the initial deal to the small or big blind is an automatic misdeal. If a Card is flipped beyond the Blind positions, the Dealer is to use that card as the Burn card and deal that postion after the Dealer has received his/her final card. A misdeal means all cards are brought back in, reshuffled and a new hand is dealt.

First, anyone caught cheating in a Free Tournament is simply not cool and cheating will not be tolerated. Anyone violating this rule will be suspended from play for the remainder of the Season. The ruling on the situation is final. This includes colluding with other players, dumping chips or negotiating positions for prizes and/or points/wins.

Players must be 21 years of age or older to participate in Steel City Poker Events.

ONLY Players, still in the tournament, may be seated at a table in the tournament.

At no time can any player or spectator threaten or berate another player. This will not be tolerated. Remember, we are here to have fun!

In the case of a discrepancy, the Tournament Director’s ruling Is FINAL!

A wager is not binding until the chips are actually released into the pot, unless the player has made a verbal statement of action. A verbal statement denotes your action and is binding unless there is a gross misunderstanding of the amount wagered previously.

All raises must be equal to or greater than the size of the previous bet or raise on that betting round, except for an all-in wager. Example: Player A bets 100 and player B raises to 200. Player C wishing to raise must raise at least 200 more, making the total bet at least 400. A player who has already checked or called may not subsequently raise an all-in bet that is less than the full size of the last bet or raise. (The half-the-size rule for reopening the betting is for limit poker only.) Because the amount of a wager at no-limit poker has such a wide range, a player who has taken action based on a gross misunderstanding of the amount wagered may receive some protection by the decision-maker. A “call” or “raise” may be ruled not binding if it is obvious that the player grossly misunderstood the amount wagered, provided no damage has been caused by that action.

Splashing the pot means to put chips directly into the pot rather than on the edge of the pot in front of oneself, especialy by throwing the chips such that it scatters around. Every player must place their chips in front of them until all players have acted. Then all chips are moved to the center of the table.

If you throw your cards into the “muck” (folded cards pile) then your hand is folded. However, a hand that is clearly identifiable may be retrieved and ruled live at Tournament Director’s discretion if doing so is in the best interest of the game. Please make an extra effort to rule a hand retrievable if it was folded as a result of incorrect information given to the player.

This will happen from time to time, and your move can change the move(s) of other players at the table. The first offense will be given a warning. A repeated offense will result in the player sitting out until the Dealer button has gone the whole way around the table. The player will still be held to posting both the small and big blinds while out on this penalty.

All hands will be turned face up whenever a player is all-in and the betting action has been completed. If a player accidentally exposes one of their cards before all players have acted, they must turn up both (this is to prevent players purposely doing this to throw off another player). If a player is exposing his/her cards purposely, it is up to the Tournament Director if they would like to give a warning, and then eliminate the player from the tournament if it continues. AGAIN, this is up to the Tournament Director.

In the case a player does not have enough chips to cover the blind, they are considered “All In” and cannot win any more from each player than they have in their stack. For example, if a player has only 500 chips left and the blinds are 1,000/2,000, they are all in and can only win 500 chips from each player left in the hand.

Each player has 7 cards from which to play (2 hole cards and 5 community cards). The BEST 5 Cards play! So for example, if there is JQKA on the board, and both players have a 10, it is a split pot.

In the case of a split pot, there may be an extra chip left. This chip goes to the first player to the left of the dealer that was still in the hand.

The player that had more chips at the beginning of the hand receives the higher finishing position. Once in a while, both these players will have the same number of chips at the beginning of the hand (this happens very rarely). In this instance, one hand will be played face up between these players to determine the higher position.

When playing heads up, the Dealer is always the Small Blind, and first to act pre-flop, but last to act after the flop.

When moving to a new table, attempt to sit in a similar position to the dealer. If 2 or less players move to a new table and sit in the Big Blind, they have the option of sitting out until the deal passes them. If 3 or more move to a new table, first ace will determine the new dealer position.

The Tournament Director will attempt to keep the number at each table equal. This is not always possible and you cannot stop play because of it. Also, please don’t bug the Tournament Director every time you lose a player.

If a player leaves the table during play to use the bathroom, get a drink, etc… they are dealt in the hand. If they have not returned by the time it is their turn to act, their cards are mucked and their blinds placed in the pot. *****If a player must leave the table for an extended period of time, please make sure the Tournament Director is notified. We understand that situations may occur that players must leave, however, let’s try to be respectful of others. If a player leaves the table for an extended period of time that is deemed excessive (for example, a Blind Level) without informing the Tournament Director, the Tournament Director has the discretion to remove that player’s chips from play. Please remember that this is Entertainment. Note: When players are in the Big Blind and everyone checks around, they also check. They do not have to return until it is their turn to act after the flop.

If a player has to leave the tournament early the chips are taken off the table and given to the Tournament Director. THEY CANNOT SPLIT THE CHIPS AMONGST THE PLAYERS!


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