Originally Posted by Kick The Bucket
Playing in a live tourney for the first time this friday. Could you explain those rules that you mention please? Not too sure about them.
Sure thing. Note that these rules are pretty much universal, but some casinos
or card rooms (and especially home games) might alter them, so you might need to check with your dealer / friendly floor person
A string bet is when you put chips out to make a bet in more than one motion (ie: put a pile of chips on the table without a verbal announcement, then reach back to your stack and put a second pile of chips out).
What will happen in most cases is that only the first amount you put on the table will be allowed to stand as your bet - if that's under the size of the current bet / minimum, it'll normally be ruled a call and you'll have to put in enough to call, but no more.
The reasoning behind the rule is you could in theory put out one pile of chips and watch your opponent, then keep adding chips (or stop adding chips) if you pick up a tell.
There's an easy way around this one - just make sure you verbally announce your action before you make it. If you say "raise" first, you should be able to go back to your stack as many times as you like.
There was an example of this rule being called out in the heads up section of one of the early WPT Season 2 episodes
The mucking your cards rule says that as soon as your cards touch the muck (the pile of folded cards in front of the dealer), your hand is dead. So even if you had the winning hand, if your cards touch the muck while the loser still has theirs, they'll win the pot.
It's rare, but some opponents who know the rule will try to exploit it, say something like "good hand, you got me" and then hang onto their cards and wait for you to muck yours. It's a really, really
dirty tactic, but it does happen (read about it being attempted at least once in this year's WSOP).
Simple way to avoid this one: if you've turned your cards face up at the end of a hand, wait for the pot to be pushed to you and let the dealer muck them for you.
Throwing out an oversize chip (ie: a $500 chip when the bet is only $200) has different consequences depending on the action in the hand.
If it's the first bet of the rouond, it'll be ruled that you've made a $500 bet unless you announce otherwise
(ie: you can say 'bet $300" and your $500 chip will count for a $300 bet)
If someone else has already bet in that round (say, $200), the oversize chip will be ruled as a call unless you announce otherwise (ie: unless you say 'raise' when you throw the chip out, it'll just count for a $200 call)
Normally, verbal announcements are binding and overrule your unannounced actions. If you say 'raise' but only throw out enough for a call, you'll normally be obliged to make at least the minimum raise, for example.
There's a grey area for unannounced actions - some places will hold you to your action and force you to bet at least the minimum if you make a forward motion with chips, then say 'check', but it's a more difficult one to enforce as what constitutes a 'forward motion' can be argued.
I didn't mention this one above, but don't talk about a hand that's in play if you haven't got cards. It's frowned upon to say things like "he must be on a flush draw" or "look, he's getting nervous" or something if you're not in the hand.
Also, there's an odd guideline where you do
have cards in a hand - you're not supposed to tell anyone what hand you have. You can lie
about your hand, but you're not supposed to tell the truth about it (see Paul Phillips in Episode 1 of WPT Season 2 for this one). Again, it'll probably be viewed as being unethical rather than being illegal (unless you keep doing it) but to be on the safe side, just don't do it.
These are the rules ones you'll get called out on the most - no doubt there'll be an old dude there who'll want to call some obscure rule on you (there's at least one in every casino, I'm told) but these are the basics. If in doubt about anything, just ask the dealer.