Casino Poker for Beginners: A Few Unusual House Rules –

April 16, 2018


Every poker room has its own rules. Some can be downright peculiar. Roll your eyes and roll with it.

No reading at the table? No-limit with a cap on the number of raises? Some unusual house rules.

Ed. note: For those who might have missed it before, we’re reprising Robert Woolley‘s series of articles for poker players who are new to live poker. The series is great for newcomers, and likely useful as well to those with experience playing in casinos and poker rooms.

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Even if you have a poker rule book memorized, the minute you sit down at a casino’s poker table, you’re probably playing under poker rules that you don’t know about.

How can that be? Simple — “House rules.” These are custom-made rules for just one poker room that supplement or substitute for the standard set of rules to which players are accustomed.

Poker is far from the only game that has provisions for such specialized rules. In Major League Baseball, each stadium has its own “ground rules.” Famously, for example, a ball that sticks in the vines covering the outfield wall at Wrigley Field is a double. The batter may not keep running the bases while the fielder tries to retrieve the ball — and that’s true even if the ball is just sitting there in full view and could easily be put back into play.

Similarly, golf clubs have “local rules” to prescribe how the standard rules are modified to accommodate idiosyncratic features of the course. During World War II, for example, the Richmond Golf Club in London, England had to yield to the reality that German artillery shells could rain down at any moment. So, for instance, club

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