Tournament Rules

Kojack’s Poker Club Official Poker Tournament Rules

These are the official tournament rules for Kojack’s Poker Club. These rules are provided to give all parties involved in our poker tournaments clear and concise rules for the orderly execution of those tournaments.

General Rules

A) Player Responsibilities:
⦁ Verify they are at the proper seat
⦁ Make clear their intentions when acting
⦁ Act in turn
⦁ Use proper terms and gestures when acting
⦁ Keep all cards and chips visible
⦁ Stay at the table with a live hand
⦁ Comply with the rules of the tournament
⦁ Practice proper poker etiquette at the table
⦁ Call clock when warranted
⦁ Speak up if an error is made, i.e.
– Alert dealer/table of un-noticed miscounts
– Alert dealer/table of skipped action
⦁ Respect other players and staff

B) Floor Decisions
Floor decisions are always made in fairness and the best interest of the game. Unusual circumstances will occasionally arise that are not covered specifically by these rules. The floor will make the best call possible in those circumstances with a focus on fairness and the integrity of the game. All floor decisions are final.
C) Terms and Gestures
Standard terms and gestures are to be used during action. These standard terms and gestures include:
⦁ “Raise”
⦁ “Call”
⦁ “Fold”
⦁ “All-in”
⦁ “Check”
⦁ “Bet”
⦁ Tapping the table to signify a check

Using non-standard terms or gestures puts the player at risk for an unintended ruling.

D) Electronic Devices
Players may use electronic devices while not in a hand if that device is inaudible to other players at the table. To make or receive a phone call, players must step at least one table length away from the table. The floor supervisor may suspend the use of an electronic device if that device is causing a nuisance to other players at the table.
E) Languages Used at the Table
English only is to be spoken at table at all times. Players, guests, staff near an active table must speak English only.

F) Seating and Breaking of Tables
⦁ Players will be assigned seats randomly at the start of the tournament.
⦁ Players who take the wrong seat will be moved to their correct seat assignment.
⦁ Re-entries and late registers will be given a random draw from the available seats in the tournament.
⦁ Players from a broken table will receive a random new seat assignment.
⦁ Tables will be broken in the preset order set prior to the start of the tournament.
⦁ Alternates will be seated in order; they will be called upon availability.

G) Balancing Tables
The floor supervisor(s) will ensure that each table has within two players of all other active tables. If tables need to be balanced the next player to be the big blind will be the player moved from a table with the greater number of players.

For larger tournaments where payouts are greater than 1 table, the tables will be balanced within one player when it is one table away from the money. For example, if the tournament pays 16 places, then tables will be balanced within one player for 3 tables remaining.

H) Players Moving from Table to Table
⦁ Players must move immediately to a new table from a broken table or when being moved from an active table.
⦁ Players must keep all chips visible while moving from table to table. Chips not visible may be taken out of play by the floor supervisor.
⦁ Players from a broken table may be assigned any position available at the new table. This includes the small blind and the button.
⦁ Players moving from an active table may be assigned any position other than the small blind or the button.
⦁ No player may ever come in between the button and the small blind.

I) Final Table:
The final table will re-draw once a number of players equal to the pre-determined maximum seating for one table has been reached.

Showdown and Pot Rules

A) Winning Hands
⦁ Cards speak for themselves at showdown
⦁ Verbal declaration of a hand is not binding
⦁ Deliberate misdeclaration of a hand will result in a penalty
⦁ Dealers should read and announce all tabled hands at showdown
⦁ Any player, in or out of the hand, should speak up if they feel a hand is being improperly read or awarded the pot

B) Tabling of Hands
⦁ At showdown all down cards are to be tabled (placed face up on the table) so the hand can be clearly read by the dealer and all players.
⦁ Players must protect their hands while waiting for them to be read
⦁ Dealers are not to kill winning hands until the pot is awarded
⦁ Players showing one card that would win the hand will be asked to table all down cards in their hand. If they refuse the dealer is to call for the floor.
⦁ If a player makes a bet and discards their hand thinking they have won the hand, but there is still another player with a live hand who has not acted, the dealer is to hold the cards and call the floor. The floor will decide if the hand is retrievable. If the hand is not retrievable the betting player is not entitled to any called bets. If the last bet is uncalled prior to the mucking of the betting players cards the uncalled bet will be returned to them.
⦁ If a player is playing the board in Texas Hold’em they still must table all cards to be awarded a share of the pot. (2019 TDA Summit awards called/folded hands a share if the board is best possible hand and if all remaining hands only play the board.
⦁ If there is a called all-in and no other player has any possible action, ALL CARDS MUST BE
TABLED FACE UP

⦁ If there is an all-in and there are remaining players with action the all-in player is to keep their hand face down until there is no other remaining action. All players who have exhausted action on the final round of betting, without folding in that round, must table their hands face up, even if that final round was checked.
⦁ In a non-all-in showdown, the last player who made an aggressive action in the final round of betting is to table their hand first and subsequent players table their hands in order from that player position. If there was no aggressive action on the final round, hands are to be tabled in betting order.
⦁ If all other players have mucked their hands after the final round of betting, the lone remaining player with a live hand will be awarded the pot without having to table their hand.
⦁ No player may ask to see a winning hand if they do not have cards. If there was a river bet any caller may ask to see the aggressor’s hand.
⦁ Any disputes over winning hands and improperly awarded pots must be brought up prior to the start of the next hand. A hand begins on the first riffle, or on the dealer push. If there is any dispute the dealer is to call the floor immediately.

Side Pots and Split Pots

A) Side pots are to split off from the main pot by the dealer and be easily identifiable
B) If pots are to be split, side pots are to be split separately
C) If there is an odd chip of the lowest demonization in play in a split pot, the odd chip is awarded to…
⦁ The player in the worst position in a flop game that is not a “split pot” game
⦁ The player with the high hand in a “hi/lo” game. If there is a split pot of one side or another in a hi/lo flop game the odd chip is awarded to the player in the worst position
⦁ The player with the highest suit in a stud high game
⦁ The player with the lowest suit in a “razz” game

General Procedures

New Hand & New Limits

A) A new level won’t be announced until the clock reaches zero. The new level applies to the next hand
B) New levels will be announced to the entire tournament by the tournament director or floor supervisor
C) A hand begins on the first riffle of the cards by the dealer.

Scheduled Color Ups and Chip Races

A) At scheduled color-ups, chips will be raced off starting in seat 1, with a maximum of one chip awarded to a player.
B) Players can’t be raced out of play: a player losing their last chip(s) in a race will get 1 chip of the lowest denomination still in play.
C) Players must have their chips fully visible and are encouraged to witness the chip race.
D) If after the race, a player still has chips of a removed denomination, they will be exchanged for current denominations only at equal value. Chips of removed denominations that do not fully total at least the smallest denomination still in play will be removed without compensation.

Card and Chip Visibility

A) Cards and chip are always to remain clearly visible
B) Players are entitled to a reasonable estimate of their opponents’ chip count. Therefore, all chips should be kept in countable stacks. Higher denomination chips must always be kept in front, on top, or to the side to be visible and identifiable.
C) The tournament director will control the number and denomination of chips in play. Any discretionary color up will be announced. Any new denomination of chip introduced into play will be announced to the tournament with the new denomination and color.
D) Players must keep live hands visible at all times

Deck Changes

Deck changes will be made by the incoming dealer on the push. The floor supervisor may elect to have the dealers change the deck if the dealer remains at the same table longer than a one half of an hour. Players may not ask for a deck change. If a card is damaged during the course of play the floor supervisor may ask for the deck to be changed if a new set-up is not immediately available.

Re-buys

Players in a re-buy tournament may not miss a hand. Players declaring, they will re-buy before the hand are playing chips behind and must make the re-buy.

Re-entry tournaments

In a re-entry tournament, player busting during the re-entry period may re-enter the tournament at registration. They do not have to immediately re-enter after busting but must re-enter before the end of the late registration/re-entry period. Upon re-entry they will draw a new random seat assignment. Once re-entered and with a new seat assignment they must immediately take their new seat.

Rabbit Hunting

Rabbit hunting is never allowed in a Kojack’s Poker Club tournament.

Calling Clock

If in floor supervisor’s judgement reasonable time has passed, he or she may call the clock or approve a clock request by any player in the event. A player on the clock has up to 25seconds plus a 5 second countdown to act. If the player faces a bet and time expires, the hand is dead; if not facing a bet, the hand is checked. Supervisors may adjust the time allowed and take other steps to fit the game and stop persistent delays.

Hand Eligibility

Players must be at their seats when the last card is dealt to all players on the initial deal. Players not then at their seats may not look at their cards. Cards dealt to players not in their seats are immediately killed after the last card is dealt on the initial deal. Posted blinds and antes are forfeited to the pot for an absent player. Absent players dealt the stud bring-in card posts the bring-in. Players must be at their seats to call for a clock. “At your seat” means in reach of your chair. Inform the dealer of your intentions if you plan on returning quickly. Killed hands will be considered unprotected.

At the Table with Pending Action

A player must be at the table with action pending to them or other players and a live hand. This includes all-ins or finished betting and must remain at the table for showdown. Players who abandon a hand with action pending to other players could be subject to penalty.

Buttons and Blinds

A) Kojack’s Poker Club tournaments use a dead button
B) Players intentionally dodging blinds when moving from table to table will incur a penalty
C) In heads up play the small blind is the button. When arriving at heads up the last player who posted the big blind will become the button.

Dealing Rules

Misdeals

A Misdeal Includes (but is not necessarily limited to):

A) Two or more boxed cards on the initial deal
B) First card dealt to the wrong seat
C) Cards dealt to a seat not entitled to a hand
D) Cards not dealt to a seat entitled to a hand
I) The first two down cards exposed to any player in a stud game
F) One of the first two down cards dealt in a flop game is exposed by dealer error
G) Two down cards are exposed by dealer error in a flop game
H) If the flop has 4 rather than 3 cards, exposed or not, the floor will be called. The dealer then scrambles the 4 cards face down, the floor randomly selects one as the next burn card and the other 3 are the flop. A four-card flop does not constitute a misdeal
I) Any player announcing “misdeal” may be subject to penalty based on affected action.
J) A button moved twice will be played out if there is substantial action. The next hand button will move back one, then forward 2 in the following hand.

After a misdeal the re-deal is dealt in the same fashion as the hand was originally intended. The button stays in the same position as the original hand and there is no “re-anty” where applicable. The misdeal does not count as a hand for a player on penalty. If a level change occurs the previous blind level is used. Once substantial action has occurred a misdeal can not be declared.

Substantial Action

Substantial Action is constituted by:
A) Any two actions in turn in which at least one of the actions puts chips in the pot
B) Any combination of three actions
C) Posted blinds do not count as substantial action
D) Hands killed after substantial action due to the wrong number of cards dealt to that seat does not impact the burn cards nor any board cards in a flopped game. The hand with the incorrect number of cards is dead and simply mucked

Button with too Few Cards

A player on the button dealt too few cards should announce it immediately. Missing button cards may be replaced even after substantial action at floor’s discretion for the type of game. However, if the button acts on a hand with too few cards, the hand is dead.

Bets and Raises

Methods of Betting

A) Bets are by verbal declaration and/or pushing out chips. If a player does both, whichever is first defines the bet. If simultaneous, a clear and reasonable verbal declaration takes precedence, otherwise the chips play.
B) Verbal declarations may be general (call, raise), a specific amount only or both
C) Declaring a specific amount only is the same as pushing out an equal amount.
D) Action in turn is binding and commits chips to the pot that stay in the pot.
I) Players must wait for clear bet amounts before acting.
F) Verbal calls, checks and raises are binding
G) Bringing out chips and cutting them on the table is allowed in Kojacks Poker Club Tournaments. No “betting line” is in play during Kojacks Poker Club tournaments
H) Rulings/penalties made on hands with verbal declarations may be adjusted down to a ruling/penalty of the exact scenario that wasn’t verbalized. (this protects verbalization and is up to supervisor’s discretion)
I) Whatever chip(s) “hit the felt” are considered the bet.

Acting in Turn

⦁ Players must act in turn verbally and/or by pushing out chips. Action in turn is binding and commits chips to the pot that stay in the pot.
⦁ Players must wait for clear bet amounts before acting.

Under Calls, Under Raises and Incorrect Bets

A) If a player pushes forward chips that are not enough to call the current bet…
⦁ It is a mandatory full call if the action is heads up
⦁ In multiway action the amount may be surrendered to the pot and the player’s hand folded. The player may elect to remain in the hand and make the full call
B) If a player pushes forward multiple chips that are more than the current bet, but not enough to raise…
⦁ If the total is more than one and a half times the current bet a full raise will be declared and the player must put enough out for a full minimum raise
⦁ If the total is less than one and a half times the current bet a call is declared and the overage returned to the player
⦁ Verbal declarations before the chips are pushed forward take priority. Overages on a verbal call and under chips on a verbal raise will be corrected by the dealer
⦁ If two or more mistakes in general happen in a row play will be backed up to the first mistake and corrected. Retracted actions may still be penalized by Floor.
C) If an opening bet after the initial (pre-flop in flop games) round of betting is incorrect (example: 1000 bet with a 2000 big blind), the dealer will declare a full bet minimum bet for that round
D) In pot limit, if a player under bets the pot based on an inaccurate count, if the pot count is too high, it will be corrected for all players anywhere on the current street; if too low, corrected until substantial action occurs after the bet.
E) The over sized chip rule is in play for all Kojack’s Poker Club Tournaments. If a chip larger than the current bet is pushed forward it is considered a call unless, prior to the chip being pushed forward, “raise” is declared.

Action Out of Turn

Any action out of turn (check, call, or raise) will be backed up to the correct player in order. The out of turn action is subject to penalty and is binding if action to the out of turn player does not change (a player acting out of turn cannot take a more aggressive action). Check, call, or fold by the correct player does not change action. If action changes, the out of turn action is not binding; any bet or raise is returned to the out of turn player who has all options: call, raise, or fold. An out of turn fold is binding.

Players skipped by out of turn action must defend their right to act. If a skipped player had reasonable time and doesn’t speak up before substantial action out of turn occurs after the player, the out of turn action is binding. Action backs up and the floor will rule on how to treat the skipped player’s hand given the circumstances, including ruling the hand dead or limiting the player to non-aggressive action.

Methods of Calling

Standard acceptable forms of calling include:
⦁ Saying “call”
⦁ Pushing out chips equal to a call
⦁ Silently pushing out an oversized chip
⦁ Silently pushing out multiple chips equal to a call
⦁ Pushing out any number of chips less than 1.5X the previous bet/raise amount
⦁ In multi-way action: please move chips equal to the calling amount forward.

Methods of Raising

In no-limit or pot-limit, a raise must be made by
⦁ Pushing out the full amount in one motion
⦁ Verbally declaring the full amount prior to pushing out chips
⦁ Verbally declaring “raise” prior to pushing out the exact amount.

Raise Amounts

A raise must be at least equal to the largest prior bet or raise of the current betting round. If a player raises 50% or more of the largest prior bet but less than a minimum raise, he or she must make a full minimum raise. If less than 50% it is a call unless “raise” is first declared or the player is all-in. Declaring an amount or pushing out the same amount of chips is treated the same. Without other clarifying information, declaring raise and an amount is the total bet.

Re-Opening the Bet

In no-limit and pot limit, an all-in wager totaling less than a full bet or raise does not re-open betting for players who have already acted and are not facing at least a full bet or raise when the action returns to them.

In limit, at least 50% of a full bet or raise is required to re-open betting for players who have already acted.

Oversized Chip Betting

If facing a bet or blind, pushing out a single oversized chip is a call if raise isn’t first declared. To raise with an oversized chip, you must declare raise before the chip hits the table. If raise is declared but no amount is stated, the raise is the maximum allowable for the chip. If not facing a bet, pushing out an oversized chip silently is a bet of the maximum for the chip. It is the player’s responsibility to make their intentions clear if chips or change remains in play from earlier actions, otherwise it could be ruled confusing for a multiple chip bet (see multiple chip betting).

Multiple Chip Betting

A) If facing a bet, unless raise or all-in is declared first, a multiple-chip bet is a call if every chip is needed to make the call.
B) If every chip is not needed to make the call (removal of just one of the smallest chips leaves the call amount or more).
⦁ If the player has chips remaining, the bet is governed by the 50% standard rule above.
⦁ If the player’s last chips are bet, he or she is all-in whether reaching the 50% threshold or not.

Number of Allowable Raises

There is no cap on the number of raises in no-limit and pot-limit. In limit play, there is a limit to raises even when heads-up until the event is down to 2 players. In Kojack’s Poker Club limit tournaments, a bet and four raises are standard unless otherwise stated for that tournament.

Accepted Action

It is the caller’s responsibility to determine the correct amount of an opponent’s bet before calling, regardless of what is stated by others. If a caller requests a count but receives incorrect information from a dealer or player, then pushes out that amount, the caller has accepted the full correct action and is subject to the correct wager or all-in amount. Accepted action may be applied to any situation where a player does not stop action within a reasonable amount of time.

Pot size and Pot Limit Bets

Players are entitled to a pot count in pot-limit only. Dealers will not count the pot in limit and no-limit. Pre-flop a short all-in blind will not affect calculation of the maximum pot limit bet. Post-flop, bets are based on actual pot size. Declaring “pot” is not a valid bet in no-limit but it does bind the player to making a valid bet and may be subject to penalty. If the player faces a bet, they must make a valid raise.

Invalid Bet Declarations

If a player faces no bet and:
⦁ Declares “call”, it is a check
⦁ Declares “raise”, the player must make at least a minimum bet.
⦁ A player declaring “check” when facing a bet may call or fold, but cannot raise

String Bets and Raises

Dealers will call string bets and raises. A string bet or raise is considered multiple forward motions and returning to your stack to get more chips after chips have already be placed forward on the table without declaring an amount or action first. Multiple releases may be considered a string bet and is not recommended.

Non-Standard & Unclear Betting

Players use unofficial betting terms and gestures at their own risk. These may be interpreted to mean action other than what the player intended. If a declared bet can legally have multiple meanings, it will be ruled the highest reasonable amount that is less than or equal to the pot size (not including that bet).

Non-Standard Folds

Any time before the end of the final betting round, folding in turn facing no action or folding out of turn are binding folds subject to penalty.

Conditional & Premature Declarations

Conditional statements of future action are non-standard and strongly discouraged. At supervisor’s discretion they may be binding and/or penalized.

Count of Opponent’s Chip Stack

Players are entitled to a reasonable estimation of opponents’ chip stacks. A player may request a more precise count only if facing an all-in bet and it is his or her turn to act. The all-in player is not required to count. On request the dealer or floor will count it. (TDA 2019 summit amendment: Dealers will clarify bets without request. Exceptions: All-in)

Chips Out of View and in Transit

Players may not hold or transport chips in a way that takes them out of view. A player who does so will forfeit the chips and/or may be disqualified or banned from Kojacks Poker Club if discovered outside the poker area. The forfeited chips will be taken out of play.

Accidentally Killed, Fouled and Exposed Hands

Players must always protect their hands at all times, including at showdown while waiting for hands to be read. Players are responsible for their hands any time cards are dealt to the seat. If the dealer kills a hand by mistake or if in supervisor’s judgement a hand is fouled and cannot be identified to 100% certainty, the player has no recourse and is not entitled to a refund of called bets. Killed hands after the deal are considered unprotected. If the player initiated a bet or raise and hasn’t been called, the uncalled amount will be returned. If a hand is fouled but can be identified, it remains in play despite any cards exposed.

Proper Poker Etiquette and Penalties

No Disclosure

Players must always protect their hands in the tournament. Players, whether in the hand or not, must not:
⦁ Discuss contents of live or mucked hands
⦁ Advise or criticize play at any time
⦁ Read a hand that hasn’t been tabled. One-player-to-a-hand is in effect.
⦁ Declare possible board draws or reference any real possible hands in play.
This rule prohibits showing a hand to or discussing strategy with another player, nor advising, or speculating.

Exposing Cards and Proper Folding

Exposing cards with action pending will result in a penalty but not a dead hand. Any penalty begins at the end of the hand. When folding, cards should be pushed forward low to the table, not deliberately exposed or tossed high.

Ethical Play

Chip dumping, team playing, and other forms of collusion will result in disqualification.

Etiquette Violations

Etiquette violations are subject to enforcement actions. Examples include but are not limited to:
⦁ Persistent delay of the game
⦁ Unnecessarily touching another player’s person, cards or chips
⦁ Repeatedly acting out of turn or influencing action out of turn
⦁ Betting out of reach of the dealer
⦁ Abusive conduct
⦁ Excessive chatter
⦁ Exposing or discussing hand contents before showdown
⦁ Angle shooting

Warnings, Penalties, & Disqualification

Enforcement options include verbal warnings, one or more “missed hand” or “missed round” penalties, and disqualification. For missed rounds, the offender will miss one hand for every player at the table when the penalty is given multiplied by the number of penalty rounds. Repeat infractions are subject to escalating penalties. Players away from the table or on penalty may be anty’d or blinded out of a tournament.

A penalty may be invoked for:
⦁ etiquette violations
⦁ card exposure with action pending
⦁ throwing cards
⦁ violating the one-player-to-a-hand rule, or similar incidents.

Penalties will be given for:
⦁ Soft play
⦁ Abuse
⦁ Disruptive behavior
⦁ Cheating
⦁ Angle Shooting

Tournament Director’s discretion applies based on the situation.

Players on penalty must be away from the table. Cards are dealt to their seats, their blinds and antes are posted, their hands are killed after the initial deal, and if dealt the stud bring-in card they must satisfy the bring-in.
Chips of a disqualified player shall be removed from play.

Big Blind Ante

Kojack’s Poker Club uses a big blind ante in all no-limit Texas Hold’em tournaments. In a blind level that calls for an ante, the player who is the big blind will also ante an amount equal to the big blind.

If a player does not have enough to satisfy both the big blind and the big blind ante in that position,the big blind ante takes priority over the big blind and the player is all-in prior to the deal of the cards. If there are five players or less remaining in the tournament the amount of the big blind ante is cut in half (equal to the small blind for the remainder of the tournament).

All-Ins For Less in a Blind

If a player is all-in for less than the big blind as the big blind in a no-limit tournament, subsequent players must still wager the amount of the big blind if they wish to call the action.

If a player is all-in for less than the big blind as the big blind in a pot-limit tournament…
⦁ Subsequent players must still wager the amount of the big blind if they wish to call
⦁ The dealer will consider the all-in for less as a full big blind when calculating the pot for all pre-flop action. Post flop is true pot.

In a pot limit tournament…
⦁ The dealer will consider an all-in for less in the small blind as a full small blind when calculating the pot for all pre-flop action. Post flop is true pot.
⦁ The dealer will consider a dead small blind as a full small blind when calculating the pot for all pre-flop action. Post flop is true pot.

Bounty Tournaments

In Bounty Tournaments…
⦁ The player’s bounty chip must always remain on the table and visible
⦁ Any bounty chips won from other players in the tournament may be taken off the table
⦁ A bounty chip pushed forward into the pot DOES constitute an all-in during tournaments at Kojack’s Poker Club
⦁ An all-in player’s bounty chip will be assigned to the main pot if all other callers have that player covered. If there are multiple all-ins the bounty chips are assigned to the last pot created that player has action in (main or side).
⦁ If a player is all-in and loses the hand, the winner of the hand will be awarded his bounty chip
⦁ If a player is all-in and loses the hand to multiple players, that are chopping and eligible for the pot that contains the bounty chip, the bounty chip value will be awarded to the winning players in equal amounts. Stack sizes have no bearing on the awarding of the bounty chip in these instances. If there are multiple bounty chips in a chopped pot, they will be divided evenly after winning all-in players receive their own bounty chips back.

Surrendering of Stacks

A player may surrender their stack during a re-buy or re-entry tournament during the open registration period in order to start with a fresh starting stack. The floor supervisor or tournament director will take any surrendered chips out of play. The exception to this is if a player has a bounty chip they must be felted to re-buy or re-enter.

Facility Charges

Kojack’s Poker Club does not charge tournament fees nor take a rake or cut of the prize pool. Players will be charged standard facility fees during tournaments and must keep their account time in good standing during those tournaments.

Amounts deducted from tournaments for promotions and player rewards are advertised along with the tournament information. 100% of promotional funds are returned to club members after determining the winner(s) of an equal opportunity promotional event. Promotion points structures, prizes, and standings and all other information are available through management.

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