Author Topic: Suggested changes to Rule #14 - Live Cards at Showdown  (Read 1093 times)

BillM16

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Suggested changes to Rule #14 - Live Cards at Showdown
« on: April 11, 2017, 06:06:47 PM »
I thought we could discuss this before suggesting changes to 2017

I find two weaknesses in interpreting Rule #14:

1) It is sometimes overlooked that this rule ONLY applies at showdown
2) A lack of universal meaning for the phrase "into the muck"

The current rule #14 is:

Discarding non-tabled cards face down does not automatically kill them; a player may change his mind and table his cards if they remain 100% identifiable. Cards are killed by the dealer when pushed into the muck.

The suggested changes are:

At showdown, a player who has discarded his non-tabled cards face down may change his mind and table his cards if:
  • his cards remain 100% identifiable
  • and the dealer has not taken control of the cards to be mucked

The first intent is to reiterate that the rule only applies at showdown.  The second is to replace the sometimes vague "into the muck" with a more clear phrase of "the dealer has taken control of the cards to be mucked."

What are your thoughts?  Have you seen these problems with Rule #14?
« Last Edit: April 11, 2017, 07:04:28 PM by BillM16 »

Nick C

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Re: Suggested changes to Rule #14 - Live Cards at Showdown
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2017, 08:12:40 PM »
Bill,

 I agree the rule is misleading. The rule is weak. I'd prefer something like this:

 At Showdown, any player releasing their unidentified hand face down will have no redress if the hand is pushed into the muck by the dealer. However, if the hand is retrieved before it is mucked, the hand will still be live.

 The current rule puts the emphasis on a player "changing his mind." Proper dealer procedure would insist that the dealer automatically, and quickly, muck any cards released by the owner of the hand. Players must protect their own hands.

 The current rule begins with: Discarding non-tabled cards face down does not automatically kill them....But it should! Any player that releases his hand face down, (at showdown) indicates a deliberate intent to muck, and has little argument if efforts to retrieve the hand are too late.

 

BillM16

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Re: Suggested changes to Rule #14 - Live Cards at Showdown
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2017, 03:02:49 AM »
Nick,

Again, part of the problem seems to be a lack of a crystal clear definition of a properly mucked hand. 
  • What are the physical boundaries of the official muck?
  • If there is a muck pile, must a discarded hand touch other mucked cards to be officially mucked?
  • If the dealer pulls the discarded hand toward the center of the table are they officially mucked.
  • If the dealer has a hand on top of the discarded hand, are they officially mucked?
  • If two players discard cards near each other toward the center are they both mucked?
  • Is it necessary to muck cards so that they are no longer 100% identifiable before they are officially mucked?
  • If a player discards his hand and says "fold" does he lose his option to change his mind?
  • If a player discards his hand and the dealer says "fold," are they officially mucked?

I'm sure there are more examples.  AFAIK, there is no universally accepted definition.  I do know that dealers seldom get up and walk around the table so that the discarded cards can be "pushed into the muck" per TDA Rule #14.  :)

I agree that there is an inconsistency in what is an otherwise universally recognized binding fold gesture.  When a player discards his hand face down prior to showdown, on any street, it is a binding fold.  I don't know of any circumstances where this is not universally true.

Only after all action is complete and the showdown has begun, does the universal binding fold action take on new meaning:  "While this looks like a fold, I can still change my mind."

How does this benefit the game?  Well, there is the very infrequent occasion where a player with a winning hand has a momentary lapse of memory and pushes his hand forward face down.  And then suddenly, realizes his mistake.  Sure, a little compassion would allow the player to recover his hand.

But how do we craft the wording of the rule to appropriately accommodate the above situation without being inconsistent and potentially hurting the game by allowing an otherwise dead hand to ultimately steal the pot on a technicality.

One example only:  The board is 279JK rainbow.  The first player shows A8.  The second player shows Q8.  The third player discards his hand.  The forth player shows AQ.  The dealer turns the A8 face down.  The dealer turns the Q8 face down.  The dealer says "AQ is a winner."  Then, the third player says "Hold it.  I think I had a deuce."

Should compassion extend this far?  Does it make the game better?  Now insert into the above sequence this action:  The dealer touched the third player's discarded cards (and perhaps moved them some distance toward the center of the table). In that case, has his hand been mucked?

In any case, I want to know, just how far into the muck must the dealer push his hand to prevent this from happening?

Regards,
B~



« Last Edit: April 12, 2017, 02:13:11 PM by BillM16 »

Nick C

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Re: Suggested changes to Rule #14 - Live Cards at Showdown
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2017, 08:38:08 AM »
Bill:

 First of all I believe you're looking for a "blanket" rule that would cover all of the situations you outlined in your most recent post. Consider the following: At showdown, if the winning hand is protected none of these issues would occur.
You asked:
What are the physical boundaries of the official muck? Unless a "MUCK LINE" is stringently enforced...cards remain "live" until they are touching the muck-pile.
If there is a muck pile, must a discarded hand touch other mucked cards to be officially mucked? YES
If the dealer pulls the discarded hand toward the center of the table are they officially mucked. Not if they are still identifiable. In this case, "identifiable" would mean that they are distanced from other discarded hands and the muck pile.
If the dealer has a hand on top of the discarded hand, are they officially mucked? No, not until they are swept into the muck.
If two players discard cards near each other toward the center are they both mucked? Yes, if they can not be separated with certainty.
Is it necessary to muck cards so that they are no longer 100% identifiable before they are officially mucked? The simple answer is Yes. Any discarded hand is intentionally slid into the muck and separated from each other. The intent is to make discards "unidentifiable."
If a player discards his hand and says "fold" does he lose his option to change his mind? What a player says at showdown has no meaning until his cards are surrendered or properly tabled.
If a player discards his hand and the dealer says "fold," are they officially mucked? The dealer will generally be sweeping the discarded hand into the muck immediately. This action would be completed in about 2 seconds...thus giving very little time for the owner of the hand to "change his mind." ::)

You wrote: One example only:  The board is 279JK rainbow.  The first player shows A8.  The second player shows QT.  The third player discards his hand.  The forth player shows AQ.  The dealer turns the A8 face down.  The dealer turns the QT face down.  The dealer says "AQ is a winner."  Then, the third player says "Hold it.  I think I had a deuce."

 I think I know where you were going with this but the QT would be the winner.



Nick C

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Re: Suggested changes to Rule #14 - Live Cards at Showdown
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2017, 01:35:34 PM »
I do understand. Just go back and change it so others might better understand your question.

Your last question: In any case, I want to know, just how far into the muck must the dealer push his hand to prevent this from happening? I say, if the cards touch the muck they are dead. Remember this; the dealer did not take the cards from the player...the player voluntarily surrendered his own hand. Unfortunate at times, but the blame lies with the owner of the hand.

BillM16

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Re: Suggested changes to Rule #14 - Live Cards at Showdown
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2017, 02:46:48 PM »
Hey Nick,

(Thanks for catching my error, I corrected the previous post.)

I am not surprised by any of your answers. In fact, I expected these from you.  The problem though is this.  Rarely do I see dealers perform official sanctioned mucks at showdown as you have defined them.  In my observations, the most common dealer merely pushes forward the community cards that contribute to the winning hand.  Then, an additional number of dealers will turn the losing hand(s) face down before pushing the pot.  I think the number of dealers that consistently gather up discarded hands at showdown and push them into a muck pile are few - even at the WSOP - and much less so in local clubs and casinos.  At least, this has been my experience.

So, what is the showdown player to do when the dealer isn't performing an official muck?  Should they slow the game down and ask the dealer to muck the discards into the pile before showing their hands?  After all, they have an obligation to protect their hand at showdown.

Here again, having read many of 2,945 posts, I'm pretty sure I know your answer.  But, while I might be slightly overestimating the number of dealers that don't muck correctly, I'm certain that I have not witnessed a single player who held out until his dealer did it correctly.

I do appreciate your responses Nick.  I'm hoping others will chime in with their experience and opinions as well.

It is interesting to watch the 2015 Summit Video discussion of Rule #14 A & B as it was written in 2013.  In particular, you will note a conversation from a Russian gentleman (sorry, couldn't catch name) in Day 1 of the video at the 1:04:30 timeline.  It was on the subject of this thread in terms of defining the muck.  There is no universally accepted definition.  This goes back to differences in house rules where there are forward motion rules, with or without betting lines, the burn cards, the board cards, the discard piles and the dealers muck area - all being separate entities.  According to Neil Johnson of PokerStars Live Poker Operations the muck is the entire area around the dealer.  While, Matt Savage of WPT apparently considers the muck to be the discard pile as do you.  Linda Johnson, The First Lady of Poker, also speaks of the victims of untrained dealers at 1:07:45.

It is also interesting to note that this "change his mind" rule didn't exist at all in 2011.  In 2013 the rule had two parts:

TDA 2013 Rule 14: Live Cards at Showdown
A: If the house does not have a mucking line or forward motion rule at showdown, pushing non- tabled cards forward face down does not automatically kill them; a player may change his mind and table his cards if they remain 100% identifiable. However, the cards are at risk of being killed by the dealer when he pushes them into the muckpile.
B: If a mucking line or forward motion rule is in effect at showdown, house standards apply.

I haven't found where the 2015 changes were discussed in the Summit video.  But, much was changed - including changing "muckpile" to "muck" and removing all references to a muck line.  In your responses Nick, you used muck-pile.  In 2015 it became simply the muck - without any TDA guidelines or recommended procedures.

Now, I realize that a consensus on the meaning of "into the muck" at the 2017 Summit could be a challenge.  But of course, it is the mission of the TDA to standardize these rules and this one seems to be worthwhile.  Simply stated, without a standard TDA meaning of "into the muck" the TDA rule cannot be enforced uniformly.  At a minimum, the rule could be altered to include.  The muck is defined according to house rules.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2017, 04:46:20 PM by BillM16 »

Nick C

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Re: Suggested changes to Rule #14 - Live Cards at Showdown
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2017, 08:14:05 PM »
Bill:

 I disagree with so many of the current TDA Rules that a lengthy explanation will be required. I will begin by saying that I do not agree with some of the statements of the board members during that segment you referred to during the 2015 Summit. The "muck" is the discard pile. Period! It should not be defined as the "burn-cards" or an area close to the dealer. The "muck" is a specific area designated for discards only. It must be kept separate from the "Burn-cards."

 I have trained dealers professionally for nearly 40 years. In a "perfect world" there would be no errors committed because the dealer would prevent the mistake. The TDA is not focused on dealer perfection...in fact, on the contrary, the TDA sometimes restricts good dealers from doing their job. There are specific rules that good dealers practice, when followed, assure that the winning hand will be awarded the pot at showdown. There is a "proper" order of showdown that must be followed. When a hand is properly tabled the remaining players may fold or table a better hand. The dealer will "kill" each losing hand clockwise until one hand remains face up...the winner. The method for this procedure is for the dealer to turn each losing hand face down and slide it into the muck! Players are also allowed to assist the dealer by tossing their losing hand face down in the direction of the muck where the dealer will finish the task. Cards properly discarded should never be placed on top of the muck-pile. Discards should be randomly mixed into the muck to prevent their retrieval.

Common general rules that would influence a decision are:
Players must protect their own hand. This would include: not discarding a winning hand by releasing it face down and then trying to retrieve it!
Players must follow the proper order of showdown.
Players must properly table their hand. Horizontal face-up for all to see.
Dealers must kill losing hands into the muck immediately.
The winning player, or players in the event of a split pot, shall be the only live hands on the table while the pot is awarded.

Please note: A winning hand, that was properly tabled, can not be deprived of the pot even if it were mucked in error.
                     The "muck" or "discard pile" is a specific area on the layout that contains "dead cards." These cards are not displayed in a "discard rack" such as in Black Jack. In Poker, the purpose of the muck is to leave the pile in a gathered state that separates and makes any discarded hands virtually impossible to identify.

 The duty of the TDA is dedicated to creating a uniform set of tournament poker rules worldwide. It is my duty, as a certified poker dealer instructor, to train poker dealers so they can control the action at showdown and prevent the mistakes made by poor dealers and uneducated players.

             

 

BROOKS

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Re: Suggested changes to Rule #14 - Live Cards at Showdown
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2017, 01:18:45 AM »
    I guess Ill chime in with some of my opinions...




    Again, part of the problem seems to be a lack of a crystal clear definition of a properly mucked hand. 
    • What are the physical boundaries of the official muck?
The muck, like Nick said, is the actual pile of discarded cards

  • If there is a muck pile, must a discarded hand touch other mucked cards to be officially mucked?
Yes. The only time I ever come across a debate about this, is when it is the first person to muck preflop, Then I feel that once they have discarded facedown, and the dealer has the cards, they are now the muck, and are dead.

  • If the dealer pulls the discarded hand toward the center of the table are they officially mucked.
technically they are 'mucked' but not 'dead' until theyve touched the muck. Why would the dealer pull them to the centre of the table and then stop? They should be continuing to move them, into the muck. Unless as in my example above, where they are the first person to muck, and creating the muck.

  • If the dealer has a hand on top of the discarded hand, are they officially mucked?
Same thing, they're mucked but not dead, if the player can get them back, they are still live

  • If two players discard cards near each other toward the center are they both mucked?
If the cards have mixed and you cannot tell with 100% certainty whos cards are whos, then both hands are dead

  • Is it necessary to muck cards so that they are no longer 100% identifiable before they are officially mucked?
Once a player discards facedown, the dealer should be putting those cards right into the muck, right away. Any mucked cards should unidentifiable. There are so many dealers out there that 'square' their muck during the hand and it drives me crazy!!! They either PICK UP the mucked cards and put them on top of their squared up muck, or the 2 cards are slid underneath. Either way, those cards are clearly identifiable. Not to mention players sometimes aim for the muck pile when discarding, and aiming for a solid squared up deck makes it more likely that cards will hit it and flip over

  • If a player discards his hand and says "fold" does he lose his option to change his mind?
If were talking showdown, then no, saying fold doesnt matter because action is complete. Folding isnt an option at showdown. Its either open your cards or muck them. But if this happens during any betting round, then yes 100%  their hand is dead if they say fold

  • If a player discards his hand and the dealer says "fold," are they officially mucked?
I dont see how a dealer saying anything would be binding for a player, any actions that a player says are binding. Any actions that are relevant that is. Saying "raise" on showdown after all action is complete, means nothing, just like saying fold
[/list]


I'm sure there are more examples.  AFAIK, there is no universally accepted definition.  I do know that dealers seldom get up and walk around the table so that the discarded cards can be "pushed into the muck" per TDA Rule #14.  :)

They dont need to 'get up and walk around the table' to get the discards??? When people muck facedown, the dealer slides the cards into the muck. When people open their hand and it is not the winner, the dealer flips the hand over, facedown. No need to put those cards into the muck to 'kill' them, because they have already been tabled and therefore cannot be killed.



A couple things Id like to mention, is that I believe that once cards that have been discarded facedown have touched the muck they are dead, regardless of how far into the muck they are.


I also dont like the wording in Rule 14 at the end where it says "cards are killed by the dealer when pushed into the muck"
Is this saying that ONLY the dealer can kill the hand? If I player throws their cards directly into the muck, facedown, and the dealer does not touch them, then they arent killed?
Does the word dealer really need to be in there?
« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 01:23:54 AM by BROOKS »

Nick C

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Re: Suggested changes to Rule #14 - Live Cards at Showdown
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2017, 05:16:33 AM »
Brooks:

 An excellent post. There are only a couple areas that you covered that I might question. They are:

 If a player discards his hand and says "fold" does he lose his option to change his mind?
If were talking showdown, then no, saying fold doesnt matter because action is complete. Folding isnt an option at showdown. Its either open your cards or muck them. But if this happens during any betting round, then yes 100%  their hand is dead if they say fold

As a dealer, I would insist the cards were surrendered to the muck before advancing to the next player. Why risk any dispute as to whether any hand is dead, or live?

They dont need to 'get up and walk around the table' to get the discards??? When people muck facedown, the dealer slides the cards into the muck. When people open their hand and it is not the winner, the dealer flips the hand over, facedown. No need to put those cards into the muck to 'kill' them, because they have already been tabled and therefore cannot be killed.

Not sure I'd want "dead" hands to remain on the table after they are tabled. Of course, winning hands properly tabled can not be killed. This applies when an obvious mistake occurs whenever a dealer or player misreads a hand.

Uniden32

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Re: Suggested changes to Rule #14 - Live Cards at Showdown
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2017, 08:33:19 AM »
Instead of trying to define "muck", why don't we clarify it as them being irretrievable from the muck:

Discarding non-tabled cards face down does not automatically kill them; a player may change his mind and table his cards if they remain 100% identifiable. Cards are killed by the dealer when they are irretrievable from the muck.
Ralph Brandt
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@uniden32

MikeB

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Re: Suggested changes to Rule #14 - Live Cards at Showdown
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2017, 11:07:39 AM »
Several things to understand about the background to and functionality of this rule:

1: It obviously applies to showdown, because "Live Cards at Showdown" is the title of the rule. It also uses the term "tabling" which is defined in Rule 13 as an action at showdown. That said, if it helps, the term could be added: "At showdown, discarding non-tabled hands face down does not automatically kill them." Just have never heard any confusion about this.

2: The long-standing principal at showdown is Cards Read or Cards Speak; this pre-dates the TDA. Rule 14 just clarifies that terms such as "Fold", "You win", "good hand", "nice hand", "take it", etc. have no meaning. This rule is to 100% clarify that the only issue the dealer and floor have to consider is whether there are 100% identifiable tabled cards. Not whether the player has said something, gestured something, whether the dealer has touched a card, etc... ONLY whether the cards are 100% unquestionably those of a given player. So, would it help for the first line to be: "At showdown cards speak for themselves; gestures or statements of victory or capitulation have no meaning. Discarding non-tabled hands face down does not automatically kill them".....

3: "... if they remain 100% identifiable. Cards are killed by the dealer when pushed into the muck", by deduction implies that once cards are in the muck they are considered not 100% identifiable. In fact, the instant a card touches the muck it is progressively in danger of being non-identifiable, not just when it's "in the muck". However, merely being touched by the dealer (but not in or touching the muck) is a dicey standard. I push my cards forward silently, dealer reaches over and touches them at the near edge, I suddenly hold the cards at the other edge "Wait a minute, I think I have a straight". Can I table those cards? Rule 14 makes it clear I can.

4: Hence, ultimately, if there is any dispute as to whether a hand is 100% identifiable... per Rule 13 "if the cards are not 100% identifiable and the TD rules the hand was not clearly read, the player has no claim to the pot. The TDs decision as to whether a hand was sufficiently tabled is final".

The combined effect of Rule 13 and 14 makes it absolutely clear that if the TD thinks there is any doubt as to the identity of a hand at showdown, to his or her sole satisfaction, the hand is dead AND that cards speak for themselves at showdown. That should be enough to manage any situation.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 12:07:56 PM by MikeB »

Nick C

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Re: Suggested changes to Rule #14 - Live Cards at Showdown
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2017, 04:47:31 PM »
Mike,

 It appears as though we agree on the majority of these showdown issues. However, when you suggested:So, would it help for the first line to be: "At showdown cards speak for themselves; gestures or statements of victory or capitulation have no meaning. Discarding non-tabled hands face down does not automatically kill them".....
 My answer is NO...capatulation??? Really? I like my suggestion better.

At Showdown, any player releasing their unidentified hand face down will have no redress if the hand is pushed into the muck by the dealer. However, if the hand is retrieved before it is mucked, the hand will still be live. ;D

 I was never a big fan of: "Cards speak for themselves" Cards can't speak and it doesn't make any reference to properly tabling cards.

  The current rule begins with: Discarding non-tabled cards face down does not automatically kill them....Why would we even mention this?   Why should any player who mucks face down have the protection of a TDA Poker Rule? Any player that releases his hand face down, (at showdown) indicates a deliberate intent to muck, and has little argument if efforts to retrieve the hand are too late.

 

BillM16

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Re: Suggested changes to Rule #14 - Live Cards at Showdown
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2017, 07:08:34 PM »
Good afternoon,

IMO: the TDA Rules should be written in a manner which can be understood by all.  This includes TDs, dealers, and players.  After all, they are all expected to know and follow these rules.

  • Rule #14 only applies at showdown, but that fact is not in the wording of rule.  The reader must glean this very important piece of information from the title and carry it into the rule for appropriate context.  Consequently, some less experienced players, dealers, and yes even floor people, mistakenly believe that a player can change there minds so long as their cards are 100% identifiable - on any street - while action is still forthcoming.
  • It may be true, the meaning of muck pile is unambiguous and is universally recognized as the cluster of dead cards accumulated by the dealer.  However, the term muck is more general and ambiguous.  Some define it as the entire area around the dealer beyond the visible or invisible betting line, while others mean the muck pile specifically.

My OP was an attempt to ask how can the wording of #14 be improved to help alleviate its weaknesses so that it would be better understood and applied in a standard manner.

I recommend  something along these lines:

At showdown, a hand not tabled, that was discarded face down, is considered
live until the dealer pushes the cards into the muck pile. Until then, a player may change their mind and table their cards, but only if they remain 100% identifiable.


Here are the critical points to convey:
  • We are at showdown
  • the hand was not tabled
  • the hand was discarded face down
  • the hand is still live until the dealer pushes it into the muck pile
  • the hand can be tabled only if the cards are 100% identifiable (and not in the muck pile).

The main reason I prefer this wording is that it emphasizes the importance of expedient dealer action to muck the discarded hands.  The current rule seems to put the emphasis on the players option to change their mind while their cards are 100% identifiable.  Nobody likes being beat by a hand that was discarded by a player who doesn't even realize what they are holding.  The best way to prevent that is to muck the discarded hands quickly.

Thanks for your responses.

Regards,
B~
 
« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 07:11:27 PM by BillM16 »

MikeB

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Re: Suggested changes to Rule #14 - Live Cards at Showdown
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2017, 08:08:33 PM »
Mike,

 It appears as though we agree on the majority of these showdown issues. However, when you suggested:So, would it help for the first line to be: "At showdown cards speak for themselves; gestures or statements of victory or capitulation have no meaning. Discarding non-tabled hands face down does not automatically kill them".....
 My answer is NO...capatulation??? Really? I like my suggestion better.

At Showdown, any player releasing their unidentified hand face down will have no redress if the hand is pushed into the muck by the dealer. However, if the hand is retrieved before it is mucked, the hand will still be live. ;D
But your language doesn't mention tabling. And, "retrieved" by who, can the player retrieve it or... ?


 I was never a big fan of: "Cards speak for themselves" Cards can't speak and it doesn't make any reference to properly tabling cards.
"Cards speak" is a time-honored standard for showdown. And it makes the point that it's what the cards say, not what a player says (such as "I fold" or "good hand") that counts.

The current rule begins with: Discarding non-tabled cards face down does not automatically kill them....Why would we even mention this?   Why should any player who mucks face down have the protection of a TDA Poker Rule?
Because we want to clarify the issue. Prior to this rule some houses were ruling that "I fold" has meaning at showdown, or a discard gesture automatically kills the hand. The TITLE of the rule is "Live Cards at Showdown", so the content of the rule has to clearly define what a live hand is and what it isn't. Leaving it nebulous as you prefer just invites confusion.

Any player that releases his hand face down, (at showdown) indicates a deliberate intent to muck, and has little argument if efforts to retrieve the hand are too late.
That's true, and that language is contained in the current rule.

MikeB

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Re: Suggested changes to Rule #14 - Live Cards at Showdown
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2017, 08:19:04 PM »

I recommend  something along these lines:

At showdown, a hand not tabled, that was discarded face down, is considered
live until the dealer pushes the cards into the muck pile. Until then, a player may change their mind and table their cards, but only if they remain 100% identifiable.


Hi Bill: adding the 3 words in red to the present rule seems to be equivalent in language to your suggestion:

At showdown, discarding non-tabled cards face down does not automatically kill them; a player may change his mind and table his cards if they remain 100% identifiable. Cards are killed by the dealer when pushed into the muck-pile.

Keep in mind the TDA has traditionally avoided saying much about dealer procedure, preferring to leave that to house training.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 09:10:44 PM by MikeB »