POKER TOURNAMENT RULES QUESTIONS & DISCUSSIONS > Non-TDA Tournament and General Poker Rules Discussion

Playing from a "chip rack"

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Nick C:
Why is playing from a chip rack no longer allowed? When was this rule originally enforced?
I remember playing from a chip rack in cash games whenever I played in Las Vegas. I'm going back a while but just curious.

Max D:
That is a good question, I can only think that it is due to space limitations?  I can't see that it is for security purposes.  Maybe if you have multiple racks then it is harder for the other player to see how much you really have?

Nick C:
Thanks Max, I agree those are valid points, just never heard from anyone that had mentioned the origin. There must be someone out there that knows. Someone that was present when the rule was first introduced. I remember calling for a couple racks when I was going to quit a game. While I was stacking my chips into the rack, the dealer dealt me in...I decided to play that hand. You would have thought I was about to rob the players at gunpoint! There were players that insisted I not play from my rack, so I folded and went home.

 I could understand if cash on the table played, it would be too easy to slip a few bills under the rack...other than that, not sure why it's not allowed.

 There must have been a very serious incident that occurred because you can't play from a rack anywhere.

Dave Miller:
My local casino, Sands Bethlehem PA, allows it if you're leaving in a couple hands.

However they insist you keep one stack on the table as a 'working stack'. The reason they say is it's easier / quicker.

I've also taken a rack to the craps table. They let me make my bets but if I'm not moving the rest to the rail by the next roll they ask me to do so. I never bothered to ask why.

My understanding is because nothing should be on the table that could possibly conceal/cover cards. Any card protectors we allow must not be large enough that they can conceal a card. We also have cash play on the table, and racks could be concealing bills.
When manual shuffling, the dealer counts down the stub every so often (if at all),  which means for several hands you could be playing with a short deck because there is a card hidden under this rack. Or he's holding a card there temporarily to switch it with later.


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