Poll

In the scenarios of the original post below, how do you respond?

List all available options at the player's request.
Ask player to act first, and correct action only if necessary.
Other

Author Topic: Should Dealers/TDs advise players of available options?  (Read 5499 times)

K-Lo

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Should Dealers/TDs advise players of available options?
« on: August 07, 2012, 10:02:04 AM »
Hi all:

A quick poll on procedure regarding the handling of player questions while a hand is still live.

Scenario 1:

Pre-flop.  Blinds are 100-200.  Player A raises to 500.  Player B goes all-in for 750.  Player C calls.  Action returns to player A, who asks you what his options are.  In particular, he asks if he can re-raise or go all-in here.

Scenario 2:

Heads-up, post flop.  It is Player A's turn, but Player B goes all-in out of turn.  Action is brought back to Player A, who asks you what his options are.  Specifically, he wants to know whether B's all-in is binding if he (A) bets here.

Applications of the Rules are pretty straightforward here.  In Scenario 1, we know that A cannot re-raise as B's all-in does not constitute a legal raise.  In Scenario 2, we know a bet by A will change the action and all options will be open to B, including raise, call, or fold.  The question is whether you would feel obliged to answer the question, outlining what the available options are, or would you direct the player to act first (e.g. "I can't tell you that, the action is to you and you'll be informed if your intended action is not legal") and only correcting the action if and when necessary.

When I was first starting out as a TD, an old mentor of mine was strongly against disclosing options to the non-offending player at this point, feeling that it was akin to "coaching".  On the other hand, the rules are pretty silent in this regard.  Thoughts?
« Last Edit: August 07, 2012, 11:13:38 AM by K-Lo »

MikeB

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Re: Should Dealers/TDs advise players of available options?
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2012, 11:49:53 AM »
Requests for information regarding allowable action must be handled on a case-by-case basis. In the specific two examples in the OP I favor informing the player of their options and their ramifications.

100% agree that anything verging on "advice" or "coaching" should be scrupulously avoided.

This is an interesting topic probably worthy of discussion at the next Summit... can any rule or more likely a recommended procedure be adopted on this?

chet

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Re: Should Dealers/TDs advise players of available options?
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2012, 12:24:55 PM »
FWIW:

In professional golf, is it not possible for a player to ask an official what his options are if circumstances warrant?  For example (and forgive me I am not a golfer), off the tee, the ball is hit in bounds, but into a bunch to trees where a spectator picks up the ball.  Wouldn't the player be allowed to ask the official what his options are at that point? 

So, why in poker, when an unusual situation arises, would we not allow the player to ask what his options are?  Given the fact that there is less than 100% agreement even in this forum between TD's in some cases, why shouldn't the player know what is permissible in a given game?

Chet

K-Lo

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Re: Should Dealers/TDs advise players of available options?
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2012, 12:59:18 PM »
Quote

So, why in poker, when an unusual situation arises, would we not allow the player to ask what his options are?


I guess the main argument is that players are expected to know the rules of the game, and that if they don't know what the rules are, the TD should not intervene by doing something that puts a player that does know what the rules are at a disadvantage or that would potentially influence the natural outcome of the hand in some way.

One could also argue that describing the options essentially violates the one-player-to-a-hand rule, because it is not up to the TD or dealer to coach the players on how certain rules are to be applied during a hand (much like whether a TD/dealer should remind players not to muck if they wish to play the board because of the corresponding rule, or answer a question such as "if our two hands are tied, do suits play?" in the middle of the hand).

Scenario 1 is often used as a classic example. It is A's turn to act.  In this case, the other players left in the hand have not really done anything wrong or unusual.   The only question is whether A knows or ought to know that the betting is not reopened when action returns to him, according to the Rules.  Arguably, it is up to A to know what constitutes a legal raise.  It has been argued that A should be given the chance to voluntarily go all-in here for example, without the TD/dealer intervening in advance by saying "you can only call or fold".  That additional information (i.e. that A attempted to go all-in) would then be available to B & C to consider and use at their own discretion.  Had the TD intervened in advance by saying you can only call, B & C would never have the opportunity to see if A would have went all-in thinking that it was still possible to do so, and thus the TD could have been considered to have interfered in the play of the hand. 

I personally see the merit of not giving A any additional information in Scenario 1, although I struggle to remember exactly where I picked this approach up from.  Scenario 2 is a bit different because B's OOT action is actually a direct cause of an unusual situation, so it could be argued that it is fair to inform the player of his options in the interest of fairness (especially if B's OOT action is known to be deliberate);  on the other hand, should a player be expected to know what the rules say about actions out-of-turn or not?

I guess it comes down to your philosophy as to whether you think "ignorance of the law [or Rules]" so to speak, should be an excuse.  I have no issues generally with players asking questions on the Rules before or after a hand, but during a hand with future action still possible, I am much less keen.

Nick C

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Re: Should Dealers/TDs advise players of available options?
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2012, 01:37:26 PM »
K-Lo,

Scenario 1: If I were dealing I would tell Player A that the short all-in does not reopen the betting to him. I don't see that as coaching...just a dealer doing his job. Tell Player A he can call, or fold. How can you expect the players to understand this rule when half of the TD's got it wrong on a similar post?! ;D

Scenario 2: We have discussed this on other posts. IMO, this head to head situation is a perfect example why Action out of turn needs some work. I've always lobbied for a separate set of rules for head to head. I feel that, allowing a retraction, or raise option, gives too much control to the out of turn.

 I also agree with Chet, why not give the player their options? If they don't comply with the rules, they'll have to be corrected at some point. The rules need to stop heading in the direction of preventing the dealer from correcting a mistake before it occurs.

diz475

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Re: Should Dealers/TDs advise players of available options?
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2012, 12:31:56 PM »
I think in scenario 1 the action is on player A and he has the right to ask his options and I can give them to him.

In scenario 2 I should not tell him what will happen if he checks or bets because he is getting info from his left


so for the poll the it is two diff. anwsers for me