Author Topic: Hidden Chips in Stack "Behind"  (Read 5223 times)


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Hidden Chips in Stack "Behind"
« on: May 17, 2014, 01:30:42 AM »
A raises to $25.  B looks at A's stack, and sees A has about $50 left.  B goes all-in.

A call and pushes chips forward, at which point we see $500 in "hidden" big denomination chips behind the $50.

Dealer counts $550 total.  Action is paused and floor is called.  B claims A was hiding chips and that he would not have went all-in had he known A had $550.  Dealer agrees the big denomination chips were not clearly visible to the table.

a) Assuming this is a cash game - What would be your ruling (applying your own house rules)?
b) if this was a tourney (using TDA rules) would your answer be different?
c) Would your answers be different if the big denomination chips were not discovered until after the hand was complete?


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Re: Hidden Chips in Stack "Behind"
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2014, 08:10:54 AM »
I understand B's plight, but how hidden was that $500 chip? if it's just lying on the felt behind the other chips then while A should have had it out front I would still rule this an all-in by B. A player should never declare "all-in" unless they are truly prepared to put all their chips at risk and I want to severely limit opportunities to weasel out of an all-in. While A should have had the chip out front, B should also be watching the table, tracking stacks, craning his neck occasionally, asking to re-arrange an unclear stack, etc, i.e. B has some responsibility. Goes for both cash and tourney. If the 500 was jammed into the felt rail or hidden under a drink holder that's another story... (see c).

In item c my answer probably would be different, depending on how well "hidden" the chip was. I lost that argument at Summit 2013, that the hidden chip should be taken out of circulation in egregious tournament situations. Let's say B's total all-in was 125. What sense does it make to give him a 500 chip windfall in a tournament if he wins because the chip was hidden?  In a cash game my Rule 1 ruling is the same: would I have made B pay off the very hidden chip? If I wouldn't, then I wouldn't award it to him either.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2014, 06:41:03 AM by MikeB »


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Re: Hidden Chips in Stack "Behind"
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2015, 10:38:37 AM »
I've had issues with a certain player palming high-denom chips for years.  Every time there was a new dealer at the table he would try it and we can't always be everywhere at once.  We always ruled if it's hidden then it's not in play.
In a tournament same thing would apply and of course if the chip was discovered later it would be taken out of play.