Author Topic: Big Blind Action: Adding Chips to a Bet Not Yet Pulled in, Rule 44 questions  (Read 19510 times)

NoMat

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No Limit Texas Hold-em Tournament. Blinds 150-300. Big Blind has three 100 chips posted.

All fold to Cutoff who raises 500 to 800, Button calls, Small Blind folds, Big Blind, without comment or indication, tosses in a 1000 chip in with the three 100 chips. What is this?

Is the BB considered a bet? Does Rule 42 single chip apply. Does Rule 43 multiple chip apply? Does removal of a single 100 chip and the 50% rule apply? Does Rule 44 Previous "Bet" chips not pulled in apply?

There was considerable disagreement among directors. Not that is should probably affect the ruling, but the BB later said he was just looking for a 500 chip back in change.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2015, 02:36:32 PM by MikeB »

Nick C

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Re: Big Blind Action
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2015, 06:30:25 AM »
NoMat: This is a great question that we've rehashed in the past. There is no "firm" rule that covers this. Obviously, "make your intentions clear," will never be enough. Why? Let's take a look at what leads to the confusion. Consider what new players to the game must think...The small blind and big blind are not considered for "substantial action." Raising in the BB position when action returns to you is acceptable...but isn't that like raising yourself? ::) Also, the only time players are allowed to remove chips from their bet, is when they are completing a bet or raise. Example: Blinds 500/1000...the SB removes his 500 and replaces it with a 1000 chip.

 The reason for the problem is simple; the players fail to announce "call" or "raise" before they act. So, until we come up with a solid "rule" that governs this situation, the confusion will continue.

Possibly something like this would help:

#1) Whenever a player is facing an increase in the amount that he has already placed into the betting area, he must (not should, or may, or if he feels like it), clearly announce his intentions, or his action will always be considered a call. Or, #2 Whenever a player is facing an increase in the amount that he has already placed into the betting area, his action will equate to the closest amount of the sum of his chips.  :-\ Or any other way you want to say it! Until we fix it...it will forever remain our (the TD's) problem.

 All of my rambling on did not answer your question. Here is my answer: Because the BB did not announce his intent, or retract his 300 before tossing in a single 1000 chip...it is a raise. There will always be arguments, I know, but until we sort it out...that's how I see it. You also mentioned that the BB later stated that he was expecting 500 back, making his desired action a call. If he had removed his three 100's, I would have agreed. Great topic.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2015, 06:43:53 AM by Nick C »

K-Lo

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Re: Big Blind Action
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2015, 07:16:35 AM »
Without verbal, this would be considered a call.  This is pretty much standard now, and I believe affirmed at the last summit when the question was raised (again).  Although, as Nick alludes to, simply verbalizing call would avoid any ambiguity, particular to avoid an incorrect ruling from a floor person who may not be keeping up to date with trends.

The reasoning behind this being a call is as follows: when it gets to that player it is 500 to call.  Therefore, throwing in a single oversized chip is a call of that amount. What might confuse the issue is that while, in the past, the dealer would scoop all bets into the centre (e.g. When it gets to the big blind, some dealers used to scoop 300 from each player and put that into the centre, leaving the outstanding 500 amount to be called in front of each person), the correct procedure now is to leave all chips in front of each player until the betting round is complete. This can cause some confusion, however, if you imagined that everyone's 300 was taken in first, I'm sure you would have less trouble ruling that the 1000 chip is just a call of 500.

Another way of getting to the same ruling (I.e. Call of 500), is noting that there is ambiguity as to whether there is a raise to 1300 or just a call of 800 asking for change. Both are reasonable interpretations.  Generally, when we encounter such ambiguity, we tend to default to the "lesser action" which in this case is just a call. This usually, but not always, has the least significant impact on other players (who were not a fault) in the hand.

Nick C

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Re: Big Blind Action
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2015, 09:01:34 AM »
There you go...two replies and two different answers. It needs to be fixed. I also have a big problem with any dealer that pushes bets into the pot before the betting, for that street, is complete unless I were isolating equal bets when action is head to head. I've never practiced it, or taught it in 35 years!

 Come on players, help us out a little, will you? If I have 300 in the pot and it has been raised 500 more to 800...if calling, I'd say call or remove the 300  before tossing in 1000. If I were raising, I would either say "raise" or leave the 1300 (three 100's and one 1000) in the pot. Why would I expect 500 change?

 The fix would be so simple.

Brian Vickers

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Re: Big Blind Action
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2015, 09:37:24 AM »
It should be ruled a call.  I have used time and time again the phrase "indication of a raise" in these scenarios, especially when the small blind throws out one chip (oversized chip rule on small blind).

Although the 300 is still in front of the BB, essentially that 300 is matched by all players and is part of the pot.  We keep the 300 in front of the BB for time management purposes (not bringing in all the chips twice) but the 300 is part of the pot now.The player is facing a bet of 500 and throws out a single 1k chip without comment.  1000 chip on top of a 500 bet is an oversized chip. 

Now here's where the "without comment" is important:  The BB has given us no "indication of a raise," meaning he did not announce raise, nor did he push all the chips forward, pick up the bb with his other chips and set them back down, nothing to indicate that he was doing anything other than calling.  I would accept the aformentioned examples as clear "indication of raise."

This also falls under the unclear betting rule, the player has failed to make his intentions clear.  It could be a call and it could be a raise.  Since we do not know what the intention is, we have to rule that the smaller amount applies, as it is the "least damaging ruling to the game."

NoMat

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Re: Big Blind Action
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2015, 06:55:04 PM »
If this is a call then the following would be the same?
UTG calls the BB with 3 of the 100 chips.
Cutoff raises 500 to 800.
Button calls the 800.
SB folds.
BB calls the 800.
UTG now throws in a 1000 (or 5000 for that matter) chip without comment or indication without removing the chips in place.
Raise or call?
How does the "removal of a single chip" come into play?
Are the blinds different?

Thanks all

BillM16

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Re: Big Blind Action
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2015, 08:29:46 AM »
I agree with the notion that the rules should be more clear on this point as there remains much disagreement.  It is clear that there are rules (39, 42) that would favor the call given the silent placement of a single oversized chip.  But, the new 2013 rule 44 says that the chips in front of the BB (or any other position) from the prior bet may make this a re-raise instead of a call.  The BB could have removed the 300 before placing the 1000 if his intention was a call.  Leaving multiple chips totaling 1300 is a full raise of 500 over the previous raise.  Leaving prior chips in the pot can be considered a multiple chip bet even while adding a single chip.  Also, there is the new 2013 rule 53 that says betting action should not be used to obtain change - which is what the BB claims was his intent.  Under the circumstances, and considering the new rules, I would most likely rule it as raise. 

And, as a twist on NoMat's last posting.  What if the BB and UTG have 300 in front of them and both quickly toss a single 1000 chip in to the pot?  Do both get 500 change? 
« Last Edit: April 01, 2015, 08:34:29 AM by BillM16 »

Nick C

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Re: Big Blind Action
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2015, 10:53:17 AM »
BillM16:

 So you agree with me! This is so rare, I must make a note of it! :D

K-Lo

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Re: Big Blind Action
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2015, 02:18:38 PM »
In view of NoMat's and BillM16's (and Nick's) comments, perhaps a rule clarification or some specific examples involving blinds in the addendum may be warranted. If there is still confusion, then I can't see why there would be resistance in clarifying the application of the rules in this circumstance. However, I can assure you that at least at the highest levels of tournament play, these scenarios would uniformly be ruled as a call by knowledgable TDs. I believe my explanation and Brian's explanation are sound and reflect the current practice in these situations.

Moving on to NoMat's second example, in the absence of a verbal indication, UTG's wager would similarly be ruled a call. The "removal of a single chip sufficient for a call" concept clarified in the multiple chip betting rule (new in last update) does not apply here since the actual (physical) betting action in question only involves one oversized chip. If, on the other hand, like Brian notes, the player took the chips on the table back and then threw them all back on the table with the big chip together in one action, then the multiple chip betting rule would apply.  I can see why there is confusion because the new multiple chip rule does not explicitly distinguish between chips wagered in one action or chips making their way into the pot in multiple chunks over several iterations. Again, all I can say is that most tour and circuit TDs would not treat the situations described as invoking the multiple betting rule.

Personally, I would also note that many players are conditioned to not touch chips once they have been wagered (or the pot for the matter), which means it is not always evident to players that they could even have taken back the 300 -- so I would tend to believe the person was asking for change anyway. As I mentioned before though, unless I suspected an angle, I'd be content to default to the lesser action anyways (call) if there is ambiguity.

I also want to address Bill's note on Rule 44. This rule shouldn't be taken as suggesting that what might otherwise be a calling action should be deemed a raise. That was not the intention of the rule (also new in last update). The "rule" was meant to be a warning that in cases where chips already wagered are before a player, there can be ambiguity. Thus players are encouraged to verbalize their action to avoid a ruling that might be contrary to their intentions.  

If memory serves correctly, the history behind this new rule came primarily from a discussion on what would happen when different amounts of chips have been wagered by a blind, and then the blind puts in more chips. Without hashing through all of it again here, I think it's safe to summarize what was meant to be said as this: if the amount already wagered is less than the total amount needed to call (like in NoMat's two examples), and an oversized chip is then thrown in, the action is deemed a call; however, if the amount already wagered is SUFFICIENT to cover the total amount needed to call, and then another oversized chip is thrown in (e.g. if UTG had originally called 300 by throwing in a 1000 chip expecting change, and then, when facing a raise to 800, he then throws in another 1000 chip), this would be a raise. These are examples of different situations involving chips already wagered that I think was contemplated by the new rule; I don't think the rule was ever meant to suggest that one should lean toward ruling something a raise over a call in cases of ambiguity,

All this said, I sympathize with those who are trying to figure out what to do from the language of the rules without the benefit of following the discussion or the history. So yes, maybe an example or two in the addendum would be helpful.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2015, 02:39:01 PM by K-Lo »

BillM16

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Re: Big Blind Action
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2015, 04:33:58 PM »
I'll admit that I don't know the history of rule 44 but I will take a look at the 2013 summit videos for more background.  However, the first sentence of rule 44 when taken literally makes it clear that what might otherwise be a call can be a re-raise given chips left in the pot in front of the acting player.  The fact that players are encouraged to be verbal in several existing rules makes it hard to believe that rule 44 was added merely to suggest that once again.

K-Lo

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Re: Big Blind Action
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2015, 09:19:39 PM »
I'll admit that I don't know the history of rule 44 but I will take a look at the 2013 summit videos for more background.  However, the first sentence of rule 44 when taken literally makes it clear that what might otherwise be a call can be a re-raise given chips left in the pot in front of the acting player.  The fact that players are encouraged to be verbal in several existing rules makes it hard to believe that rule 44 was added merely to suggest that once again.

Find the part where Matt Savage comments on the #1 question he receives on Twitter.

BillM16

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Re: Big Blind Action
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2015, 09:25:19 AM »
Wow!

K-Lo, I didn't find where Matt commented on the "#1 question" yet, but I did find the discussion on the "Proposed New Rule" regarding "Previous Bet Chips Not Pulled In." The TDA Summit 2013 (part 4) video covers this discussion in the first 8 minutes.

Here is my (mis?)interpretation of what was said:

4) Previous Bet Chips Not Pulled In
A) When no change is due
   - A single oversized chip is not added to the previous bet
   - Multiple chips are added to the previous bet
B) When change is due and is less than the amount raised
   - A single oversized chip is not added to the previous bet
   - Multiple chips are added to the previous bet and the change due
C) When change is due and is enough to cover the raise
   - Any chip(s) will be added to the bet including change and is subject to the 50% rule
D) Player removes some (but not all) of his prior bet chips before adding one or more chips
   - If one or more chips are removed then the chips left behind are added to the new chips
   - If no chips are removed then see A, B, and C above
E) Player removes all chips of his prior bet chips before adding one or more chips
   - Single oversized chip and multi-chip rules apply
F) If BB removes his bet then adds chip(s)
   - If called around, the new chip(s) added are a raise, subject to the 50% rule
   - If facing a raise, the single oversized chip and multi-chip rules apply
(Note: F was not on the slides but was brought up in the discussion following E)

I'm posting this, as is, with plans to continue the discussion later.  At this time, I will say that the published rule, when taken literally, does not convey what was apparently discussed and agreed upon. That said, I do believe I prefer a more literal interpretation over the more complicated alternative.  Perhaps another discussion is warranted during the upcoming summit.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2015, 09:27:29 AM by BillM16 »

MikeB

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Re: Big Blind Action
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2015, 02:28:29 PM »
Wow!

K-Lo, I didn't find where Matt commented on the "#1 question" yet, but I did find the discussion on the "Proposed New Rule" regarding "Previous Bet Chips Not Pulled In." The TDA Summit 2013 (part 4) video covers this discussion in the first 8 minutes.

Here is my (mis?)interpretation of what was said:

I'm posting this, as is, with plans to continue the discussion later.  At this time, I will say that the published rule, when taken literally, does not convey what was apparently discussed and agreed upon. That said, I do believe I prefer a more literal interpretation over the more complicated alternative.  Perhaps another discussion is warranted during the upcoming summit.


Ken: Thanks for noting this segment of the 2013 discussions. You correctly note that there are a series of different circumstances that can present when a player tosses chips out on top of a previous bet, and/or manipulates the previous bet in the process.

While you correctly note the suggested solutions, what is more revealing is the discussion and "voting" after this material was presented. There was very uneven voting from the delegates about what constitutes a raise, a call, etc..  At that point it was obvious that to try and finalize something more than what currently appears in the rules could be counter-productive. The bottom-line, as stated in the rule, is that these gestures have a wide range of interpretation and it's in the player's interest to clarify his/her intention before putting out the additional chip(s).

Perhaps additional progress can be made this Summer.

MikeB

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Re: Big Blind Action
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2015, 02:35:54 PM »
No Limit Texas Hold-em Tournament. Blinds 150-300. Big Blind has three 100 chips posted.

All fold to Cutoff who raises 500 to 800, Button calls, Small Blind folds, Big Blind, without comment or indication, tosses in a 1000 chip in with the three 100 chips. What is this?

This is one of the easier circumstances... I would venture to say the large majority of TDs would say it's a call with a single overchip. See reply to K-Lo in post above, that there was considerable difference of opiinion when the delegates were polled in 2013 about various situations involving chips on top of bets not yet pulled in.


Is the BB considered a bet? Does Rule 42 single chip apply. Does Rule 43 multiple chip apply? Does removal of a single 100 chip and the 50% rule apply? Does Rule 44 Previous "Bet" chips not pulled in apply?

There was considerable disagreement among directors. Not that is should probably affect the ruling, but the BB later said he was just looking for a 500 chip back in change.
The way the "call" proponents look at this is that the BB is facing a 500 raise. While facing this raise he silently tosses out a single overchip.

Also, very importantly he does not manipulate the three 100's in front of him, which can result in a difference of opinion as to his action. What if he pulls one of the 100's back and tosses out the 1000 on top of the remaining two 100's?  What if he scoops up the three 100's, adds the 1000 and tosses the whole lot forward? There are alot of permutations to this basic action. At the end of the day is it worthwhile to try and write rules for 6 or 7 possibilities? Will the average dealer be able to remember them all, let alone TDs? Until and unless there is alot of uniformity in practice, the best guidance is contained in Rule 44 currently: it's up to the player to make his/her intention clear before tossing out additional chip(s).

This will make for interesting discussion at the June Summit.

Thanks for the great question!
« Last Edit: April 04, 2015, 02:39:04 PM by MikeB »

K-Lo

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I think we're all on the same page!