Author Topic: How to stop unethical players.  (Read 9854 times)

Martin L. Waller

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How to stop unethical players.
« on: April 22, 2010, 10:09:47 AM »
I have an issue with some players. It is either unethical or careless play but I need suggestions on how to stop it.

In a hand a player is waiting for his time to act and is waving his cards like he is going to fold. This alerts the other players that the fold is coming behind them. It can affect whether they may call or raise.

Another one is when a player bets out of turn knowing full well that if anyone raises him that it changes the action and he can pull his bet back. He also knows that the worst that is going to happen to him is a warning.

In heads-up I had a player bet out of turn. When the other player raised the 1st player pulled his chips back. By the book it was right but ethically it was so wrong.

We all see stuff like this all of the time. Our rules are made for the betterment of the game. They are designed for players to follow. What about when players actually use the rules against us?

Iíve seen this in tournaments and cash. In tournaments we can warn and penalize. In cash itís almost unstoppable.

Only allowing more mature players would help but I donít see that happening.

Any good suggestions? ???


Stuart Murray

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Re: How to stop unethical players.
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2010, 10:19:04 AM »

Good few situations,

First off, up your penalties, if they are doing these things with malicious intent, start issuing round penalties, the first time for example you give a 1 round it might not change things much, but when it goes to 2 rounds they will start to realise that you mean business.  I've only ever gave 2 round penalties one for one and one for two, the two round penalty was a sharp penalty and the player quickly realises he could not contravene me, calmed himself down and accepted it, once this happened I reassessed the penalty to a single round and to his credit he went on to come 2nd in that tournament out of 66 players.

If they are betting out of turn with malicious intent, as previously discussed you can invoke the 1st and make the bet stand, If they are waving their hand about and implying they are going to fold give them a round sit out for unethical conduct.  Once you take control and force harsher penalties on players, everything improves and the other players will be happier that you have done this.


Nick C

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Re: How to stop unethical players.
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2010, 11:35:50 AM »

 I agree with Stuart. In the many years that I was a dealer, I found a simple warning for a first offense was good enough. Sometimes I sound like a broken record when I keep saying the same things over and over; we need to think of the intent of the player. Acting out of turn is not only defined as pushing chips or announcing a bet when it is not your turn to act. Actions and gestures are also included. How would you feel, if you were about to call a $20 bet in front of you and before you release your chips into the pot, the player on your left picks up two stacks of chips and stands up like he's ready to pounce on your call? These actions and gestures are what the rules were written for. Too many of us are using the rules for the wrong reasons. Betting out of turn is a violation of poker etiquette and is highly unethical. Take a close look at rule #29. If a player in the five-seat makes a bet before a player in front of him, (he didn't see that the player in the three seat had a hand) a good dealer in control the game, would stop any further action immediately. The action would be backed up to the proper player and the betting round would be completed without a problem.
 The rules are written for deliberate violations, not accidental, or when a player is misled by the dealer. Players need protection from the unethical and intentional actions of repeat offenders. A player that obviously is unaware of the bet in front of him, should be granted some leniency before a harsh penalty is enforced. Example; Player a bets $20, Player B calls $20 player C raises to $220 and Player D throws $20 into the pot and says call. I know that some of the TD's are ready to pounce all over that player and hold him to $200 more, and they would be wrong! A quick response from the dealer should be enough to straighten out the situation. How could you hold that player to that raise when it was obvious he did not see or understand the bet in front of him. You can't always go by the written rules in poker. Could you imagine if every player, on every betting round took the allotted time to act on their hand, (a player on the clock has one minute and then a count-down 10-9-8 etc), with four betting rounds in hold'em and ten players at the table you would not have time to complete one hand in a dealers 30 minute downtime at that table.
 In my opinion, there is far too much discussion on out-of-turn.....If it's intentional, he gets a warning and if he continues, he's gone. Period. Who needs him? Who wants him? I will give one more example that might better get the message across. The game is No-limit Hold'em and the blinds are $500/$1000. It's the final table and the action is down to five players. While the dealer is dealing out the cards, the player on the button pushes $15,000 into the pot. By the book, if any player raises the big blind in front of him, he can retract his bet, right? Why wouldn't every player do that on every hand? Because you can't.....Why not? I'll tell you why. Under General Concepts...Rule #1 FLOOR PEOPLE...Floor people are to consider the best interest of the game and fairness as the top priority in the decision-making process. Unusual circumstances can on occasion dictate that decisions in the interest of fairness take priority over the technical rules. The floorperson's decision is final.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2018, 04:35:39 PM by Nick C »


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Re: How to stop unethical players.
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2010, 02:43:10 PM »
We all come up against players like these and if you give them an inch they will take you for a mile! As TD You must use your discretionary powers effectively and if that means heavy penalties then that so be it so stick to your guns! It is true that it can be easy to get stuck in the technicalities of the rules and the rules are there to protect the game and the players but there will always be times when a minority will try to bend the rules to their advantage and the situation calls for some good old common sense, clamp down hard and everyone will get the message!

In all deliberate moves / shots, I issue a warning and then watch the player like a hawk, if they do it again they get railed for at least one round. Stuart is correct in saying that as soon as they realise you are not going to allow them to get away with it they will fall in line and things eventually work out for the best. Nick is also right in saying that the game could do without them so if they don't like it and don't come back you will find that you will not miss them anyway, if anything I have found that your "real" players will always return knowing that you "run a good game" regardless if it is cash or tournament.

Stick to your Guns and remember, as TD you have the rules on your side and you have "discretionary" powers to protect the integrity of your events!