Author Topic: Cards Speak, but WHEN?  (Read 144 times)

Dave Miller

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Cards Speak, but WHEN?
« on: December 29, 2022, 12:07:47 PM »
Should a dealer announce a tabled hand as soon as it is tabled, or only once all other hands are tabled or mucked?


As you may know, I deal in a pub league, and I'm the rules guru. Toward that end, we try to follow TDA rules mostly so the players don't get surprised when they play for real.

One of my biggest pet peeves is when people talk about the hand in progress. I remind people about the "One person to a hand" rule and how table talk about the hand can influence a player or violate that rule. More than once I have had to point out that it's not over until all hands are tabled or mucked. I tell them to do a YouTube search for "Phil Ivey folds a flush." If someone at that table had asked Phil if he had a flush, Phil may have double checked his cards.

What about merely announcing a tabled hand? Should a player be allowed to read a tabled hand incorrectly and then act upon that incorrect info?


Last night, at a heads up showdown, with a board of J Q T J 8, the aggressor shows T 6. The other player 'reads' the hand, saying 'straight' while she is hesitant to show her hand. Obviously, she read the 6 as a 9 for the straight. He really only had two pair. The way she was holding her hand (but NOT tabled), I can see that she has Q 4 for a better two pair.

While both players are relatively experienced, I know the woman with the Q 4 can easily get confused, and has been told in the past that she should just show the hand if she is unsure. After all, these players aren't good enough to benefit from the kind of info that showing a losing hand provides.

But in the confusion of several people trying to read the other hand, and me trying to get everyone to shut up, she mucked her hand causing everyone else to finally quiet down. But while one corner of one card was actually touching the muck, the cards were still clearly identifiable and retrievable. One other player who saw her hand (and was her son), said, "You had the winning hand!" She was rattled and truly didn't know what to do.

I never pulled them in, so I pushed them back to her, while other players stated that they were mucked. I held my hands up to get silence, and asked her what she wanted to do.

After thinking for a moment, she turned over her hand, and I pushed her the pot, saying, "That's why we don't talk about the hand until it's over." I also talked about the identifiable and retrievable rule.

Should I have spoken up sooner and announced his hand before all the chaos broke out? Or even after but before she made her final decision?


And once the third player (her son) spoke up to tell her that the cards touching the muck was the winning hand, should her hand be killed?


For the record, the player who lost the pot because of this was totally fine with the way I handled it.
Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown.
But how much does it cost to knock on wood?

Dave Miller

  • TDA Member & Veteran Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 402
  • Lead dealer / rules guru for World Free Poker
    • Dave MIller Gaming
Re: Cards Speak, but WHEN?
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2023, 04:19:52 PM »
In the last half hour, I created a new thread, and added a comment to an 2 year old old thread. So I might as well bump this thread as well.

No comments or opinions?
Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown.
But how much does it cost to knock on wood?