Author Topic: Reconciling the string bet with forward motion  (Read 16564 times)


  • TDA Member & Veteran Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 869
  • @AskTheTD on Twitter
    • Ask the Tournament Director
Reconciling the string bet with forward motion
« on: September 01, 2011, 04:12:39 AM »
Perhaps I'm just confusing myself needlessly... but humor me for a bit.

First scenario.  Suppose you see that a player has counted out a stack of chips near his chip stack -- say 15 T100 chips -- and then holds them in his hand.  It is now up to this player to check or bet.  The player extends his arm fully with the stack of chips in hand as if to place a bet (clearly over any "imaginary" betting line, if there was one), and then brings the whole stack back, and then checks.  In my mind, this is the classic "pump-fake", and if the house uses a "forward motion" rule, I am guessing that the TD would likely rule that all 15 chips must be committed to the pot. If the house uses a "chips released" rule, or perhaps where there is no rule either way, I expect that it is possible that the TD could sometimes rule the same where the action looks so blatantly "angle-shooty" - that this type of action could be ruled a bet of the full 1500.  I think I would be OK with this.

Different scenario.  Suppose you see that the player holds these 15 T100 chips in his hand, the blinds are 50-100.  It is now up to this player to check or bet.  The player extends his arm fully with the stack of chips in hand and drops one 100 chip on the table, and then after a short but noticeable delay, drops two more 100 chips on the table.   In my mind, this is the classic "string bet" -- multiple actions being used to place chips in the pot -- and the dealer can enforce the rules and hold the player to a bet of 100.  I think I have no problems with this either.

The question that I have is -- and perhaps I just need to work this out in my head -- is there an easy way to determine which of these two scenarios should apply in a given situation?  In the second scenario, a "string bet" is called, but couldn't someone just as well argue and rule that the bet actually should be the whole 1500 since all of the chips were initially moved forward into the pot? 

I can imagine variations of the situation where there are timing differences between the "pump" and the "drop" "drop" of chips, where there is no doubt that the player's intention was not made clear, but where I would find it difficult to determine definitively that the bet should 1500 or 100.

Thoughts are much appreciated.


  • TDA Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Re: Reconciling the string bet with forward motion
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2011, 06:29:13 AM »
I don't like the "chips released" version of the house rule. I can't even get my head around trying to enforce it in this situation.

If the house has a "forward motion" rule in place:
- had the player not verbally stated "raise", I would force a call with a warning about the chips in hand.
- had the player stated raise, I would force the raise to be the full 1500 chips.

Nick C

  • TDA Member & Veteran Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 3359
Re: Reconciling the string bet with forward motion
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2011, 07:53:16 AM »

Your first scenario: Any player that extends his arms fully (with chips in hand), should be committed to that bet. If a player is allowed to retract his fists, full of chips, what is to stop any player from such an action? This example should only be taken as an intent to wager the complete amount. Or, the bettor is going through the motions to get a reaction from another player. Example: Player moves forward, with chips in hand, and the next player folds before chips are released. Another example would be; Player moves forward with chips in hand, and the next player says "raise" before the chips are released...the bettor now changes his mind and says he checks? I don't like it. That is probably why I support a betting line, and I know many others do not.

 I think you are right-on with your next scenario. It is a string raise and not a string bet.

K-Lo, The simple answer is inform the players, and the dealers, that the bettor will be commited to wager all of the chips he or she is holding in their hands. Players have plenty of time to make a decision when it is their turn to act. There are two reasons, to move forward with two fists full of chips; 1. Bet them all, or 2. Try to get a "read" on other players...That's how I see it.  


  • TDA Member & Veteran Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 330
Re: Reconciling the string bet with forward motion
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2011, 01:11:23 PM »
would one of you show me the "forward motion" rule in either RROP or TDA rule sets?  (I know there may be house rules to that effect...)...

RROP clearly states that it is not a bet until chips are "released" into the pot.  There is no mention of how many chips you have in your hand.  And going out with a handful of chips and cutting out a bet is fairly common and accepted practice.  I think the scenario where a player cuts some off and then drops a few more or or a small stack is fairly easy to call a string bet on the overflow if a players intent to make the entire bet isn't clear. 

A betting line only gives the angle shooters a target that you can't argue with.  They can stack up chips and unstack them and then push a couple stacks all the way to the line while looking for a reaction and then stop short and grab the top chip and toss it over the line.  I don't like the betting line ....

Nick, your examples have the next player essentially playing out of turn by reacting too quickly to the first players INCOMPLETE action.  So I don't really think you can blame the bettor for that.

While angle shooting is a bad thing how far to we take this.  A big part of live poker is being able to read peoples reactions as well as hiding your own reactions.  If I have a handful of chips and I extend my hand out like I am going to make a bet and I notice my opponent twitch, good for me bad for him,  I get to release more or less chips in the pot.

The key here is that those reactions can occur at any point in the betting process regardless of the rule and it can manipulated some by a player.  if the rule is "Released into the pot", which I believe is the rule, then other players should sit still until whatever chips the bettor is going to release are released and the players hand is back at rest.  Then they can react.

The released rule actually makes things a whole lot easier in my opinion as it is clear in ANY situation, betting line or no, forward motion or sideways motion.  If they are released, it's a bet (but they should all be released in one smooth motion I would say)

Look, putting your arm out with a fist full of chips or even dribbling them into the pot is not different then cutting stacks out behind your cards and stacking and restacking while your are watching your opponents reactions.  And while I don't think it should be allowed to be over done it's very easy to rule on.

Chips released into pot is a bet, betting lines only promote angle shooting, forward motion is not a rule

Nick C

  • TDA Member & Veteran Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 3359
Re: Reconciling the string bet with forward motion
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2011, 02:54:22 PM »
 I guess we can disagree again. I've seen players push their stacks forward and then stop after getting a reaction from another player. There is no release! IMO, the betting line is great, because it gives a form of guidance, where without it there is none. Some of the best players in the world learned the game playing on-line. There are no deceptive moves, or trying to get a read from an opponents reaction to your "clever moves." Play the damn game and may the best hand win.

 I don't agree with anything you wrote. Last line of TDA rule #37 It is the players responsibility to make his intentions clear.

 While were on the subject. Will you tell me how you release 10 stacks of chips into the pot?

Stuart Murray

  • TDA Member & Veteran Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 645
Re: Reconciling the string bet with forward motion
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2011, 10:17:44 AM »
Hi all, I adopted 'Chip Release' as the method for betting and raising, which is duly attached:

44 Chip Movement - Chip release is employed as the method for betting and raising, forward motion may be binding if another player acts on it – for example a player may lift a full stack (20) chips then cut off 10 chips and withdraw the remainder, where a player moves their stack or part of their stack forward and this causes a reaction from another player still to act, this action may be binding, subject to the Tournament Director’s discretion.

in your scenarios, using our chip release rule, scenario 1 would be a check, providing another player has not acted on the 15 chips being moved forward, on scenario 2, this could go multiple ways, depending on what other players/dealer felt was the players intent.  By the book it would be a bet of 100, but by intent it could very well be something else.

There is however, no TDA standard adopted as yet for forward motion/chip release, so therefore you should consider having your own house rule to cover this aspect.

« Last Edit: September 03, 2011, 10:29:12 AM by Stuart Murray »