Author Topic: Card found missing = fouled deck?  (Read 11030 times)

K-Lo

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Card found missing = fouled deck?
« on: October 12, 2012, 03:07:01 PM »
A friend of mine posted this on a different forum, and I thought I'd copy it here to generate some discussion.

Your tournament is down to the final table and as you walk by, you notice 1 card, on the floor right under the Dealer's chair.
As you notice this, there is also action with 5 players involved, on the turn card with a massive pot in the center!
What do you do?


The interesting thing is that Matt Savage actually replied to this note, as follows:

"I know what I have done before and that is to stop the action, check the disposed burn cards to make sure it is not from that hand and if the deck is short return all the bets. Get a new setup and deal the next hand.  Cannot play with a foul deck but all the hands previous still stand as normal."

This situation arises more often than one might think.  You may have a dealer who forgets to take in a winner's cards from the previous hand, and substantial action occurs in the next hand before those cards are discovered.  Or, a dealer dropped one of the cards on the floor when collecting cards for a shuffle for some previous hand, and it is not noticed until later, in the middle of a subsequent hand.

Here are my thoughts, and my private response.  In summary, I don't treat "missing cards" in the same way as finding two duplicate cards in a deck, or a card of a different color appearing in the middle of a hand.  In general, I personally would not consider this as a fouled deck situation unless I suspected that one of the players knew what cards were missing and may have acted on that information.  Agree or disagree?

Quote
I saw your post and Matt's response. With all due respect to the "big boss", I personally think you have to be very careful about returning all bets in this type of situation.

If you are a rules theorist, then you'll recall the particular sections in Robert's Rules dealing with fouled decks, and they explicitly make a distinction between fouled decks due to having wrong-color-backed cards appearing in a hand or two cards of the same suit and rank in the deck, and "missing cards".  RROP #10 specifically says that "one or more cards missing from the deck does not invalidate the results of a hand", but it is a bit ambiguous as to whether you can void the hand mid-way.  In some other rule books (e.g. Cooke's Rules), however, a discovered missing card is grounds for a misdeal, but as you know, once substantial action has occurred, action must continue and a misdeal cannot be called.

Clarity of the rules aside, the main reason that I would not be inclined to treat this as a true "fouled deck" and to return all bets, is that it would make it much too easy for a rogue dealer or a dishonest player to manipulate.  For example, suppose that one of the players beside the dealer had kept a card from an earlier hand, got involved in a big pot, and midway through was worried that he was going to lose, he could simply dump the card on the ground and force a return of bets.  If you were the player holding the nuts in this hand and just about to be paid out, you would feel robbed and understandably so.

Could a player force the situation by keeping a duplicate card of the same color back hidden and then planting it in the same way?  Perhaps, but this is much more difficult to do.  

Similarly, what happens if you're deep in the middle of the hand, and then it is discovered that a player who has already folded had kept two cards from the previous hand?  If the deck is "fouled" because it is missing cards, would we return the bets here as well?

Thanks for sharing this situation, and I'm going to ask around.  But my gut tells me that we should rarely be voiding hands where substantial action has already occurred except in the most extreme of circumstances.  You don't want to make it easy to void hands when everyone left in the hand had proceeded on good faith.  Finding out that a card is missing, in my view, is not a reason to void a hand, unless one of the players left in the hand may have had specific knowledge of those cards and was in the position to take advantage of that knowledge.

K  
« Last Edit: October 12, 2012, 03:11:25 PM by K-Lo »

chet

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Re: Card found missing = fouled deck?
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2012, 04:13:29 PM »
I agree that there has been substantial action in the hand in play and I would let the hand continue to completion, unless, I had reason to believe that one or more players were aware of the card on the floor and the suit/value.  If the card is face down it is unlikely any player would be aware of the suit/value and therefore there would be no advantage to any other player. 

After the hand was over, then it is time to change the setup and so forth.

If I had reason to suspect that one or more players knew either the suit/value of the card on the floor then it becomes much more difficult.  I think I would then be 99% inclined to cancel the current hand and return all bets.  In addition, then it becomes time to dole out any penalties for players who have failed to bring the problem to the attention of the floor.

Chet

Nick C

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Re: Card found missing = fouled deck?
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2012, 06:38:06 PM »
Gentlemen:
 
 There are several situations, when a card is discovered under the table, that could call for different rulings, such as; how far into the deal when the card is noticed. The situation in the original post clearly indicates that the hand has progressed (on the turn), and the betting was heavy. Therefore, I could never call for a misdeal. I have to agree with K-Lo (again).

 What I would consider: A card off the table does not constitute a fouled deck.
                                  Substantial action has taken place.
                                  Is the card from the deck being used?

What I would do:         Stop the action.
                                 Carefully count the deck
                                 Announce the exposed card to the table, whether face up or down.

Other considerations:    Suspend further betting

 I do find it hard to believe that the card hit the floor because of the dealer ::).


                            
« Last Edit: October 12, 2012, 06:41:08 PM by Nick C »

Tristan

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Re: Card found missing = fouled deck?
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2012, 10:04:31 AM »
I agree with you K-Lo. 

I don't think I would stop the action to count the current deck down, but I do think that showing the card is probably a good idea.  I would pull the deck at the end of the hand in order to check it and make sure that the card really was from that deck and that all other cards are accounted for.
Tristan
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Nick C

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Re: Card found missing = fouled deck?
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2012, 02:03:10 PM »
Tristan,
  That's fine, but what is your call?

Tristan

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Re: Card found missing = fouled deck?
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2012, 04:16:06 PM »
Ah, my fault, I thought I made that clear by agreeing with K-Lo.  I would simply pick the card up, announce and show it to the table, and toss it in the muck.  Way too much action, and no way to know if the hand was legit or not...it could have been properly dealt with the right number of cards, but by some fluke could have been a card from a hand that was mucked by a player.

I would, however, remove the deck and sort it after the hand...just to make sure.
Tristan
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Nick C

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Re: Card found missing = fouled deck?
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2012, 05:10:57 PM »
So you would allow the final betting rounds to commence? Or, how do you feel about suspending any further betting?

Tristan

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Re: Card found missing = fouled deck?
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2012, 05:47:37 PM »
I would not suspend the further betting, I have no proof that anything is unfair and by showing the card to all players, no one is at a disadvantage. 
Tristan
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Stuart Murray

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Re: Card found missing = fouled deck?
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2012, 06:30:06 PM »
Ditto most previous posts, a card on the floor does not deem a hand unplayable and will be treated as a meaningless scrap in the event that substantial action has already occurred, replacing the deck once the hand is complete.  Where substantial action has not already occurred I'd rule it a misdeal and replace the deck immediately.

Regards
Stuart