Robert's Poker Rules
- The only place in this set of rules that an alternative is mentioned other than in this section is in the method of button and blind placement. That rule (the first rule in "Section 5 - Button and Blind Use") is repeated in an abbreviated version below for convenience.
- Moving button - The button always moves forward to the next player and the blinds adjust accordingly. There may be more than one big blind.
- Dead button - The big blind is posted by the player due for it, and the small blind and button are positioned accordingly, even if this means the small blind or the button is placed in front of an empty seat, giving a player last action on consecutive hands."
Most poker rule sets say you have a dead hand at the showdown if you do not have the proper number of cards for that game. At stud, this rule is too strict. An inexperienced player sometimes does not pay sufficient attention to the final card when holding a big hand like a flush or full house (where improvement is neither likely to happen nor be needed), and fails to protect that card. If the dealer erroneously puts that final card into the muck after the player fails to take it in, the rules should give the decision-maker an option to rule such a hand live. Rule 18 in "Section 4 - POKER GAMES VARIATIONS - Seven-card Stud" reads as below:
"A hand with more than seven cards is dead. A hand with less than seven cards at the showdown is dead, except any player missing a seventh card may have the hand ruled live."
- This rulebook requires all cash to be changed into chips. In some cardrooms this may be impractical. If the cardroom chooses to allow cash, only $100 bills should be permitted.
The rules given for rectifying a holdem situation where the dealer has dealt the flop or another boardcard before all the betting action on a round are inferior, because the dealer is told to not burn a card on a redeal. Since the "no burn" rule is so common, there was no choice but to use it here. It would be better for poker if the rule were changed to always burning a card. Here are these rules (the third rule and fourth rule in "Section 4 - POKER GAMES VARIATIONS - Holdem").
"If the cards are flopped before the betting is complete, or if the flop contains too many cards, the boardcards are mixed with the remainder of the deck. The burncard remains on the table. After shuffling, the dealer cuts the deck and deals a new flop without burning a card."
"If the dealer turns the fourth card on the board before the betting round is complete, the card is taken out of play for that round, even if subsequent players elect to fold. The betting is then completed. The dealer burns and turns what would have been the fifth card in the fourth card's place. After this round of betting, the dealer reshuffles the deck, including the card that was taken out of play, but not including the burncards or discards. The dealer then cuts the deck and turns up the final card without burning a card.
The portion of this rule saying the dealer does not burn a card on the redeal is inferior. It is harder for the dealer to control the card to be dealt if a burn is required. The sentence in the rule should read, "The dealer then cuts the deck, burns a card, and turns the final card."
The present method for handling a premature dealing on the turn is used to have what would have been the last board-card used on the turn, and not reshuffling the deck until just before the last card is dealt. This method has four-fifths of the boardcards remaining the same, albeit in a different order. It would be better to reshuffle before the turn, preserving the chance of receiving the prematurely dealt card on either of the last two cards, as opposed to cutting that chance in half. The superiority of reshuffling right away is illustrated if the prematurely dealt card makes a gutshot straight-flush for a player.
- Rule seven in "Section 5 - Button and Blind Use" says, "A new player cannot be dealt in between the big blind and the button. Blinds may not be made up between the big blind and the button. You must wait until the button passes." This rule is standard practice, but allowing a new player or player making up blinds to come in between the blinds is better (if dealers are trained how to handle the resulting situations), because it gets players eager to join or rejoin the game into action faster.
- Most poker rulebooks follow the usual California practice in multihanded pots at limit poker of allowing a bet and six raises for lowball and draw high. The number of allowable raises for those games is given in this rulebook as a bet and four raises because this cuts down on the effect of collusion between players, and more raises than four are hardly ever needed to define the strength of two hands when another player is calling.
- Lowball has historically had less stringent demands on the order of cards or acceptability of exposed cards than in most other poker forms. This rulebook follows the modern trend at lowball regarding misdeals of requiring the cards to be dealt facedown and in proper order.
- At ace-to-five limit lowball, an exposed card rule used less often, but probably a superior rule, is to not let a player take an exposed six or seven (the rule for no-limit ace-to-five lowball). If a player gets to keep only a card that might make a perfect hand, having a card exposed is less advantageous, and the opponent must consider the chance of a perfect hand.
- At lowball and draw high, some rule sets allow a player to draw five consecutive cards. The rule used here disallowing this makes cheating more difficult. Our rule #10 in lowball and rule #5 in draw high says, "A player may draw up to four consecutive cards. If a player wishes to draw five new cards, four are dealt right away, and the fifth card after everyone else has drawn cards. If the last player wishes to draw five new cards, four are dealt right away, and a card is burned before the player receives a fifth card."
"Each round all players must get the button, and meet the total amount of the blind obligations. Either of the following methods of button and blind placement may be used: