How friendly is too friendly in a home game? (1 Viewer)

trigs

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I've read a few posts on here recently talking about specific rulings in home games and there have been a decent amount (imho) of comments saying that they personally would make a decision that is technically against the official rules simply because it is a home game against friends. I'm curious as to people's opinions on how friendly is too friendly when it comes to playing poker against friends?

Obviously, the specific players' level of understanding of poker is something to consider. If you're playing with a bunch of noobs, then that's definitely different than playing against people who have a decent amount of experience. I would run two different games (before covid that is): one was with people who know the game and play regularly (and would be higher stakes), and one was with my close relatives who basically only play poker when I host and that's it (with much lower stakes). I'm more interested in people's opinions on the former game, as playing with a bunch of noobs, I would definitely give them the benefit of the doubt and let them take back bets if they made mistakes or stuff like that.

With my more experienced group, I'm still wanting to play with them to have fun, and that's why I choose to host. It's not like I went around and found the worst players I could find and started inviting them to all my games just to crush them. However, at the same time, it's poker and I'm very competitive and I'm playing to win. I'm not going to take it easy on them as I'm under the impression that they would be happy to take all my money also. That's the fun part for me - the competition.

So my question is, in a game with a bunch of regs that know how to play, how willing are you to "be friendly" and go against the official rules to keep the game friendly among friends? Do you allow players to take back bets or correct bets if they threw in the wrong chip, for example? Do you let a larger one chip bet stand instead of count it as a call when no verbal is declared? Is there a limit of mistakes you allow (per person? per night?) until you just can't anymore? Are there other examples of mistakes or errors that you can think of that you'd allow at least once without penalty?
 

JustinInMN

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Do you allow players to take back bets or correct bets if they threw in the wrong chip, for example?
Even in casinos this happens so long as the mistake is caught before anyone else acts. Once other players act though, it's a pretty tricky spot. Both in casino or home games.

Do you let a larger one chip bet stand instead of count it as a call when no verbal is declared?
If I suspect the player is unaware of the rule, I will call "time" to protect the player, inform him of the rule, and give him a chance to clarify the action. After that, he should be responsible to know going forward.

Obviously, the specific players' level of understanding of poker is something to consider.
This definitely impacts the level of strictness, and the likelyhood that the mistakes are innocent. Nobody wants to get into a dispute if it's avoidable so most of my players are patient.

I do think amateur mistakes are correctable at first, but at some point, the expectation is that players correct themselves with experience. That's what's best for the health of the game overall.
 

tabletalker7

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My friends know that before the cards fly, I am their friend and when the game is over I am their friend. They also know that during the game I am trying to use my poker skills to rip off their heads and s**t down their necks, and I expect nothing less from all of them too.

As far as rule enforcement, Roberts Rules of Poker does specifically state that accomodations can be made depending on skill level and is up to the discretion of management. My nickel/dime table, I am more forgiving to allow the other players a chance to learn and adapt. I politely refer to that as the "kiddie game". Once you leave the kiddie game and move up, the rules are the rules.
 

TheDuke

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I think it's important to have a set of rules that everyone is clear about before cards are pitched. And even more importantly that there is consistency to all rulings.

So in my game there is strict adherence to laid out rules. Ie. Single big chip without declaration is always a call.

I was at a game recently where a player bet out of turn. In his view, the ruling that followed was not consistent with what has historically happened at this game (I couldn't judge as I've only played there a handful of times). Anyhow, he threw a hissy fit and declared he was cashing out after the hand. The other big stack then declared he was also out for the night and the game broke several hours earlier than expected. It was a pretty annoying situation.

Point being, if there are no clear consistent rules it's not going to be alot of fun when disputes arise.
 

Rieguy

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Enforcement of the most basic of rules prevents a friendly game turning into an ugly one. Unless it is someone completely new, you're going to be better off making sure people adhere to how things should be and let them know this before the game starts. "Teach a man to fish."
 

Rhodeman77

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We play by the rules that matter to the game integrity.

Things that we are lax on is if the dealer misses a card to a player we don’t declare a misdeal, we will deal the player a card and move on with the hand. Everyone knows the cards are random and when dealing a 5 or 6 card game having to shuffle and deal the entire hand over is annoying.
 

RudysNYC

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Most of my regular crew has never played casino/raked poker before (we're all mid-20s), and as such, they are used to playing casual (and improperly played) games with friends in HS and college. The most legit games they've played are the ones I host/am present at.

Because I know these kids are wet behind the ears, I generally allow them to finish their action and if it's improper, I'll inform the table of why it's improper and we'll all come to some agreement. If the impropriety is, for instance, a raise below what should be the min raise, I'll stop them after they finish their bet, tell them what the actual min raise is, and then table will agree to either amend the bet to the true min or fold the hand. If, however, it's a situation where they put the wrong chips in the pot without a verbal declaration, I turn into a kommandant especially if someone snap calls before I can get my 2¢ in. I tell my guys constantly to at least say something when they're putting chips in (and not to string bet).

My philosophy is I'd rather explain and/or knock some sense into my guys over cheeseburger stakes than have them roll up to the Borgata when I'm not there and all of a sudden be on the hook for serious money. These guys are call stations, I can far too easily see these guys make some boneheaded move they have no idea is boneheaded and wind up forfeiting their stack over it.

EDIT: fun story. I brought my buddy to a raked game I play in midtown and if I didn't have good rap with the people running it he would've been on the hook for obscene amounts of money. Kid trades crypto, is watching a position he's in when it's his action, and he looks me dead in the eye and screams "$10,000!!!!" Literally all three tables stop in their tracks and look at him, since all verbal is binding in this room, and it was a serious problem.
 

trigs

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We play by the rules that matter to the game integrity.

Things that we are lax on is if the dealer misses a card to a player we don’t declare a misdeal, we will deal the player a card and move on with the hand. Everyone knows the cards are random and when dealing a 5 or 6 card game having to shuffle and deal the entire hand over is annoying.
That's a legitimate example. My experienced group goes pretty much by the rules imo, but we have let this one go too in the past.
 

Coyote

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I tell my guys constantly to at least say something when they're putting chips in (and not to string bet).
For beginner to at least intermediate or mixed crews, it's very important to make the verbal statement not just binding, but compulsory also.
Use speech to exactly describe what you 're doing with money, ideally starting with the very words "call", "bet", or "raise". Further explanations and/or jokes and teasing may come after that.
To just check or fold, you may not speak, of course.

Other than that, acting out of turn or forgetting to discard a card in Pineapple should be punishable by the book even for newbies, IMHO.
 

Poker Zombie

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We adhere to the rules. However TDA rule #1 is the most important...

1. Floor Decisions The best interest of the game and fairness are top priorities in decision-making. Unusual circumstances occasionally dictate that common-sense decisions in the interest of fairness take priority over technical rules. Floor decisions are final.

It is pretty easy as a host in a friendly game to have a good feel for what the players should and shouldn't know. I may quickly clarify a single oversized chip bet with "Is that a raise? Because a single chip without declaration is just a call", thus allowing the player to learn and not suffer a penalty. However, if the player is obviously experienced, I will allow the chip to stay - largely because they intended it to be a call.

Then there are simple interpretations. For example...

It was our first game with a high-denom chipset. Plaques were in the starting stacks representing T100,000, though blinds started at T500/T1000, so it took a long while before the first plaques were used as betting insturments. The first time one hit the table, a player facing a bet held it high, about 3' above the table, and after a beat let it drop. It was obviously a raise, and we let it stand as such. This could have been interpreted as a single oversized chip call, but nobody thought anything but raise. Unusual circumstance, common-sence decision.

All hail, TDA Rule #1!
 

upNdown

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We adhere to the rules. However TDA rule #1 is the most important...

1. Floor Decisions The best interest of the game and fairness are top priorities in decision-making. Unusual circumstances occasionally dictate that common-sense decisions in the interest of fairness take priority over technical rules. Floor decisions are final.
It’s easy to lose sight of this.
On Negreanu’s podcast this week, they read an email from a guy at the last WSOP:
Starting stacks 60k. Early stages. Apparently everybody had a 25k chip that was almost the same color as the T100.
After pulling in a pot worth a couple thousand, he noticed a 25k chip in the pile. He said something, everybody checked - guy missing his 25k chip said oh, that’s mine, and he swapped it for a 100.
The other two hosts agreed that this was a sensible outcome that seemed fair.
Daniel said, but wait. The rules say that once the next hand starts, everything that happened is final and unchangeable. They should have called the floor and let him rule, because maybe it was too late to make that friendly exchange.
They actually got Matt savage on the phone. Savage said no, that exchange makes sense and was the right thing to do. They asked him, what if it was noticed 3 hands later. Savage said he would even make the exchange at that point, as long as it hadn’t affected the action - ie neither player had been involved in an all in.

TL;DR - even at the WSOP, fairness will come before rules when practicable.
 

Kain8

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When in doubt:

tenor.gif
 

Coyote

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Probably "too friendly" is also when your friend attempts to touch your leg with his foot under the table, and later comes up with the excuse that he thought he was doing that to your wife seating next to you.:)
 

Poker Zombie

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Probably "too friendly" is also when your friend attempts to touch your leg with his foot under the table, and later comes up with the excuse that he thought he was doing that to your wife seating next to you.:)
Well... if the game starts looking like this:
1617990372933.png


...you are blurring the lines of "too friendly".
 
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