Looking for feedback on my Ten Commandments for my home game.

Beakertwang

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I wanted to have a short, quick read to help establish a culture for our home game. I'm working on a complete set of rules, based mostly on RRoP, that will handle the nitty-gritty. The full rules will be available, and players will be encouraged, but not expected to read them.

What do you think? Anything you would change? Anything I left out?

Thanks!



THE HOME GAME TEN COMMANDMENTS
I. I am the Game director, who giveth thee the rules. Thou shalt have no other rules besides these.
Poker is a game, and therefore, is supposed to be fun. However, a game has rules. If the rules are unclear, or can be changed mid-game in a way that benefits some and not others, the game ceases to be fun. A complete set of rules, based mostly on Roberts’ Rules of Poker, are available upon request. All players are expected to abide by the rules, and Game Director decisions are final.

II. Honor thy fellow players, thy Game Director, and especially, thy host.
The people we play with are the most important aspect of the game. Cheating, colluding, berating, badmouthing, complaining, or any other action that is dishonoring to others, will not be tolerated. Also, remember that you are a guest in someone’s home. Be respectful of their property and privacy, and if the host provides drinks and snacks, be prepared to contribute money to cover your share.

III. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy arrival and departure time.
Tournament games have a set schedule, so unannounced cancellations, and late or unexpected arrivals, are not conducive to a well-run game. Please show up on time, or communicate with the Game Director, and arrangements can be made. Additionally, a tournament is an elimination game, and pay out a small number of players who last till the end. Refunds will not be given if you have to leave early.

Cash games are more relaxed, allowing you to arrive late, leave early, and get up from the table for a break and sit back down later if you need or desire. However, winning a big pot, and wanting to leave immediately (hit and run) is considered bad form.

IV. Remember thy antes, blinds, and turn to act, to keep them holy.
A well-paced game means more hands, which means more fun. Pay attention to the flow of the game, put your antes and blinds out before the cards are dealt, be ready to act when it’s your turn, and don’t act out of turn. Conversations are of course encouraged, but don’t let your conversation stall the game.

V. Thou shalt learn to handle thy cards and chips correctly.
Learn how to shuffle and deal effectively. There are many videos on proper technique available on YouTube and other sources. Watch them, and practice so you are competent. If you are not comfortable dealing, ask someone else to deal for you.

Chips should be kept close to the rail, in neat stacks of 20 when possible, and not spread out in wide areas on the table. Larger denominations should be in front or on top of your stack, clearly visible to other players. Proper betting action will be expected. Verbalized calls, raises, bets, are the best way to avoid confusion. String bets, splashing the pot, and making change before betting is complete is discouraged.

VI. Thou shalt not discuss hands in progress. Neither of thine own hole cards, nor of thy neighbor’s cards cards, whether live or mucked, nor community cards, nor of thy neighbor’s hands, shall thee speak, until the hand is complete.
Discussion of folded cards, reaction to community cards, discussing possible straights, flushes, etc., and speculating about or influencing other players’ actions is not allowed. Keep quiet about the hand in progress until it’s over.

VII. Thou shalt win and lose equally graciously.
Be a good loser, and an even better winner. Whining, complaining, angry outbursts, gloating, mocking, berating, etc. is not permitted. A reasonable amount of friendly trash talk is encouraged.

VIII. Thou shalt not play poker like Bugs Bunny.
Seriously, don’t play poker like Bugs Bunny. Slow rolling, string bets, splashing the pot, hitting-and-running, and cheating may look cool on TV, but everything Bugs did is poor poker etiquette. Maybe that’s why he always had pistols shoved in his face!

IX. Thou shalt be gracious and merciful to the strangers among thee at the table, and help to lead them in the ways of righteousness.
The rules are in place to ensure a clean, fun game for all participants. Please commit to following the rules and proper etiquette, and help new players learn the same, showing leniency as they learn to play.

X. Thou shalt have fun!
 

JustinInMN

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I is very underrated. I still cringe at the notion that hosts think voting on anything is a good idea.

One expert decision should be good enough on the rare occasion that is needed.
 

BGinGA

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Our tournament rules do have an appeal option, where a player may appeal a TD's decision to a three-player committee. If also stipulates that a TD can appoint a secondary person to make a ruling if he/she has a vested interest in the decision (same appeal options apply).

I've had one appeal request in 14 years (and upheld by committee). Maybe three or four total situations where I turned over the ruling decision to somebody else, to avoid any potential fairness issues.
 

JustinInMN

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If also stipulates that a TD can appoint a secondary person to make a ruling if he/she has a vested interest in the decision

I do have this in my rules at least. To be sitting a game means trusting in a reasonable fair, even if imperfect decision process.

I'm glad you've had one decision in the last 14 years, but dragging a decision into a committee just seems like a drag on process.

Out of curiosity how is the committee membership decided?
 

BGinGA

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I pick three uninterested/unvested people acceptable to the party requesting the appeal. Typically the three most experienced and/or rules knowledgeable in attendance.

I don't argue when it comes to rulings. I state the ruling, show it (or justify it) in print if needed, and immediately move to the appeal option if there is further question (beyond explaining the underlying reasons why it's a rule). Only been invoked once, but it shuts down the lingering "but i don't agree" and "that's not how xyz does it" arguments.
 
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