OPTAH (one player to a hand) question. Did host overstep?

Shaggy

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Here is a situation that came up in last nights cash game. I am the host. I have hosted monthly with this group for about two years. The skill levels range from moderately solid home game regs (me and a couple others) to consistent donators who are good for a couple hundred.

Late in the game 3 players see a flop. We'll call them A, B, and C.

On the flop player A bet, B called and C raised all in and made a statement along the lines of "it's late, I've got to get going". Player A and B have player C covered and both call.

Player C will typically donk off half a buy-in in his last couple hands because he is tired and is ready to leave. His statement was not intentionally made to induce calls or folds. C is one of the less experienced players at the table. Basically he was in "F-it mode."

On the turn player A checks, player B checks behind. i.e. no sidepot.

On the river player A bets and player B folds.

Here's where the situation begins:

As the dealer host, I state "turn em up, whatcha got." Player C states "awe you got it" and begins to muck his hand. Other players at the table tell C to table his hand with statements like "you already paid to see" and "you're all-in, turn it up." I table his hand. He flopped middle pair (sevens). Player A then tables his hand showing a busted straight draw, losing to the sevens.

Player C states (not in a antagonizing tone) "what were your doing Player A, you just gave me that money?" Player A stated, "I didn't give you the money, they did (gesturing to the other players at the table), cards speak."

Did the host (me) overstep in this situation?
 

slisk250

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If they were not in the muck then at least there should have been a discussion about it before anything was exposed but...how can you go all in and then fold? I'm not sure about the rules but I think the cash goes to player C.
 

Bloody Marvelous

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Yeah, host (you) overstepped. Only in tournaments must all hands be turned face up when all-in and with no more action pending. In cash games Player C is allowed to fold and relinquish the pot.

If Player A asks to see his hand then Player C's hand is live, if another player asks to see the hand the dealer should tap the hand on the muckpile to kill it and then expose it. The hand should not have been exposed by the dealer in this situation.

However since Player C didn't actually fold the cards speak. Player A had no choice but to show if he wants to win the pot, unfortunately his hand was beaten and he loses.
 

catalyzeme

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Did player C pass you his cards face down/throw them into the muck? I think mucking his hand after he says "aww you got it" would be the part I would consider overstepping. Yeah, he could be slowrolling, but slowrolling shouldn't lose you the pot. Unless he made a clear physical motion or announced he was mucking, I wouldn't take his cards. If player C was obligated to show first and didn't make a motion to muck, I don't really have a problem with turning up his hand.

Regardless, players complaining about the best hand getting the pot is always a little ridiculous, even if that player intended to muck.
 

Shaggy

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After player C got all in, he stepped into kitchen to grab a snack and/or pack up to leave. Walked over to table and made statement. He never handled the cards.

I try to host a game that has integrity while still being an environment where newer players are able to learn. I'm not saying we discuss hands during play to help them understand. At the time this scenario felt like those times a newer player wants to open fold when "checking is free."

Also going through my head afterward... Player A should not feel horribly wronged in this situation. His river bluff for a non existent side pot only pushed out player B. He should have had zero expectation of beating player Cs hand. I believe it was only the brief opportunity that he had to win the pot as C was considering mucking... And then that being taken away... That lead to his brief frustration (the statement).

Btw, I don't think there are any long term impacts to this occurrence. Player A texted me this morning thanking him for the invite and stating he had a great time.
 

jbutler

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Also going through my head afterward... Player A should not feel horribly wronged in this situation. His river bluff for a non existent side pot only pushed out player B. He should have had zero expectation of beating player Cs hand. I believe it was only the brief opportunity that he had to win the pot as C was considering mucking... And then that being taken away... That lead to his brief frustration (the statement).

this is irrelevant imo. as is whether either player at issue feels wronged. these types of things can have just as much an impact on the rest of the table as on the players in the hand in question. BM is correct above: you crossed the line when you tabled the hand. the proper action by the dealer/host/floor/whatever is to not become involved at all in the back and forth and, if the cards are thrown toward the muck, to muck the hand and award the pot to the only live hand remaining.

i would personally not like it if i were at the table not because i would want to later be able to enjoy the positive side of the implementation of the rule, but because i would worry that the other players in the game might not like it and it might affect whether the returned and how they played if they returned.
 

Shaggy

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BM and Jbutler, I completely agree and realized I crossed the line as soon as A made the statement.

I think where I am struggling is where to draw the line between providing an environment where newer players can learn the game and continue to play vs. strict adherence to protocol.

Ultimately the way it was handled did not provide clear instruction on the proper rules... Yet I don't feel that I really wronged player A (because of the hand situation described above). It begs the question, is it even acceptable for another player to state "you're already all in, you may as well see the hand."

So in hindsight, and given the desire to cultivate new players... Which of the following is the best way to handle the situation? Or another?
1. When player C states "awe you got it," dealer asks are you folding/mucking. Player C confirms yes and cards are mucked. Once hand is over (or at a later date) advising player C that he should have shown.
2. When player C states "awe you got it," dealer asks "are you sure... It's free to see." Then abiding by the "more informed" decision of the novice player.
 

jbutler

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So in hindsight, and given the desire to cultivate new players... Which of the following is the best way to handle the situation? Or another?
1. When player C states "awe you got it," dealer asks are you folding/mucking. Player C confirms yes and cards are mucked. Once hand is over (or at a later date) advising player C that he should have shown.
2. When player C states "awe you got it," dealer asks "are you sure... It's free to see." Then abiding by the "more informed" decision of the novice player.

very strongly prefer option 1.
 

Ronoh

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Because of the number of (correct) responses that the player should have been allowed to muck his hand if he wanted (not that he was necessarily going to) I'll throw one out from this weekend to see what the consensus thinks. I believe it was on Friday at detroitdad's house. To be perfectly honest I don't even remember who the involved parties were... I wasn't involved in the hand and don't think anyone else here was either. It did not even remotely become any type of "thing", I'm not even sure it anyone else noticed exactly how it went down.

(seats and hands are fictional as I don't recall the players or cards in play)

Involved parties are seats in 4, 5, and 8 and the game is PLO.

Player4 has AK87

Player8 has AKQ4

Final board shows AAJ74

P4 states AK but does not show his cards

P8 says and shows his A4 boat

P4 has his cards fanned towards himself and is looking at the board and P8's cards and it appeared to me he was about to muck (no, I don't know for certain but it felt like it). P5 is backseat driving P4's hand that he has fanned in his own direction (but obviously not sharing with the table) and tells P4 he has a bigger boat.

As stated it was not an issue for anyone but I would like to hear others' thoughts... yes, cards speak, but are they only capable of speech if their owner allows them to talk?
 

jbutler

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Because of the number of (correct) responses that the player should have been allowed to muck his hand if he wanted (not that he was necessarily going to) I'll throw one out from this weekend to see what the consensus thinks. I believe it was on Friday at detroitdad's house. To be perfectly honest I don't even remember who the involved parties were... I wasn't involved in the hand and don't think anyone else here was either. It did not even remotely become any type of "thing", I'm not even sure it anyone else noticed exactly how it went down.

(seats and hands are fictional as I don't recall the players or cards in play)

Involved parties are seats in 4, 5, and 8 and the game is PLO.

Player4 has AK87

Player8 has AKQ4

Final board shows AAJ74

P4 states AK but does not show his cards

P8 says and shows his A4 boat

P4 has his cards fanned towards himself and is looking at the board and P8's cards and it appeared to me he was about to muck (no, I don't know for certain but it felt like it). P5 is backseat driving P4's hand that he has fanned in his own direction (but obviously not sharing with the table) and tells P4 he has a bigger boat.

As stated it was not an issue for anyone but I would like to hear others' thoughts... yes, cards speak, but are they only capable of speech if their owner allows them to talk?

you have it right in your implication in the final sentence above. player has to table his hand. if he's sitting there staring at his hand and the board for a minute and then mucks his cards, his hand is dead no matter whether the adjoining player saw it.

this isn't really something that ruffles my feathers even if i'm on the losing end of this, but as i said above, my concern is more for how it would affect the other players in the game. i've seen some people really blow their tops and i'd much rather just run the game according to the rules rather than have to hold someone's hand.

in 4+ hole card games, i try to tell people that they should just table at showdown no matter what until they have a really, really good handle on the game.
 

bergs

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in 4+ hole card games, i try to tell people that they should just table at showdown no matter what until they have a really, really good handle on the game.

Always table with 4 card games. It's not like you're often going to be embarrassed with some sort of massive 3 street bluff with 4 cards - so just table your hand and make sure cards speak. Nothing sucks more than throwing away a winner.
 

SixSpeedFury

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Did he completely muck his cards? Because it states that he BEGAN to muck his cards.

Yeah, host (you) overstepped. Only in tournaments must all hands be turned face up when all-in and with no more action pending. In cash games Player C is allowed to fold and relinquish the pot.

Is this a home game thing? Because I played at Bally's and Tropicana today and in all-in instances the dealers told the players to turn their cards face up.
 

BGinGA

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I want player A in my game. :)
 

Shaggy

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So as it turns out after talking to chipjoker again. I did in fact NOT table Player C's hand. I simply encouraged him to show. Similar to the #2 option above. Make's me feel better... though obviously the level of encouragement in my mind blurred with actually tabling the hand.

I want player A in my game. :)
I want them both in my game... oh wait, I have them both in my game.
 

abby99

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I checked RROP and found the following items under Etiquette:

The following actions are improper, and grounds for warning, suspending, or barring a violator:

Reading a hand for another player at the showdown before it has been placed faceup on the table.

Telling anyone to turn a hand face up at the showdown.

Still, as a dealer I would want to confirm the action. "Are you folding?" or "Is that a fold?" are appropriate here.
 

Mental Nomad

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Here is a situation that came up in last nights cash game. I am the host. I have hosted monthly with this group for about two years. The skill levels range from moderately solid home game regs (me and a couple others) to consistent donators who are good for a couple hundred.

Late in the game 3 players see a flop. We'll call them A, B, and C.

On the flop player A bet, B called and C raised all in and made a statement along the lines of "it's late, I've got to get going". Player A and B have player C covered and both call.

Player C will typically donk off half a buy-in in his last couple hands because he is tired and is ready to leave. His statement was not intentionally made to induce calls or folds. C is one of the less experienced players at the table. Basically he was in "F-it mode."

On the turn player A checks, player B checks behind. i.e. no sidepot.

On the river player A bets and player B folds.

Here's where the situation begins:

As the dealer host, I state "turn em up, whatcha got." Player C states "awe you got it" and begins to muck his hand. Other players at the table tell C to table his hand with statements like "you already paid to see" and "you're all-in, turn it up." I table his hand. He flopped middle pair (sevens). Player A then tables his hand showing a busted straight draw, losing to the sevens.

Player C states (not in a antagonizing tone) "what were your doing Player A, you just gave me that money?" Player A stated, "I didn't give you the money, they did (gesturing to the other players at the table), cards speak."

Did the host (me) overstep in this situation?

Adding a little color to this from my understanding of the rules -

If C had said, "I fold," then this would have been a clear fold.. and, as others noted, to make it physically clear as well as audible clear, if the hand was going to be shown, it should have been touched to the muck to kill it, and then the dead hand could be tabled to be read. At that point, it could not win.

But if the C had not moved his cards at the muck in the "I'm folding" gesture, nor said, "fold," he had not yet actually folded - and you were still in the ambiguous zone.

Lastly, by the formal rules, anyone at the table who was dealt into that hand could ask to see the hand - not just the two players involved in the showdown, as people often think. So those other players who were encouraging C to show? They were within their rights to demand the hand be shown. Knowing that others want to see the hand, the player may sometimes opt to table the live hand, rather than having it killed and tabled. However, that does not change the fact that if C had explicitly said he's folding, that the cards should be killed before tabling them, to ensure the hand is dead and can't suddenly win... otherwise, you're screwing with people's bluffs. (That usually only matters on a bluff-call, not a check-down.)
 

Bloody Marvelous

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Asking to see a hand when you weren't involved in the hand is allowed, but considered really bad form if you're only after information. When asking to see another player's cards you're basically saying: "I don't trust how this hand has played out and I want see the cards to make sure nobody cheated."
 

Mental Nomad

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Asking to see a hand when you weren't involved in the hand is allowed, but considered really bad form if you're only after information. When asking to see another player's cards you're basically saying: "I don't trust how this hand has played out and I want see the cards to make sure nobody cheated."

Agreed, it's generally bad form among experienced players - it implies they believe there's an irregularity or outright cheating happening.

Many consider it bad form, even if the player making the request is involved in the showdown, although most are OK with it on occasion (as in 'they paid to see it.')

However, among inexperienced and/or drunk players, the request can be less about cheating, and more about avoiding blunders by the ignorant. There's an argument that it can protect the character of a friendly game... and I feel that was more the spirit going on in the OP's situation. Fortunately, it sounds like the crowd encouragement caused the player to table their own hand, nobody was explicitly asking for it to be shown, and we're not in that territory at all.
 

abby99

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If the winner of the hand asks to see the the opponent's hand, that hand is live even if it has already been folded/mucked. That is not the case if the request comes from a player who was no longer in the hand at showdown, in which case the hand is dead.

I don't allow IWTSTH in the games that I host. If a player suspects collusion or other forms of cheating, I hope that they would speak with me privately.

As for crowd encouragement to table a hand, yeah, sometimes it happens. Usually it's when a player is taking a long time to figure out what he/she has and whether their hand can beat the tabled hand (often in Omaha). In these cases the other players just want to move the game along. I've benefited a few times by tabling a misread hand.

Edited the first sentence for clarity.
 
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Mental Nomad

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If the player asking to see the hand is one of the players at showdown, that hand is live even if it has already been folded/mucked. That is not the case if the request comes from a player who was no longer in the hand at showdown, in which case the hand is dead.

I disagree. Once a hand is mucked, it is irretrievably dead.

This is, in fact, why dealers are instructed to tap the muck with the folded hand before turning it over - to make the fold irreversible before complying with the request to show.
 
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