Tourney Should Mathematical Expressions be Binding as Bets?

smsguy927

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This happened in a tournament I was dealing last night. Postflop, player A silently bets 3500, player B calls, then player C says "let's double that" but does not immediately put out any chips. What's your thoughts on this? I'll tell you what actually happened after some comments.
 

dickzapper

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Well all of these problems come lack of definition of what words constitute action. Okay, verbal-as-binding is a rule, but where's the clarity in which words are the keywords, etc.?

I would argue "double" is not one of them, it's too generic. If action was on a player and he said to a waitress, "make it a double!" should that stand as a raise? I wouldn't think so.

The actionable words should be, "bet, raise, call, all-in" and the numerical values following these words, the book names of the actions. Anything else is too open to subjectivity.
 

Leonard

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I would not rule that to be a binding bet, but I would warn the player to be specific and not to do anything that could be angle-shooting.
 

aaronroch

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The word double is no more binding than infinity or bajillion. You have to say a number or use one of the magic poker betting words.

This seems like clear thinking. Especially since the application of “lets double that” would vary by situation... suppose orig bet was 1,000 then raised to 3,500. Is “Let’s double that” talking about the 3,500 or just the 2,500 raise? OK, I’ll shaddup now b/c I’m really just talking out my ear.
 
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yone

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I’m not sure what the actual ruling is, but I would go with intent. If the player was intending to raise or angle shoot I would make the raise stand. Let’s double that is definitely a call to action.
On the other hand, if a player says, ‘check?’ And was clearly said in a question form, we have let the player bet as long as action was not made by any following player. Obviously looking out for malicious angle shooting, we remind players to be clear and ask such questions to be said in a sentence. Ex. ‘Was that a check?’
edit: really good question OP, definitely interested in what others would rule.
 

FDLmold

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A ruling that “double” is not a binding word does open the door to angle shouting behavior. If it is my game though, where one door opens, another can close on your cheating ass. And my player would be warned accordingly.
 

WedgeRock

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I think the risk of allowing such comments is a slippery slope.

At a minimum, the dealer should stop the action and clarify the intention before anyone else acts. The offending player should be warned about unclear statements.

I wouldn't object to it being ruled a raise to 7000. Hopefully Player C eyed the correct bet in front of him before making a fair statement. For example, if he thought it was 800 (1x500 and 3x100 instead of 1x500 and 3x1000), maybe he only intended to make it 1600... That's on him.
 

JRReynolds6181

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What kind of a person would say, out loud, at a poker table, when it’s your turn, “Let’s double that!” Then try to walk it back and do something else? We all make mistakes, but, more information is needed. Like, did he not realize the size of his stack before saying that?
I think we get your friend to a pastor or therapist or something for some help re-examining his/her life.
 

BGinGA

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I wouldn't object to it being ruled a raise to 7000. Hopefully Player C eyed the correct bet in front of him before making a fair statement. For example, if he thought it was 800 (1x500 and 3x100 instead of 1x500 and 3x1000), maybe he only intended to make it 1600... That's on him.
Double the bet? Double the call? Double the pot?

Quickest way to stop those shenanigans is to let their opponent decide on the 'intended' bet size. :) "Hey, next time, be more clear...."
 

JustinInMN

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Yeah, I think you bind this person to a raise and make him state a valid number. Advise that specific action words and amounts are the only way to ensure his intended action is protected.

I think it's kind of like saying "pot" in a non pot limit game. No one is going to say such a player gets to fold or check after that.
 

BGinGA

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This happened in a tournament I was dealing last night. Postflop, player A silently bets 3500, player B calls, then player C says "let's double that" but does not immediately put out any chips. What's your thoughts on this? I'll tell you what actually happened after some comments.
As far as your situation goes, I think I'd rule a statement such as "Twice as much" as a binding min-raise. So I'd be inclined to do the same here. But I'd be issuing the player a warning, especially since he didn't immediately follow it up with physical action.... giving credence to it possibly being an attempt to angle-shoot.
 
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"Let's double that" does not include a number or the word "raise" and therefore does not mean anything. Common sense would say that this is a raise but when following the technical rule set, it means nothing.
 

BGinGA

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The problem with not having their statement become binding is that you are now allowing them to angle-shoot. If it means nothing, are you then allowing the player to choose his action, including fold/call/2x-raise/raise-any-amount? What if Player A had snap-called -- what then?

Words and actions have consequences.
 

Dix

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I'm in agreement with the later opinions here.... in general... words mean things.

That said, how I would actually rule would depend on the player in question.... are we talking an experienced player, or a novice?

In the case of the latter, I'd likely let 'em off the hook with an explanation of how "verbal actions are binding", yada, yada. Turning a potential tense situation into a teachable moment with a novice always "Option A" in my book.

On the other hand....

Dix The Dumb*ss: "Lets double that" (tosses out 3500 chips)

Dix The Dealer: "The bet is 3500. Times 2 is 7000"

Dumb*ss: "I meant I was making a double call"

Dealer: (Gives Dumb*ss the BS Alert look - calls TD)

TD Dix: "Nice try, but you know better than that. Cough up the 7K Cupcake. Either that, or you owe the table a round of drinks for holding up the game with this crap. Should I call a waitress?"

... suppose orig bet was 1,000 then raised to 3,500. Is “Let’s double that” talking about the 3,500 or just the 2,500 raise? OK, I’ll shad so now b/c I’m really just talking out my ear.
In this case the lessor of the two actions is binding. Unless the player puts out 7000, min amount is to 6000 total.
 

yone

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I still would enforce the min bet. The house rules are house rules. I never had a problem with a ruling once you explain it. And for a novice, it’s part of the tuition; though that should have been covered in homework.

edit: I learned about the one chip rule in a casino game. AA on the small blind, I tossEd out a $5 chip and it stood as a call for $2. Of course I was a novice, raising to $5 with AA lol. But I never forgot the rule :tup:
 
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smsguy927

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Thank you very much for the replies. Here's what actually happened. After C said "let's double that", I announced 7000 and C put in 7000. Action proceeded as normal and no one objected. The floor did not say anything about it. Several hours later, I realized I mishandled the situation and it could have been much worse. I should have asked what C's action was. "Let's double it" and similar phrases are non standard and should not be allowed.
 

DeeVee8

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If chips were put in, then its a binding bet. In this case, I would ask the player, "call, fold or raise". I prefer to use only "Call", "Fold" or "Raise" as binding. For every one of these instances of "fake raises", I've had fifty guys try to silently raise with an oversize chip without calling "Raise" and then they're pissed when the ruling is a call.

Agreed that it creates the problem of angle shooters. If I get an angle shooter, I'll speak with them privately. That usually takes care of it. If that doesn't work, that player is mysteriously deleted from my invite list.
 

markleteenie

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If it's my home game and someone says that, it's T7000. Someone could easily angle it a different way since it is vague, but to me they are clearly doubling the active bet. If they want to debate it, I'll hear them out, and then probably ask them to be more clear in the future. There is definitive denotation and connotation when words are said. In our social situation, it's clear what's happening. And people angling would get away with it once, but might not be invited back.

People in my game say all sorts of things, such as some will say "baby bump," which means the minimum raise possible, etc. Sometimes people in my game will say "more" and that means it's a raise, and it's binding too. We all understand how words work. I'm not trying to have legal/technicality battles with people in my home.

In a casino, if I was in the hand actively and it was now my turn to act, I'd ask for clarification, but let the dealer decide what happens. I don't usually act until the chips make it in the pot.
 

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I would rule a min raise. Sounds like an angle-shoot to me.

TDA Rule
3: Official Terminology and Gestures

Official betting terms are simple, unmistakable, time-honored declarations like bet, raise, call, fold, check, all-in, complete, and pot (pot-limit only). Regional terms may also meet this test. Also, players must use gestures with caution when facing action; tapping the table is a check. It is the responsibility of players to make their intentions clear: using non-standard terms or gestures is at player’s risk and may result in a ruling other than what the player intended. See also Rules 2 & 42.
 

upNdown

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In a tournament at a well-run establishment, at he table behind me, a guy said "I'm gonna put you all in." Opponent snap called anf d tabled the winning hand. I'm not sure what exactly the weasel said to get out of it. . But the floor's ruling was loud and clear - I'm gonna put you all in is meaningless, it's not a bet, but he got an orbit penalty for inducing somebody to act out of turn.
 

JustinInMN

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Thank you very much for the replies. Here's what actually happened. After C said "let's double that", I announced 7000 and C put in 7000. Action proceeded as normal and no one objected. The floor did not say anything about it. Several hours later, I realized I mishandled the situation and it could have been much worse. I should have asked what C's action was. "Let's double it" and similar phrases are non standard and should not be allowed.

I think this is fine, you made a decision, players should know to object right there if they think you made a mistake and call the floor at that point and make it the floor's problem. But I think the fact you decided there underscores that using such words may be open to interpretation exactly as @DoubleEagle pointed out above.

Maybe the one possible way to improve on your response is say something like "We'll consider that a raise to 7000" to indicate the bettor is unclear but you have to interpret the words and open up the opportunity for a player to object and then the floor can make the call.

But really, I don't think you did anything wrong.
 

JustinInMN

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In a tournament at a well-run establishment, at he table behind me, a guy said "I'm gonna put you all in." Opponent snap called anf d tabled the winning hand. I'm not sure what exactly the weasel said to get out of it. . But the floor's ruling was loud and clear - I'm gonna put you all in is meaningless, it's not a bet, but he got an orbit penalty for inducing somebody to act out of turn.


Terrible decision.
 

Irish

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In a tournament at a well-run establishment, at he table behind me, a guy said "I'm gonna put you all in." Opponent snap called anf d tabled the winning hand. I'm not sure what exactly the weasel said to get out of it. . But the floor's ruling was loud and clear - I'm gonna put you all in is meaningless, it's not a bet, but he got an orbit penalty for inducing somebody to act out of turn.

Gross
 

ekricket

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In a tournament at a well-run establishment, at he table behind me, a guy said "I'm gonna put you all in." Opponent snap called anf d tabled the winning hand. I'm not sure what exactly the weasel said to get out of it. . But the floor's ruling was loud and clear - I'm gonna put you all in is meaningless, it's not a bet, but he got an orbit penalty for inducing somebody to act out of turn.
I’m with the floor here. Anytime I’m playing and someone says “I put you all in” my next words are “ floor”. Typically the floor come over, explains that’s not a valid bet, and allows a min raise. Sometimes they allow the better to more clearly state his action, but most of the time it’s a min bet. “I put you all in” is meant to intimidate, it’s not a bet, it’s an angle.
Otherwise the better could just say he’s all in, but instead they use their words to induce fear in a non conforming attempt to bet.
 
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