1.) Poker manager / tournament management – For the poker manager and his representative, regard for fairness and the most appropriate solution in the interest of the game take highest priority. Situations not mentioned in this rule are decided by management or its representative reasonably and in accordance with the respective circumstances. In the interest of fairness, unusual circumstances can mean a rule is not interpreted in its actual sense. The decisions of the poker manager or his representative are final.
2.) Player responsibilities – Players are expected to verify their registration information and seat assignment, protect their hands, clearly state their intentions, follow the action, act in turn, defend their right to act, keep their cards visible, keep their chips correctly stacked, remain at the table during a live hand, speak up if they notice an error, transfer tables promptly when asked, follow the hand, know and comply with the rules, and generally contribute to an orderly tournament.
3.) Table language – While playing for a pot only German or English may be spoken.
4.) Official terms – In the various actions, simple, unmistakable, internationally customary declarations such as bet, raise, call, all-in, raise pot, complete and passive actions such as fold and check are to be used. The use of non-standard declarations or gestures occurs at one's own risk because it may result in a decision other than what was intended by the player. The players bear the responsibility for making their intentions clear.
5.) Electronic devices – The use or placement on the poker table of mobile telephones, tablets, laptops or other electronic devices or objects is not tolerated under any circumstances. For telephone calls the player must leave the table. Every player may place or use various electronic devices (with the exception of headphones) next to the gaming table as long as he is not actively participating in a hand and the game has not been interrupted. The hand of a player who violates this rule may be declared invalid.
The chips and cards of the players must be visible to the other players and personnel at all times and a fast game must be guaranteed.
The use of electronic devices is not permitted from the bubble phase on.
6.) Deals – Deals are permitted in every tournament. At the discretion of tournament management the tournament clock is stopped and a deal negotiated together. If no agreement is reached on the deal, the game is continued immediately. If a deal is agreed by all players, the tournament is ended.
7.) Cancellation of a tournament – Tournament management or management reserves the right to cancel or change a tournament at short notice.
8.) Seat assignment – Seating in the tournament is assigned by drawing lots based on the anticipated number of players. Additional tables may be added by tournament management at any time. If possible, these tables will be closed first. Tournament management has the right to change the seating arrangement in order to accommodate players with special needs or to balance the number of players at the tables at the beginning of the tournament
8.1.) Tournament which is not sold out – If a tournament is not sold out, several seats may be reserved for any players who arrive late. Tournament management determines how many seats are reserved.
8.2. )Tournament which is sold out – If a tournament is sold out, the available seats resulting from eliminated players can be filled by players on the waiting list (alternate list). The sequence of filling between re-entries and new players is up to tournament management. These players receive the full starting stack and assume the rights and responsibilities of every position, except for between small blind and button.
9.) Identification – At tournaments lasting several days, all players are required to identify themselves with valid photo identification on resumption of the game.
10.) Responsibility to attend – Players in the middle of a hand must remain seated. A hand may be declared invalid if the player is not at his seat during the hand.
11.) Re-buys – No player who wants to re-buy may miss a hand. If "re-buy" is announced, the player is required to carry out the re-buy.
12.) Re-entries – For players who have already played there is an option to buy back into the tournament. The period for re-entry is established by tournament management prior to the start of the tournament but ends when the prize money rankings are reached. Players who have bought back in receive the complete starting stack and, if possible, always a new seat.
13.) Breaking a table – Players coming from a table that has been broken assume the rights of the new seat. It is possible to come to a small blind, big blind and button. The player does not receive a hand if he sits between button and small blind.
14.) Balancing – When accreditation for the tournament is completed, the game at tables with fewer than four players is interrupted. The floor personnel balances the players with the remaining tournament tables. New players always assume the most unfavourable position but never the position of small blind.
15.) Consideration – Players are required to show consideration toward the game and the other players, even when not involved in the specific game. They must not pass on information about active or passed cards, analyse the game or make the hand of an opponent known before the showdown. Players are required to protect their hand in a way that it may not be seen by anyone.
16.) Button – The button is determined at the beginning of the tournament and on resumption by drawing the highest card at a table.
16.2.) Dead button
All events are played with a dead button. Dead button is defined as a button that can no longer be advanced because of the elimination or arrival of a player between small blind and button.
16.3.) Heads-up button
During heads-up play, the small blind is always on the button and begins the action. As soon as there is a new heads-up, the button must be positioned in such as way that no player has to bet on the big blind two consecutive times.
16.4.) Incorrect button
If the dealer button has been incorrectly placed for any reason and this is not noticed until two actions later (bet, call, raise, re-raise or all-in), the play is continued and the button advanced in a clockwise direction. If the incorrect position is discovered prior to the relevant action, the hand is declared a misdeal and the position of the button corrected.
17.) Start of game at the table – The game is not begun at a table until there are at least three players.
18.) Big blind ante
All tournaments are played with a big blind ante.
19.) Chip race – Every player can win a maximum of one chip of the next higher denomination. The chip race always begins at the first seat, with the first seat handled completely before seat two receives any cards, etc.
No player can be eliminated in the chip race. If a player still has one chip remaining and should lose the chip, he receives a chip of the smallest denomination still in play. The odd chips of each player at the table are used for the chip race. Rounding is always done commercially. The player need not be present at the chip race.
20.) Colour-up – To ensure flexibility and maintain the flow of the game, tournament management can exchange chips with a lower denomination for a higher one at any time in order to reduce the number of chips. The player must be personally present for the colour-up.
21.) Odd chips – With split pots the player with the more unfavourable position always receives the odd chips (chips that cannot be divided). In Stud the odd chips go to the high card with the highest colour value. In Omaha/Stud 8 or better, the pot is split down to the chip with the lowest denomination in play. If an odd chip remains at the end of the first split, it goes to the high hand. If an odd chip also remains from the split for the lower hands, it goes to the player with the most unfavourable position.
22.) Chips, counts and cards – Every player is required to keep his cards visible for the other players at all times. Every player should be able to estimate his opponents' chip count; that means chips must be kept in clear, countable stacks. A stack is generally 20 chips placed on top of one another. Chips with the highest denomination have to be visible to all players at all times.
Players are only entitled to an exact count of the actual bet and only receive a full countdown of all of an opponent's chips if that player has bet all-in.
The cards of each player must be visible on the table for players and personnel at all times.
23.) Seat change – If a player is asked to change his seat, the chips must be visibly transported and the new seat must be occupied immediately. If the big blind is deliberately missed, a penalty is declared.
24.) Deck of cards – The deck of cards can be exchanged at any time by tournament management or floor personnel.
25.) Folded hands – A hand is considered folded when a player discards his hand face down with a clear forward movement (also out of turn), when the cards are revealed by the player in the course of a possible action (bet, raise, re-raise or call), or they touch the cards already placed. The floor personnel may bring a mistakenly withdrawn hand back into the game under certain circumstances. To do so the hand must be clearly identifiable, however.
26.) Disputed hands – The right to contest a hand ends when the new hand begins. A new hand always begins when the cards are cut.
- a.) The floor personnel cannot kill a winning hand that was tabled and was obviously the winning hand. Players are encouraged to assist in reading tabled hands if it appears an error was made. To this effect, a pot paid out in error must be paid out to the legitimate winner.
- b.) If personnel kill an unprotected hand, the player will have no redress and will not be entitled to a refund of any bet up to that point. Only if this player has raised and the raise has not been called yet does he receive back the amount of the raise. However, if the raise has been called, the player can be eliminated.
27.) Side Pots – All side pots are split as a separate pot. Pots are not mixed together prior to being split. Players may not touch the pot for any reason.
28.) Calling for clock – Once a reasonable amount of time has passed for the ruling of a player and tournament management has been asked for a clock, the player will be given another minute to act. The last 10 seconds will be counted down. If a player has not acted on his hand by the time the countdown is over, the hand is dead. Any player believed to be deliberately stalling the progress of the game will be penalised. In turbo tournaments the decision time is 30 seconds including a countdown of five seconds.
29.) Multiday tournaments – To prevent stalling, the following procedures apply to multiday tournaments: in the last five to 15 minutes of the final level, the tournament manager stops the clock. Then a player draws a card between three and seven, determining the hands remaining for the day of play. After the number of hands remaining to be played are announced, they are played at all of the tables.
30.) Hand-for-hand play – This rule enters into force prior to reaching the prize-money rankings. Once tournament management has announced a hand-for-hand phase, all tables finish the hand they are currently playing and then stop the action. Once all tables have completed the hand, a new hand is dealt and the players wait until all tables have ended this hand. This continues until enough players have been eliminated to reach the prize money stage.
- a.) All-in – During hand-for-hand play, when all-in has been announced and called, the dealer stops the game at the table and asks the players not to reveal their hands. The all-in table interrupts its play until all other tables have completed that specific hand. At that point, tournament personnel attend the all-in table and ask the dealer to continue the showdown. In the event of multiple tables having announced and called all-ins, the play at all these tables is paused. After completing the specific hand, the all-in tables then complete their showdown one at a time.
- b.) If two or more players are eliminated during the same hand at different tables, all players tie for that place finish.
- c.) If two or more players are eliminated during the same hand at the same table, the higher chip count at the beginning of the hand decides the place finish of these players in the tournament.
31.) Final Table – The button is placed in the last seat at the beginning of the final table. The two players in the big blind position in subsequent play at the final two tables draw from cards at seats 2 and 3 (big blind and under the gun). The two players in button position in subsequent play at the final two tables draw from the two highest positions (button and cut-off). The two players in small blind position at the final two tables in subsequent play draw from cards at seats 1 and 6 or 7. The remaining players draw from the remaining cards. The final table is played with eight to ten players.
32.) Heads-Up – During heads-up play, the button always has the small blind, while the big blind gets the first card. As soon as there is a new heads-up, the button must be played so that no player has the big blind twice in a row. As soon as just two players remain in the tournament, the level time automatically halves.
33.) New level – When the time limit has elapsed for a round and a new round is announced by the floor personnel, the new limits apply to the next hand. A new hand always begins when the cards are shuffled.
34.) At your seat – Every player must be at his seat when the dealer has delivered the last card to the button. If the player is not at his seat at the end of the deal, the dealer removes the player's cards from play immediately.
a.) In Stud after the last card is revealed and before the first round of betting.
b.) To request time a player must be seated.
35.) Misdeal – A misdeal occurs when:
a.) Two or several additional cards have been dealt
b.) No cards have been dealt to a player
c.) The first or second card has been revealed
If two or more active actions (bet, call, raise, re-raise, all-in, ...) are taken before the error is noticed, the erroneous hand is declared invalid and the game continues regularly. A game can no longer be declared invalid after the flop.
36.) Pot limit – In no limit the dealer may at no time provide information about the amount of the pot.
37.) All-in – If a player is all-in, he must remain seated until the game is ended.
38.) Bets / actions in and out of turn – If a player acts in turn with an insufficient bet because he has failed to notice a raise, he must complete his bet, otherwise he loses all claims to his bets and the pot. A raise is no longer permitted. The floor manager can declare a penalty in the event of repeated actions that do not comply with the orderly course of play.
If a player acts out of turn, his verbal and physical announcements or actions are only binding if the situation has not changed in the meantime. Check, call and fold are not considered changes.
The floor manager can declare a penalty in the event of repeated actions that do not comply with the orderly course of play.
Comments on the value of a hand are not binding. Intentionally false comments are subject to penalty.
Folding (passing) hole cards out of turn is subject to penalty.
39.) Raising – In pot and no limit there is no limitation on the number of raises. The minimum raise is always as high as the previous raise. In split limit three raises are permitted per round of betting. If only two players are left in the game before a third raise, the number of raises is no longer restricted.
In pot and no limit there are three options for placing a valid raise:
a.) The amount is placed in one motion.
b.) The exact amount is announced before being placed.
c.) The player announces “raise”, places the amount for the call and then the raise in one motion.
If a player moves an uncounted amount of chips across the betting line, the bet is the full amount of all of these chips. If a player bets a large amount of chips, these chips will only be counted by the dealer if the bet is called or if the dealer is asked to do so by another player.
If a player opens the round of betting in Stud in the lower limit, even if a pair is revealed and there is a raise for the lower limit, the same player who opened the round of betting has to raise by the upper limit.
40.) Oversized chip – If a player bets a chip which is bigger than the previous bet, it is only a raise if he also announces it. Announcing "raise" must occur before placing the bet. The increase is equal to the value of the chip.
If with blinds of € 300 / € 600 a player bets two chips of € 500 each without announcement before the flop or following a previous bet, his action is considered a call even though two chips are involved.
If "raise" is announced but not the amount of the raise and an oversized chip with a value larger than required for a call is bet, the raise corresponds to the permitted maximum (in Pot Limit) up to the maximum denomination of the chip. When raising with an oversized chip, the raise must be announced before the chip hits the surface of the table. After the flop, a bet with an oversized chip without announcement is always calculated as a bet equal to the full amount of its value.
In Pot Limit an oversized chip and an announcement of "raise" is always equal to the maximum permitted raise.
Unless a raise is announced first, the reaction to a bet with multiple same-denomination chips is a call if removing one chip leaves less than the call amount.
An example with blinds of € 200 / € 400: if player A bets € 1200 (an € 800 raise) and player B puts two € 1000 chips into the pot without declaring a raise, the bet is a call. If player B bets four chips of € 500 each, this is a raise to € 2000 (another € 800 raise).
If a player bets four chips € 1000 each without announcement in a prior betting sequence of € 800 / € 1600 / € 2400 / € 3200, this is not a raise to € 4000, but just a call for the last bet of € 3200.
41.) Half-bet raising – If without announcement a player puts a raise of 50% or more than the previous raise but less than a full raise, this action is considered a raise and he must complete his bet to the minimum raise. If it is less than 50% the action is only considered a call.
An all-in bet which is less than a full raise does not re-open the betting to the previous bettors. Placing an oversized chip which is a greater denomination than the previous bet is only a raise if it is announced. The announcement "raise" must take place prior to the bet.
42.) Showdown – Showdown is defined as all hole cards being laid on the table face up and unmistakeably for players and the dealer.
The player who has taken the last active action (bet, raise, re-raise or all-in) has to begin the showdown.
If a player in the showdown places his cards face-down with a clear forward motion, the hand is to be removed by the dealer and is considered folded.
If, after the dealer has called for the showdown, there is only one player left to claim the pot (the other players pass), this player wins the pot without a showdown. Players who do not lay claim to the pot or players who do not have opponents with a valid hand need not reveal their hand unless requested to do so by the floor manager under suspicion of collusion.
The winning hand must reveal all hole cards or all seven cards, respectively.
a.) Verbal announcements – The cards played are binding. Verbal announcements about the cards of a player are not binding, but tournament personnel can penalise false declarations at their own discretion.
b.) All-in – Once a player is all-in and all bets have been placed, all of the cards are turned up. If a player folds his hand by mistake before the cards are turned up, tournament personnel has the right to bring his cards back into the game as long as they are clearly identifiable. Players who deliberately fold their cards in an all-in situation may be subject to a penalty.
c.) Side action – When multiple players are playing with an all-in player for the main pot, all players playing for the side pot in the showdown are also required to show their cards. If an all-in player is playing for one or more pots, no side-pot player can fold in the showdown. The dealer is instructed to turn up all of the hands.
d.) If the dealer collects an obviously winning hand after the showdown by mistake, the hand nonetheless wins the pot. In the interest of fairness, all players are asked to immediately report any misunderstandings or obvious mistakes to the dealer.
e.) To claim a portion of the pot, a player must show his hole cards when playing the board.
43.) Showing hole cards / folded hands – If a player reveals one or several of his hole cards prior to ending the hand or before the showdown, his hand is considered passive, but in the interest of fairness toward the other players may also be declared invalid.
Deliberate, prohibited revealing of a hole card during the play is subject to penalty.
A hand in the last position is considered passed (folded) if the player has revealed at least one of his hole cards in order to deliberately get a reaction from fellow players before he has declared an action.
If a player reveals his hole cards to another player, he has to show all of them if all players demand it (show one - show all).
ETIQUETTE AND PENALTIES
44.) Violations of etiquette – In cases of violations of etiquette, tournament management reserves the right to exclude a player from the game in the in the interest of the organiser and all players. Examples of such violations include touching opponents' cards or chips, delaying the game, deliberately false statements, acting out of turn, revealing hole cards during the course of a game or inappropriate behaviour.
45.) Disclosure – Players are required to protect the other players in the tournament at all times. For this reason players may not:
a.) Disclose the contents of live hands at any time
b.) Advise or criticise play before the action is completed
c.) Comment on a hand that has not been revealed or discuss strategies with any spectator or player
d.) Receive consultation from an outside source
46.) Collusion – Poker is an individual game. Soft play (deliberately steering chips to another player), rabbit hunting (revealing cards after a game has ended), angle shooting (creating an advantage through unfair tactics) and collusion are prohibited and subject to penalty.
47.) Rude comments – Abuse of other players, tournament staff or personnel at the venue is not tolerated. Rude, obscene or offensive comments directed at players or staff members are subject to penalty. Repeated indirect comments that are rude, obscene or offensive can result in exclusion from the tournament.
48.) Penalties – Penalties are generally announced by the poker manager or tournament management and can entail a verbal warning, a missed-hand penalty or a disqualification. The penalty can be announced one or more times. During a missed-hand penalty the player concerned must leave the tournament area for the duration of the penalty.
The behaviour of all participants must be courteous and respectful during the tournament. Any player who encounters inappropriate behaviour toward another should report it to tournament staff immediately. This includes but is not limited to players whose personal hygiene or state of health is disruptive to the other players at the table. The decision on the extent to which the personal hygiene or state of health of an individual is disruptive to other players shall be determined by tournament personnel.