TDA rules

Usually once a night I have to quote, enforce or mention the TDA(tournament director association) rules to someone in a tournament. I think the main reason is that some people, mostly newbies, play at a bar, home game or smaller casino that doesn’t enforce their tournaments by the TDA. At the end of the article I am posting the most current version of the rules so that anyone who wants to waste 20 minutes of your life reading boring rules can do so.

What I am going to do in this article is highlight a few points that most people, even tournament regulars don’t know, or don’t know why the rule is there. Other people may just have to use an obscure rule in their favor someday. Either way I will talk about a few different ones. You can find a summary of the TDA poker rules at

2. Player Responsibilities- A bunch of rules that players are supposed to pay attention. A couple I have problems with are follow the action. I said raise, it’s not my fault you didn’t see that guy go all in and you said “call” thinking you are calling the big blind. You came here to play, not flirt with the waitress or listen to your headphones so loud you can’t hear yourself think. Remain at the table with a live hand. Have some respect for play and don’t abandon your hand if its not your turn to act. If you really had to make that phone call or take a piss just leave before the cards are dealt, don’t wait to see you have a bad hand then leave early.

4. Electronic devices- Some houses are different but the rule stated is don’t talk on the phone at the table. Seriously just get up you lazy ass. Don’t sit there and act like “it will only be a minute” as you rush your phone call.

7. Alternates, Late Entries and re-entries will get full stacks- I love this rule, we used to have to blind off full stacks in some tourneys. Nothing is more annoying than dealing out 9-10 hands to 4 players, mucking 6 hands every single hand until you finally fill up.

9. Breaking tables- Yes anyone coming from a broken table can take any position except between the button and the small blind. Yes they can take the button(small blind busted the previous hand) and they drew that seat. The small blind(big blind busted the previous hand).

10. D. play will halt on tables with 3 less than another table- I hear players all the time screaming we only have 6 or 5, it doesn’t matter unless you have 3 players less than a full table. People crying we have 8 and they have 10, rebalance us. The tournament director will do a good job. Most times by the time they get that next big blind over to our table, the other table loses one and now they are 8 handed and you are 9 handed. TD’s know what they are doing. Now you know the rule, only cry when you are 3 short.

15. All cards will be face up with an all-in- The big one people don’t understand is that once all betting action is complete if the pot is more than 2 players, ALL HANDS MUST be shown. I don’t care if all 10 players are in the hand on the river, with action complete and one players is all-in, the rule states ALL HANDS must be shown. WITHOUT DELAY. Seriously just flip your damn cards, what are you waiting for? To see how far you are behind and how embarrassed you are for playing that cheese? 2 players, 1 all-in,  I can’t put the board out until you both flip your cards up, come on, its getting shown no matter what. Hurry up.

18. Asking to see a hand- I’m sort of torn on this rule. Players without a hand cannot ask to see a hand at showdown. Its a good rule to people that are just trying to get information. But the rule is in place to prevent collusion. If the aggressor is dumping chips to a buddy then mucks the river, no one can ask to see the other players hand.

22. New Hand & New Limits- The next hand will start at the first riffle of the shuffle, or pushing the button with shuffle master tables. I really don’t care that you had your blinds up before the level changed(especially if the last hand hadn’t even ended yet). I will do my best to get the next hand started as soon as humanly possible.

24. A. Players are entitled to a reasonable count of your stack. Keep em neat boys, don’t see how high of a barber poled stack you can make, or constantly shuffle all your chips, or just have  mess. They recommend 20 high, 30 is fine, 40 looks nice. Which ever way you want as long as its someone uniform and easily countable. Especially when that guy stacks you and I have to count it fast.

27. Calling for a clock- It says a “reasonable” amount of time. I have no clue what that is. 30 seconds? 5 minutes? Don’t be a dick, or be a dick to put them on tilt. No real definition here.

29. At your seat- Your hand is dead if you are not at your seat(within arms reach of your chair) when the 1st card is dealt. Not the last or the 5 or you were running to get here. Why argue? I know where you were when I dealt, its only one hand, its your own fault for not being here.

37. A. Verbal bet declarations/undercalls/act in turn- If you verbalize it thats what you are doing. If you toss in chips and didn’t see the raise those chips are in the pot, no matter what, should’ve paid attention. And because of the new douche move of just throwing in one chip to call the all-in, there are now 2 situations where that under call is now a FULL CALL. 1. Facing an opening bet on ANY multiway pot including big blind pre flop. Example: Player 1 bets, player 2 raises, player 3 under calls. This is NOT the opening bet and chips in the pots stay, but has option to still fold. If player 1 goes all in and players 2 calls and player 3 under calls, since this is the opening bet in a multiway pot, he MUST call the bet. 2. It’s always a full call heads up. If you aren’t paying attention to a bet heads up what tournament are you playing?

38. Action out of turn- If someone acts out of turn and the action doesn’t change(folds, calls) they are BOUND to the same action, same size bet. If its raised or opened , then the OOT player may do as they wish. This is a huge advantage to a player that was skipped, as you know they have to bet the same bet and you can bet into them, or just checking knowing they have to bet and you can raise.

41. B.If a player goes all in for less than a FULL RAISE it DOES NOT reopen the betting for the initial better/raisor. Meaning if player A bets 1000 and player B goes all in for 1975 that is not a full raise and player A cannot reraise. Player A bets 2000, player B raises to 5500, Player C goes all in for 8500. The initial raise was 3500, the all in raise was 3000 so it doesn’t reopen for player B, but it does for player A as he was legally raised by player B.

43. Too damn confusing to explain.

47. Pot size- players are only entitled to know the size of the pot in POT LIMIT ONLY. Quit asking whats in the pot in no limit. And you can’t bet the pot(or expect me to count it) in no limit.

49. Non-standard & unclear betting- The only thing to take from this is if you say I bet 12(meaning 1200 or 12000) the lessor bet that is acceptable will be used. If the blinds are 400-800 it will be a 1200 bet, but if the blinds are 800-1600 then “12” will mean 12000 since you can’t bet 1200.

50. Folding- I don’t care how bad your hand is, you can’t fold unless there is a bet. I will take your hand, and hopeful you get a penalty.

52. Count of chips stacks- I can and will count an all-in chip stack, I cannot and will not count someones chips that aren’t in the pot. Example: Player A bets and players B asks me to count player A’s remaining chips. I will not, and player A is not entitled to count his chips either, only to make them visible.

53. Over-betting expecting change- Player A bets 350 and player B puts out 550 expecting change without saying anything. This is a raise dumbass and you will be forced to raise to 700 as your 20o raise is more than half the full 350 raise. I know your trying to help but most of the time I don’t need to over chip to make change, I will ask if i need you to throw in the 50.

55. Chips in transit- LOL once a month some idiot sticks chips in his hat, pocket, etc in transit from a broken game and loses them.

58. A. Penalties-Do not expose cards with action pending, ever, even heads up. Do not soft play(Checking the nuts in position). Most times its a mistake, but the rule is there so you don’t take it easy on your buddy. Bet your hand.

59. No disclosure-Do not disclose contents of live or folded hands.  Advise or criticize play. Read a hand that hasn’t been tabled. Its not live until its tabled, don’t help someone see what they missed.  No recourse for the player that gets beat, they won’t kill the hand but you may get a penalty. One player to a hand, don’t show your hand to anyone, even if you want them to “sweat it”, just bad etiquette and giving info to players that other players aren’t entitled to.

62. DONT BE  A DOUCHE- The end.


Brought to you by Your Poker Dealer

6 thoughts on “TDA rules

  • August 26, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    i didnt see it but i love the coloring up of lower denomination of chips like getting rid of 25 unit chips and that 1 person tht bitches about losing that chip in the race.or ppl complain about moving to a new table and they r in the big blind but were the BB at last table couple of hands ago. TUFF SHIT

  • December 22, 2014 at 2:00 am

    Is calling an all-in using just one chip really a douche move? I mean, I’ve done it, but only if everyone else has already folded. I like #63, too!

  • December 20, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    Rule 29- I think that has changed with the last tda meet… It’s now last card off the deck

  • December 22, 2015 at 11:08 am

    29. At your seat- Your hand is dead if you are not at your seat(within arms reach of your chair) when the 1st card is dealt.

    I believe they changed this rule back. Below is a cut and paste from your referenced tourney tracks link.

    Player Present / Eligible for Hand

    26: At Your Seat

    A player must be at his seat by the time all players have been dealt complete initial hands in order to have a live hand.


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