House Rules






Poker Nights - Dealing Rules


      Dealing can be more challenging than you might expect - and definitely high-pressure, as a slipup can void an entire hand.  Here are the rules I suggest for dealing:

  • Rotation - Dealership rotates to the left every hand, and the dealer calls the game.  No games are allowed that give the dealer an inherent advantage - so no BlackJack!


  • The Cut - The dealer must offer the deck to the person behind him (to the right) to cut after the last shuffle.  In these kinds of friendly games nobody's stacking the deck anyway, but it's a nice formality.


  • Deal Style - Always deal one card at a time to each person - that is, don't deal two cards in a row to one person, then two in a row to the next, etc.  This is to negate the effects of grouping in the deck:  For example, people tend to place pairs together in their hands, and when the cards are gathered back up, those pairs can tend to stick together...


  • Mistakes - A dealer mistake costs the dealer one basic ante;  at my poker nights, this is usually 25 cents.  Depending on when the mistake occurs, different courses of action are required.  If it's during the initial deal, before any betting, then the deck can just be reshuffled and the hand re-dealt.  If it's after betting has occurred, place the accidentally shown card back into the deck, and do a few shuffles, taking care to shield view of ANY cards from those who are still in the hand. 


  • Second Deck - I recommend that any poker night be played with two decks of cards;  the deck not in play can be shuffled by the next dealer during the current hand.  This cuts down a great deal on the delay in between hands. 



After the hand is dealt, it's time to Bet...