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Kiddie Stakes: Why Don't They Play Nickel-Dime Poker in Vegas?
Most players understand that poker can't be played with bets of no value. But for some reason, many of those same players don't realize that pocket change, in both the literal and figurative senses, is just as disqualifying. This is why the term "penny poker" is oxymoronic. Nonetheless, many home poker games are set up precisely this way by design, J in that the maximum bet size is determined to be an amount that no one cares about losing. Limits set this way destroy the game ipso facto. In the scenario I described above, would the end result have been substantially different if the chips had been worth nickels or dimes instead of nothing?

For most adults, probably not. I can't rule it out, because while I can say objectively that some poker rules are better than others are, I can pass no such judgment solely on the stakes that a group of players decides to play with. The values that players assign to a bet of a certain monetary amount are subjective and will depend greatly on the financial situation and risk tolerance of each individual. To that extent, a nickel poker game theoretically could work-for starving artists, full-time students, prisoners, or kids playing with lawn mowing money. But barring those special cases, I can safely say that there is no such thing as a real nickel poker game in America. Adults who sweat over nickels are just too hard to find in a country with a per capita annual income of $35,000.
 
Can I Take It Back?
 
The specific rules that follow are for fixed-limit games; slightly different rules govern pot- and no-limit games. This code is extremely legalistic, and many home players disregard it. But if you don't enforce it at your home game, you will train yourself to make a variety of potentially expensive mistakes when you play at a casino game.

1. The only real case in which a player can "take back" an action is when he folds when he didn't have to, a mistake that players in the blind make occasionally. If there is no bet to a player and he mucks his hand, he can get his cards back as long as they are clearly distinguishable from the muck pile and no subsequent action occurs.
2. A verbal declaration of intent is binding on the player who makes it, and takes precedence over any physical actions made simultaneously or later.
 
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