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.
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.