Texas Hold’em Poker Tournament Standard Rules of Play 1 of 2
1 Tournament rules must be compliant with Texas
Hold’em Poker Tournament Terms and Conditions and
a) entry fee and amount of chips received;
b) the procedures and rules for allowing prepaid entry
fees or pre-registration, if applicable;
c) the prizes offered;
d) any minimum limits or conditions for raises;
e) the number of blinds and the progression of
increase in the blinds;
f) the time limit, price charged, amount of chips and
method established for rebuys, if allowed;
g) the method for eliminating lower value chips;
h) the method for handling split pots with an uneven
amount of chips;
i) the rules for elimination of players;
j) the method for determining the order of finish
k) the method for resolving tournament
l) the rule for allowing players to leave the table;
m) any other poker rule book referenced during
n) the designated language for the tournament; and,
o) any other information essential to a player’s
understanding of how the tournament will be
2 Licensees must not offer refunds once tournament play
3 Licensees must assign table and player positions
4 All suits have the same rank. The rank of cards, from
highest to lowest, must be ace, king, queen, jack, 10, 9,
8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, except where the ace may be counted
low (see Ranking of Poker Hand Combinations on page
5 Cards must be displayed face-up on each table so that
each card can be seen by any player before the start of
play at each Texas hold’em poker tournament.
6 Players cannot deal. Players who have been eliminated
cannot become a dealer for that tournament.
7 Player conduct:
a) A player cannot bet on more than one hand in any
round of play.
b) Side-betting is not allowed.
c) Substitute players are not allowed.
d) Players may not give, sell, exchange or redeem
chips with another player.
e) Players may not handle the chips placed in
f) Players are responsible to protect their cards.
g) Players must keep their pocket cards in full view of
the dealer at all times.
h) Players may examine their pocket cards at any
time and must do so in a manner that does not
disclose their value to other players or spectators.
i) Players may not exchange information about their
8 The dealer will collect all cards and shuffle them prior to
each round of play.
9 The dealer button must start with the player to the left of
the dealer. The dealer will move the dealer button to the
next player in a clockwise direction prior to commencing
each subsequent round of play.
10 The player immediately to the left of the dealer button
will post the required blind (small blind, if two blinds are
required) before the beginning of each round of play.
11 If two blinds are required, the player immediately to the
left of the small blind position will post the required big
blind before the beginning of each round of play. When
all but two players have been eliminated from the table,
the player with the dealer button will post the small blind
and the other player will post the big blind.
12 All cards will be dealt in a clockwise direction beginning
with the player immediately to the left of the dealer
13 The dealer will commence the first betting interval by
dealing one card face-down to each player, then a
second card face-down to each player.
Texas Hold’em Poker Tournament Standard Rules of Play April 1, 2014 2 of 2
14 The first betting interval will proceed as follows:
a) The player immediately to the left of the big blind
position is the first to act and must call, raise or
fold. When all but two players have been eliminated
from the table, the player with the dealer button is
the first to act and must call, raise or fold.
b) Betting continues in a clockwise direction until each
player has an opportunity to call, raise or fold, with
the exception of the player in the big blind position
who may also check if no other player has raised.
15 The dealer will commence the second betting interval
by burning a card and then dealing three community
cards face-up in the middle of the table.
16 The second betting interval will proceed as follows:
a) The player immediately to the left of the dealer
button is the first to act and must bet, check or fold.
b) Betting continues in a clockwise direction until each
player has an opportunity to bet, check, call, raise
17 The dealer will commence the third betting interval by
burning a card and dealing one community card face
18 The third betting interval will proceed as in 16.
19 The dealer will commence the fourth betting interval by
burning a card and dealing one community card faceup.
20 The fourth betting interval will proceed as in 16. Upon
completion of four betting intervals:
a) If only one player remains in the round of play (i.e.
all but one player has folded), the player is not
obligated to show their hand.
b) If two or more players remain in the round of play:
i) it will be the obligation of the player who made the
last bet to show their hand; or,
ii) if no player has placed a bet, it will be the
obligation of all players to show their hands.
21 Any combination of a player’s pocket cards and/or
community cards may be used to construct a standard
five-card poker hand.
22 If a tie cannot be broken, the pot will be split among all
equal hands for that round of play.
23 When a player is eliminated, they must not be allowed
to re-enter the tournament.
24 As players are eliminated, tables must be maintained,
as closely as possible, with an equal number of
25 When relocating players, the new position must be as
close as possible to the player’s position at the
previous table. Relocated players must assume all
responsibilities of the new position.
26 No misdeal may be called after the first bet. In the
event of a misdeal, additional blinds cannot be
27 The use of any cell phone or electronic device is
prohibited during tournament play.
28 The tournament chairperson is responsible for
handling all disputes. Any player dissatisfied with the
tournament chairperson’s decision may contact
Ranking of Poker Hand Combinations-
1.Royal Flush is a hand containing an ace, king, queen, jack and 10 of the same suit.
2.Straight Flush is a hand containing five cards of the same suit in consecutive ranking. An ace may count high or low.
3.Four of a Kind is a hand containing four cards of the same rank.
4.Full House is a hand containing three of a kind and one pair.
5.Flush is a hand containing five cards of the same suit but not in consecutive ranking.
6.Straight is a hand containing five cards of consecutive rank regardless of suit. An ace may count high or low.
7.Three of a Kind is a hand containing three cards of the same rank.
8.Two Pairs is a hand containing two pairs.
9.One Pair is a hand containing two cards of the same rank.
10.High Card is a hand that does not contain one pair or better.