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Similar to How do you deal with severe violations of table etiquette, I ran into a situation at a recent game that threw me. A player I was not familiar with kept doing really odd things. For example:

  • He mucked his cards, with his chips, then decided he 'changed his mind' and tried to pull back two cards. This was caught and his hand called dead.
  • After a hand, he looked at another players hole cards that had been mucked and never shown. He was called out on this.
  • He kept mixing up his stacks of chips, so his large denominations were buried. He was corrected, but argued "the casinos let me do it".

As I had commented on the other post, I believe players are due the benefit of the doubt, this is a home game after all. However, at what point does it go from poor etiquette to cheating?

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what do you mean by mixing up his chips? Are you not allowed to arrange your chips are you please? –  hmmmm Mar 9 '13 at 14:45
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up vote 11 down vote accepted

In the case of an inexperienced player, I would give a longer adjustment period. I might start instituting more severe repercussions on the fourth instance.

This player sounds like he knows what he is doing (based in part on the "the casinos let me do it" comment), and as such, I'm going to be less forgiving. I would likely implement said 'severe repercussions' at the point that any of his offenses were repeated, and by the fourth time any individual offense occurred, I would be asking him to leave and not return.

Frankly, it's a home game. If his behavior is making the experience unpleasant then you have every right to kick him out (I'm assuming that you aren't winning enough off of him to justify putting up with his crap; if you are, then consider it a cost of doing business). For tournaments, I do not believe he is even warranted a refund of his buyin, though in cash games he should be given fair value on his chips.

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+1.... also i would just stop inviting him if he can't stop the antics. especially pulling other people's cards out of the muck is something that no casino would ever let him get away with. –  xyious Jan 19 '12 at 20:01
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I would try to distinguish between what's accidental and intentional. "Mixing up" chips might be accidental, and deserve a few warnings. But looking at mucked cards or taking back folds are intentional. Such actions deserve AT MOST one warning, after which penalties (or "barring") should apply.

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He mucked his cards, with his chips, then decided he 'changed his mind' and tried to pull back two cards. This was caught and his hand called dead.

Well I would warn him the first time, maybe even a second but after that I would penalize him. A round of blinds is usually a good penalty.

After a hand, he looked at another players hole cards that had been mucked and never shown. He was called out on this.

I would enforce the penalty first time on this. This is an unforgivable foul that would get you kicked out of a casino. The second time I would want him barred from the game and would let him know that it would be the penalty after the first time.

He kept mixing up his stacks of chips, so his large denominations were buried. He was corrected, but argued "the casinos let me do it".

Then I would invite him to go visit the casino. I would let him know that we expect he will at least attempt to observe good poker etiquette or he will no longer be welcome in the home game.

At our home game everyone is there to have fun. Its no fun if one person decides to flout the rules and be belligerent. Its one thing to be a noob and make a noob mistake. Its another to jerk and make the rest of us not want to play with you.

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