I had an odd situation at a live poker game in a casino recently. It was heads up and we got to the river. I checked and he bet $200. I told him that I can't call $200 but I could do $100. He said OK and slid half the chips back to his stack. The dealer didn't object. I called, he showed the winning hand and the dealer insisted that I have to pay $200 instead of $100. I reluctantly agreed and the player was nice enough to give me back $100 after the hand was over.

Should the dealer have stopped the player from pulling back half the chips in the first place? Or is this a valid tactic that I can try to exploit players with?

  • I go with grinches answer. I would like to note that you guys broke a(nother) rule when when the player gave you the hundred back. Not because you circumvented paying the hundred, but because you passed chips on the table, generally a rule in every poker room that you cant pass chips between players.
    – Jon
    Commented Jul 19, 2021 at 18:52
  • The funny part was the dealer blamed me after saying that I should have known better as an advanced player (I'm a beginner with 8 months experience).
    – user8462
    Commented Jul 20, 2021 at 3:30

1 Answer 1


Ok so strictly speaking in higher stake cash games, you can get players coming to deals and agreeing to take some money out of the pot, however I've never seen it at games under 5 figure buy-ins, personally. I'm sure they exist, but I've not seen any smaller games do this.

So with the above said I've also never seen a casino allowing lower cash games to take money back, mainly because you're affecting the rake they take. Typically the games that can come to some refund agreements are time games where you're paying for your seat regardless of the pot sizes. In general I would assume that no casino will let you take money out, unless you have asked and a poker room manager has given it the green light.

In terms of the dealer, the dealer should have enforced the bet that was put out and shouldn't have let you call 100$. The bet was 200$ and the dealer should have enforced that.

In terms of this being a valid tactic, not really as the bet was 200$ and should have remained at 200$. Potentially a valid tactic before they bet to try get them to reduce the size. However I will also say a lot of people don't like angle shoots, or soft play so wouldn't recommend it. I think a lot of players will view this as either an angle or soft play.

Also I'd say that's very nice of the player to give the 100$ back, but I feel if players also saw that they'd be thinking of soft play between the two of you. So bear that in mind.

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