I am involved in a regular, weekly home tournament league. We play two tournaments each week, 51 weeks a year, points awarded for positions in each tournament.

Our 'house rules' have devloped over the years, 'hopefully' in accordance with 'official' Poker rules.

One series of rule that arises from time to time involves 3-way ALLINs, where the big stack wins the hand.
Consider Player A with 10,000 chips, ends up with a flush. Player B with 6,000 chips, ends up with K high. Player C with 4,000 chips, ends up with pair of 8's.

If this happens at the end of the tournament, Player A would be awarded 1st place (of course), and 2nd/3rd place awarded according to chip count going in to the All-IN hand. So Player B would be second, and player C would be third (despite Player C having the stronger hand than player B)

But......if the same 3-way allin arose in the 'middle' of the tournament, we have been applying a different rule - basing position on the hand strengths (of the second and third player in the hand) (But thinking about it now, I'm not sure if this is correct :-( )
So here, Player A wins the hand and stays in the tournament. But......we would say Player B went OUR of the tournamenet BEFORE Player C, because C held the higher hand (and ignoring chip count going in to the ALLIN hand) Even though both players are OUT of the tournament, position to us is still important as they are awarded different points.

Am thinking now that it should positions should 'probably' be determined on Stack Size at ANY stage of the tournament.

In particular, a theoretical situation might also arise (although 'we' haven't yet had to deal with it) would be if, in the middle of the tournament, there is a 3-way ALLIN, Big Stack wins, but the other two players had the same hand! eg. both held pocket 10's. With out 'current' house rule of basing position on hand strengths, we would be stuck.

Thanks for the replies.....

I accept that we can apply whatever house rules we want :-) I just wondered what the 'official' rule might be (if such a thing exists) in a major tournament.

Sounds like 'it still depends....' lol...

I liked your reply Grinch91 - you understand my dilemma. You say you don't like the 'stack size option', and that you believe they should just share the winnings from both positions between them.

But then you go on to mention if it is a 'points league type of situation'. For us, it is. You get points awarded in each game based on your position. (we play around 100 games per year, with a trophy and prize funds going to the winner based on points).

I don't think 'sharing' the points is an option, since we use an app to record everything, and am pretty sure it doesn't have the facility to share points :-(

And you say that you have never heard of any place using hand strength to determine 2nd and 3rd positions. And in fact, 'I' don't understand the logic of that either, so not sure why we have 'that' house rule, if the situation arises mid-tournamen (as opposed to final 3 when we, for some reason, DO apply the 'stack size option')

I think I will suggest to the group that we ALWAYS apply the 'stack size option'.

It would also cover off the unusual situation (although it DID arise for us last week), when in mid-tournament, the losing 2 players in a 3-way all-in had the SAME HAND. Using out current 'hand strength option' there was an argument on what to do. But if we always adopt the 'stack size option' we'd know what to do (unless they ALSO had the same stack size, although that would have to be a VERY RARE circumstance.....)

  • You've got two different systems happening purely whether it's the final hand of the tournament, and you have a possible problem with one of those systems, so, pick one system and apply it to every hand. This isn't a decision others can make for your group.
    – Nij
    Commented Nov 26, 2023 at 9:36
  • I migrated your answer to an edit here as it wasn't an answer but rather some additional clarification and additional questions. I'll edit my answer when I can to account for the extra information.
    – Grinch91
    Commented Nov 27, 2023 at 14:00
  • Edited my answer @don, I've included two of the major tournament rule sets that are often used and also gave some direct examples as well.
    – Grinch91
    Commented Nov 27, 2023 at 14:29

1 Answer 1


Ok so you have home rules, and what I'll say as I always do in home rules situations, is if everyone is happy with the rules it's totally fine. It's your game and you do as you wish.

Now in general from casino's and TDA or WSOP rules, etc it can also depend. Typically however you have two situations. Firstly let's talk about the situation with being paid and two players busting that should be paid.

The two outcomes here are either both players chop the prize money, i.e. 2nd gets $100 and 3rd gets $60, both players would divide $160 between them and both end up with $80. The other situation is that it would be based on the stack size, both players have busted, it's irrelevant that the shortest stack had a better hand than the next shortest stacked player. The logic here is both lost and technically if it was heads-up between the two the shortest stack wouldn't have been able to bust the other player.

I don't personally like the stack size one, but I've seen it in use. To me the most fair is you chop the prize money between the two players.

The other situation you described where you position people even if they don't cash, to me it doesn't matter, unless you're doing a points league type situation. In that case you can again chop the points between the two, or shortest of the two stack takes the lower position.

To your house rule on the hand strength, again it's your game, if everyone is happy keep the rule. However in all my years of playing and working in the industry I have never heard or seen that applied in any card room, casino or tournament series.

Links to official rules for you.

TDA RP-8 multiple players busting to share prize

WSOP Rule 126 b - directly mentions stack size for placement

Based on the two links above you can see it's pretty clear how major rulesets handle this. Money involved you split the prize, placement in terms of rank chip stack will take precedence. So let's use an example to be clear for you to show your group.

The situation you described with 2nd (100$) and 3rd place (60$), and money involved. So let's say stacks are Player A (10,000), Player B (6,000) and Player C (4,000). Player A wins the hand and busts both Player B and C for the 1st place. In this case, Player B and C will chop the prize money, $100+$60=$160 so $80 each. In this example as well Player B will place 2nd for the points and player C will place 3rd for points.

This applies even if no money is applied. Let's say only top 3 are paid, but top 5 make points. Player B and C come 4th and 5th. In this case Player B will get 4th place points due to the larger stack and Player C will get 5th place points.

I think these links will make it clear and also give you some clear solid examples to back you up to make this change in your home game.

  • Thanks Grinch. WSOP Rule 126b especially states what to do in the last sentence: "If two or more Participants are eliminated during the same hand at the same table, the Participant(s) who began the hand with the highest chip count will receive the higher place finish." This instruction is specifically directed at what to do during 'hand-to-hand' play in a multi-table tournament, but I don't see any reason why the same wouldn't apply at a single-table tournament, like my home game. So I will present it to my friends at the next home game :-)
    – don
    Commented Nov 28, 2023 at 18:36
  • Glad to help. If you're happy this solves the question can you accept the answer please. Also welcome to the community!
    – Grinch91
    Commented Nov 29, 2023 at 9:46
  • 1
    Was just leaving till Friday - my weekly home game is Thursday evening, so leaving it open one more day just in case there are any follow-up queries :-)
    – don
    Commented Nov 30, 2023 at 15:23
  • No hassle, hope your home game reaches a good conclusion for this!
    – Grinch91
    Commented Dec 1, 2023 at 10:49

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