First to bet after turn, bets pot ($1300) in PLO. One folds, last player takes a long time to call. Bettor immediately hits the table with his fist, nothing verbal.

After the river, the bettor, without hesitation, says and pushes all-in. The dealer says that the hand slap on the table pre-river was a Check-in-the-Dark.

Bettor almost always verbalized his calls/raises, and had never hit the table like that previously. His explanation was that the caller had taken a long time to call, his slap meant: now let's play/gamble. Nothing was said.

Floor agreed with the dealer. Other players at the table did not.

Who's right?

4 Answers 4


This is a little tricky.

A non-verbal check is generally defined as "knocking or taping the table." So a single hit on the table with a fist does generally qualify as a check.

Checking in the dark is a completely legal move. And since the bettor would have been next to act after the card is dealt, the non-verbal check motion might qualify as a check in the dark.

However, there are not really a lot of established rules or precedent around a non-verbal check in the dark. I honestly don't think I have every seen a check in the dark that was not verbalized. Now, I might be wrong here, but in my experience, that just never happens. Saying that the bettor's table pound was a check in the dark is an incredibly literal interpretation of the rules, especially if that player verbalizes most actions anyway and the table agrees with the player.

So, dealer is not necessarily wrong, but there needs to be some room for discretion here. If this is a home game, a friendly game, then the bettor's actions are super clear, and this should not be an issue. If this is a casino game then remember to tip your dealer (although perhaps not this particular dealer).


for this kind of problems you always have "house rules". the same for showdown or muck hands, sorry I don't know the exact name right now. Did he hit the table before the other guy called to see the river? When it's not his turn, he can't do any action. If it was not his time to act he can receive a warning for that ... (i got one yesterday for folding before my right player did...) again : this should be in the house rules.


This is a bad decision. In turn, certainly, a rap on the table should be taken as a check, but I would never automatically take a dark bet that wasn't unambiguous. If this player had a habit of making ambiguous moves like this to judge his opponent's reaction, you might have a case. But if he acted verbally, clearly, and quickly after the card came, I have no reason to suspect a move like that here.


This was a bad decision. A check in the dark is not a check unless the player says so. Why because you can't check until the burn is cooked and the card is out, thus starting the betting round. If the betting round has not started the player has done nothing. If the player wants to say check in the dark fine it is checked in the dark. To contrive the guy pounding on the table before the card is out is just plain stupidity.

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