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The other night at our NLH tournament (Las Vegas Casino)the betting went like this, 500 bet with one 500 dollar chip, a 500 dollar raise with 2 five hundred dollar chips, then one more raise with one 500 dollar and one 1000 chip. At this point a player says about the last raise (to 1500) "that's not a raise, get the floor over here". According to TDA rules (43) if you can take any chip from that last raise it is not a raise, the player contends, check the rule book. So the TDA rule book we looked at. It seems that the last sentence in rule 43 says just what this player contented. Remove "any" chip from that last raise and that is not a valid raise. Based on this rule (43), the supervisor in afterthought, thought that maybe the ruling made was wrong. It was ruled a raise.
We all know what a raise looks like, however with the letter of rule 43 could this decision be made that it is no raise?

PDA Rule 43: Multiple Chip Betting

When facing a bet, unless a raise is declared first, a multiple-chip bet is a call if there is not one chip that can be removed and still leave at least the call amount. Example: preflop, 200-400 blinds: A raises to 1200 total (an 800 raise), B puts out two 1000 chips without declaring raise. This is just a call because removing one 1000 chip leaves less than the amount to call (1200). If the single removal of any one chip leaves the call amount or more, the bet is governed by the 50% standard in Rule 41. See Illustration Addendum.*

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    Now that there are a couple of good answers, it seems that the problem here is that the wording of the rule is kind of convoluted, at least enough were the floor person here was confused. Would anybody care to in the form of an answer, offer a rewrite of this rule so that the intent of the rule was easier to understand and less prone to confused interpretation? – Jon Oct 9 '14 at 2:10
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I think the player at your table was misinterpreting the rule. This is a raise.

Rule 43 states:

a multiple-chip bet is a call if there is not one chip that can be removed and still leave at least the call amount.

To me, this says that in order for it to be considered a call, there cannot exist a situation where one chip is removed and the resulting value of chips does not at least equal a call. The corollary of this is that if there does exist at least one way in which a single chip can be removed and the remainder still constitutes a call, then it is a raise. In your case, the $500 chip can be removed and the amount in play is still sufficient for a call, so the action constitutes a raise.

In the example quoted in rule 43, it states:

A raises to 1200 total (an 800 raise), B puts out two 1000 chips without declaring raise. This is just a call because removing one 1000 chip leaves less than the amount to call (1200)

This differs from your own example in that in Player B's case, the removal of any single chip will cause the amount to fall below the calling level. Hence, Player B's action should be interpreted as a call. There is no way that you can remove a single chip and have the remainder be sufficient for a call. The difference is that in your case, the $500 chip could be removed and the remainder would still equal the amount required to call, and thus this action should be interpreted as a raise.

Furthermore, the last sentence really seals it:

If the single removal of any one chip leaves the call amount or more, the bet is governed by the 50% standard in Rule 41.

This actually covers your case perfectly. The player tosses in a $1000 and a $500 chip. If you remove the $500 chip ("any one chip") you still have at least the calling amount. Thus it's covered by rule 41. Rule 41 states that a valid raise must be at least the size of the previous bet or raise. Because the total bet of $1500 is a valid raise ($500 more than the $1000 which was itself a raise of $500 over the original bet), the player's action should be interpreted as a raise.

The rule hound at your table would have a point if your player pushed in two hypothetical $750 chips without declaring a raise. In this case, the removal of any single chip would cause the amount to fall below the calling limit, and the case would be identical in spirit to the example at the end of rule 43.

This incident really underscores the importance of announcing your raises either by saying "raise" or declaring a number of chips that you wish to bet as you place your chips. This lowers your exposure to both angle-shooters and the overzealous busybodies that think they know the rules!

  • I see what the rule is trying to define, an ambiguous situation were the guy throw in 2000 to make a call on an 800 dollar raise. I think they should define the rule in the same space they define the oversize chip rule, and call it something like an "ambiguous action rule", and say something like if the action is ambiguous it is a call unless the player states raise. Then give a couple examples. – Jon Sep 27 '14 at 0:40
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    But it's not ambiguous. That's why there's a rule. It's just a little confusing at first glance. – Chris Farmer Sep 27 '14 at 0:55
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The player at your table is an idiot, obviously. Under his theory player B that raised the $500 bet to $1000 with 2 $500 chips should not have been allowed either since by removing one of his $500 chips wouldn't constitute a legal raise. He is completely misinterpreting the rule. The rule is simple. If you are facing a bet and throw in multiple chips, it is considered a call if by removing the lowest denomination chip, you don't have enough to call. Example: player A bets $300, player B raises to $600. Player C throws in 2 $500 chips without saying anything. Player C is simply calling because by removing one $500 chip he doesn't have enough to call. Players always take rules and turn them into something they are not to try and show their "knowledge" at the table. Poker is a simple game. Keep it simple.

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