Inactive player problem: Where should the money be distributed in this situation?

Immagine the situation: Texas Holdem, No Limit.

5 players at the table. At some point in the betting, Player 3 makes a raise and suddenly leaves the table. So, betting may looks like this:

1. Player 1 (sb) - 100
2. Player 2 (bb) - 200
3. Player 3 raises to 400
4. Player 3 then leaves the table and folds, during the turn of player 4.

Question 1: What should Player 4 do?

Question 2: Where does the money of Player 3 go?

• You are probably 200 years late with this question... who cares about money when someone drops next to you Mar 28, 2012 at 9:42
• I would just take the money and buy a few drinks for everyone at the table (myself included). For the dealer too... Mar 28, 2012 at 10:21
• Hey guys, the first word in my post is "Immagine". Don't forget about it :-) Mar 28, 2012 at 11:43
• 2 Ivan Crojach Karačić: Normally everybody does care except the gone guy. This site is about poker and poker is about money. I thought it would be absolutely natural question. Mar 28, 2012 at 11:45
• @MinimeDJ When you are trying to talk to someone around here, you can use the "@" symbol instead of the "2" like you were doing above; that way they get a notification and know that you are talking to them. Jan 9, 2013 at 4:21

He cannot fold until it's his turn, so his raise must be met by anyone who wants to remain active. When it is his turn to bet and he folds by default, his hand is dead and loses all interest in the pot. If no one remains to take the pot, either play a round of Straight Poker to determine the winner, or leave it in to start the next pot.

• You are right. In case of few players it would be as you said. But in case of two people on the table remaining guy should get everything. I see it is reasonable. Mar 28, 2012 at 11:48
• That's true. Your example, though, uses 4 people. Mar 28, 2012 at 11:55
• If no one remains to take the pot, then the guy who raised and then left would win the pot.
– user1934
Mar 4, 2016 at 1:06

It would be treated like a normal raise only his hand would be automatically folded the next turn (or if there is a re-raise).

If everyone folds up to player 2, player 2 would be downright dumb not to re-raise - knowing player 3 is an automatic fold. Money would then go to player 2. In a heads up situation, same deal.

If more than one person calls, player 3 would be an automatic fold and his 400 would be put in the pot with everyone else's 400.

If everyone folds including player 2 - player 2 shouldn't be playing poker and you should take him for all he's worth. AND player 3's 400 would be put in for the next pots winner.

Player 3's raise stands, and he does not fold until action returns to him.

If no one remains, then he wins the pot before he is able to fold. If he is not there to claim his winnings, then he should be blinded out (if a tournament), or sat out (in a cash game). In the case of a cash game, his money should be set aside and saved, as it is still rightfully his money, including the pot should he have won it. If he is deceased, then I believe his heir or estate has more a claim to the money than the other players at the poker table.

• This really should be the accepted answer. The current accepted answer is good until it says to play a round to see who collects if nobody meets the raise. Jan 16, 2013 at 15:29

I'm not sure if is in any official rules, but I think one should be as nice as possible to players suddenly leaving the table. With that much money in the pot, it's quite possible that they've left for a medical emergency.

I think players leaving the table should follow these rules:

• Always check/fold EXCEPT
• When it's heads up (i.e. when only the missing player and one other player is not all in) and the other player can make a raise, then automatically fold (as the other player could trivially raise to force a fold anyway).

If it goes to showdown, I'd show the missing players cards, and if they win, it's their money. Keep it aside for when they come back.

I'd even go further, and allow players leaving the table to declare "all-in" out of turn, but only when there is a heads-up situation (i.e. only two players active not counting all in players). Acting before your turn with more than two players advantages some players and hence disadvantages others, and so shouldn't be allowed with 3 players, but I think with 2 it's ok.

My suggested rules perhaps are overly nice, but I think reasonable, particularly for a private game.

The game is governed by Player 3's last LEGAL action, which was "raise to 400." So player 4 (and subsequent players) must meet that raise or fold.

If Player 3 leaves the table and does not come back in time for his next turn to bet, he automatically forfeits the 400 he put in to the pot, and to its ultimate winner. The fact that he "folded" while leaving (presumably with his remaining chips), just makes it "official." (He declared his intention NOT to come back in time.)