My dad and I were playing poker and it was his turn, he put chips out there, removed his hand from the chips, and I said I call. Then he took his chips back and said he didn't bet yet because he didn't "verbally say" that he bet, even though he put the chips out there and removed his hand from the stack. I'm just wondering if he is allowed to do that in Texas hold'em. Thanks.

Edit(17/08/2015): Also, what if it wasn't it his turn for action but he didn't know it, he said all in, shoved his chips out there, I called, then he took them back because "it wasn't his turn" and he was trying to bluff.

  • The scenario is indeed very different if he did act out of turn. In that case his action is binding unless you change the action. If he does act out of turn and you go all in, that nullifies his action and he can choose to call you or fold. When someone does out of turn, you must check or call the previous bet in order to make the out of turn action stand.
    – Jonast92
    Commented Jul 19, 2019 at 15:04

3 Answers 3


Some casinos have a betting line on the table or other house rules that may differ from the norm. But generally, a player in turn is bound by his first action, whether verbal or by movement of chips. A player may count or assemble chips immediately in front of his stack, but if he makes a forward betting motion with chips in hand, that is a binding bet. In most casinos, the amount of the bet is not binding until he removes his hand, so a player may come out with a stack and cut off a bet, but the initial motion commits the player to at least a minimum bet or call.

If the player is out of turn, the bet is binding if there is no change in the action intervening. If there's a raise before the player's turn, he off the hook and may take any action. Some casinos don't enforce this rule.

"First action is binding" also applies to betting more as well as less. If a player in turn says "I call", or puts a calling amount into the pot (including a single over-size chip), he has called, and his turn is over. He may not then say "...and I raise...". This is called a string raise, and is illegal everywhere except every TV show and movie you've ever seen.


Usually action in turn is binding. The gray area would be whether he actually pushed the chips out as if to signify a bet. Players generally have a right to use the space in front of them to manipulate and count out chips, but once there is a forward motion with those chips, that signifies a bet. Some poker rooms have a line on the table which signifies action when your chips cross that line. In general, though, there's no requirement to verbally declare your action, though it is usually helpful to do so.

So, if your dad pushed chips forward in a betting motion, then that in itself should have been sufficient to indicate a bet.

W.r.t. your updated edit, you say your dad acted out of turn and then tried to use that as a way to get out of his bet. First, this sounds like a home game, and it sounds like shenanigans like this are pretty common, so you might have to defer to the convention that's been established for this kind of thing, which might mean just doing nothing.

But, the TDA rules do indicate what should happen in that kind of situation:

38: Action Out of Turn (OOT)

A: Action out of turn is subject to penalty and is binding if the action to the OOT player has not changed. A check, call or fold does not change action. If action changes, the OOT bet is not binding and is returned to the OOT player who has all options including: calling, raising, or folding. An OOT fold is binding.

In this case, it sounds like his all-in action should be binding.


I am an advocate to change this rule. As it favors the experienced player. Players should never be rewarded for acting out of turn. However, i understand in today's game, paying attention is obsolete. To allow angle shooting, over new players who may not know this rule. If you act out of turn, your action should play as it lays. I would instruct all new players, beginners, etc to just check, when someone acts out of turn. Now you have the advantage!!

  • 1
    Your answer has nothing to do with the question. "it was his turn". OP's dad did not act out of turn. Besides, what are you talking about? Acting out of turn is binding already unless the action changes.
    – Jonast92
    Commented Jul 19, 2019 at 15:02
  • I was stating my distaste of a rule.
    – Lon Gilgor
    Commented Aug 3, 2019 at 1:49

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