So I had a situation the other night where a person bet $35 out of turn, and I told him that if the action before him didn't change, that the bet had to stand. So after the hand, he asked if he were to say "fold" out of turn, and then the action changed, was he still committed to folding? I informed him that he was. Some people were unclear about this. I just want to make sure that the word fold is binding regardless.

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    I have seen this rule interpreted in two ways. The way I learned it, if the intervening players all either fold or call, so that the out-of-turn player is facing the same bet, he is committed to his stated action. If any of them raise, he's off the hook. The way it is written in the WSOP rules is a bit different: they state that if the player's out-of-turn declared action is still a legal action when his turn arrives, he must make it. That latter interpretation of the rule would favor your "fold is always binding" idea. Jan 24, 2017 at 23:28
  • @LeeDanielCrocker Why have you not put this as an answer?
    – Toby Booth
    Jan 27, 2017 at 8:06
  • Omg....you cant have it both ways. Verbal folding rule is weak. How can verbal folding be same as actual folding? Cards should be mucked, hit muck, or dealer controlled. Acting out of turn shpuld never be allowed to do anything else. It favors the "angle shooter" That acting out of turn rule, IS BAD FOR POKER!! PERIOD IT should be changed!!!
    – Lon Gilgor
    Jul 19, 2019 at 4:57

2 Answers 2


Most of the time in poker, the WSOP rules are held as canon, so keeping that in mind, this is what the 2016 WSOP rulebook has to say:

  1. Non-Standard Folds: Any time before the end of the last betting round of a hand, folding in turn when there’s been no bet to you (ex: facing a check or first to act post-flop) or folding out of turn are both binding folds and may be subject to penalty in accordance with Rules 40 & 111.

So, yes, it is binding, and if done on purpose, grounds for the infringing player to be penalized.

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    Nice answer. A reason to penalize is you are giving out information that could help players in front of you decide how to act. +1
    – paparazzo
    Mar 16, 2018 at 17:12
  • Uh, no way are the WSOP rules cannon dude. For instance, there is no "penalty" in almost any poker situation. Home games, cash games, maybe outnumber WSOP tables 1000:1.
    – John Dee
    Apr 24, 2018 at 16:56
  • @JohnDee We don't really care about individual house game rules. We care about standard TDA/WSOP MTT rules and those that most casinos deem to use for their cash games. Mucking out of turn can indeed result in you receiving a penalty. I know plenty of people who have received it.
    – Jonast92
    Jul 19, 2019 at 14:22
  • Jonast92 TDA/WSOP/MTT rules are a very small subset of "poker" rules. 99% of poker games - in casinos and at home do not follow those rules. And who is the "we" you're speaking for? The question doesn't mention tournament.
    – John Dee
    Jul 19, 2019 at 15:24
  • @johndee I think you misunderstood me. In no way did I mean that the rules could be used as medieval weapons. I meant that they were generally accepted and many people will look at them as authoritative, including people at home games. Not sure what they have to do with cannonballs though.
    – ejLev
    Jul 20, 2019 at 16:46

I've been a professional floor person, and I've run many high stakes home games for over 20 years.

The applicable poker rule is:

  • Verbal is binding.

If you say "fold" out of turn, you're folding. However, in a casino you will be told to "please play in turn", although this is merely a suggestion in this particular hand, and will never be enforced. What will be enforced, is if you keep doing it, you may be asked to leave.

Anyway, there is never an immediate penalty for folding out of turn [what can happen to you? You're giving up the hand!], but it is usually considered bad etiquette. You can get thrown out or dis invited for doing this.

Note that it's not always bad etiquette to fold out of turn. This often depends on the skill level and friendliness of the players. Also, as has been noted, tournaments have various and different rules. There is absolutely NO uniform way of handling this in casino tournaments - not even at the WSOP. In fantasy world there might be a rule written somewhere, but it's only variously enforced.

  • "there is never an immediate penalty for folding out of turn" this is simply not correct.
    – Jonast92
    Jul 19, 2019 at 14:22
  • What is correct then pal? There is no immediate point to your comment. <-- that's correct!
    – John Dee
    Jul 19, 2019 at 15:22
  • "44: Action Out of Turn (OOT) A: Any action out of turn (check, call, or raise) will be backed up to the correct player in order. The OOT action is subject to penalty and is binding if action to the OOT player does not change." -- pokertda.com/view-poker-tda-rules
    – Jonast92
    Jul 19, 2019 at 16:36
  • OK. So what happens when two guys playing heads up in the first round of the tournament, last hand before the break. Guy 1 continuation bets and guy 2 folds before his chips hit the felt. According to the strict rules, he gets a penalty. Well... do you know a person who has actually suffered this penalty? Maybe. But if you stand in a row of tables at the WSOP you'll see this happen maybe once every 5 minutes without a penalty. So as I said, there is no consistency, and it's not a standard rule.
    – John Dee
    Jul 19, 2019 at 18:24
  • But you're also correct, in that there are rules lawyers out there. Thankfully, the "spirit of the game" is still a concept that is enforced over the objections of the nits. Unlike, say the rule "a flush beats a straight", despite the desires of rules lawyers... there is no standard rule for this. It depends on the players, the dealer, and the skill level of all involved. This discussion, BTW, only happens at low limits. High limit players understand folding out of turn is either an accident, or an intentional angle, and they deal with it appropriately.
    – John Dee
    Jul 19, 2019 at 18:28

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