Is it considered bad etiquette to raise on a fairly obvious split-pot?

e.g. straight/royal flush on the board, or quads on the board when its fairly expected that both players have an Ace.

I get quite annoyed with it currently (online play-money), as the rake is %-based. I know its not against any rules i know of.

  • 1
    You're playing a play-money game online with a rake?! Never seen that before, but not played play-money for about a decade, so maybe things have moved on!
    – 3N1GM4
    Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 9:44
  • Yup apparently its the norm now haha. Im not too sure, i dont use that many different apps.
    – sakon
    Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 10:04
  • I suppose if these apps are geared up for micro transactions (so you can buy more play-money chips for real money), it's in their interest to bleed as many play chips out of the game as possible to encourage people to pay to reload. The play-money effectively then has a relative real-money cash value to the operator.
    – 3N1GM4
    Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 10:05
  • 2
    This is your third question with no accepted answer. Are you not getting proper answers?
    – paparazzo
    Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 14:40
  • Oh im supposed to upvote an answer? Sorry im not very familiar with this site's options.
    – sakon
    Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 2:18

3 Answers 3


When the nuts is actually on board, like T♠J♥Q⋄K♣A♠, I would say it's probably bad etiquette to continue raising in a cash game where the rake will be affected accordingly (although I have in the past seen people fold on the river in situations like this, albeit infrequently, but it happened!).

In a tournament (where rake is not a consideration), it's only likely to be a small handful of raises until you're all-in anyway, so unless someone is taking an age to make each raise, I don't see that there's any significant detriment or inconvenience caused, so I wouldn't consider this bad etiquette either.

While most games are governed by rules which include one to penalise players for not raising on the river with the nuts (to prevent soft-playing), I've never seen this enforced when the nuts is on board and would expect Rule #1 to take effect (i.e. common sense or an unusual situation can permit a floor to make a decision contrary to the rest of the rules).

However, when it is possible that it's not a split pot, I think anyone is well within their rights to raise as many times as they would like. If you have Ax on a 22223 board, why should you give up potential value against someone playing Kx who might be willing to get all-in?

All that said, what is and isn't good etiquette is basically a matter of (mass) opinion, so one person's view is not necessarily particularly relevant - it matters what "most" poker players think. If enough players started changing their mind and felt that some particular behaviour was unacceptable, it would become bad etiquette where it might not have been previously.

  • And there was a video I was watching the other day (maybe tournament) where somebody raised on what would have been a split pot, and when he was called he instantly mucked his hand.
    – user1934
    Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 16:59
  • Yep, as Grinch91 mentions in his answer, it can surprise you how often people miss these things and you can benefit from it.
    – 3N1GM4
    Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 17:07
  • I recently watched a tournament video where a player calls a raise with quads on the board and he holding an ace, thinking that the other person had to raise with an ace. (in the end it was a bluff). But the implication here is that he didn't think re-raising was an option, even though he had the nuts.
    – sakon
    Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 2:21

No, it's not bad etiquette to want to try win a pot. You'd be surprised how many players don't realise an obvious split-pot.

  • 1
    I dealt a hand once and put 3-3-3-3-A on the board with four players seeing the river. There was a bet, a raise, and two folds. No one said anything, we just smiled and dealt the next hand... Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 18:32

Fairly obvious. If you have the nuts using a card in your hand you should bet it (or slow play) every time. For sure you don't check the river.

Nuts on the board is another thing but that does not happen very often.

  • The only nuts on straight nuts would be an ace high straight flush or rainbow straight. If there is a 3 or 4 flush in the straight then it can be beat. That only happens 0.012% of the time.
  • A royal straight flush is only 0.0002%.
  • The only other nuts on the board would be AAAAK, KKKKA, QQQQA, ... 2222A. That only happens 0.0025% of the time.

I am just not buying that nuts on the board is happening enough to annoy you. It happens only 1 in 6879 hands.

As Grince stated some players don't recognize a split pot. +1

As for fairly expected both have an Ace that is ridiculous. A hand that can only win by bluffing could be bluffing.

  • 1
    "The only other nuts on the board would be AAAAK" - do you eman specifically this exact board, or all ones like it, for example KKKKA, QQQQA etc? Unless I'm missing something, any quads on board with the highest possible kicker already on board would be the stone cold nuts as well? I assume your 0.0002% figure comes from just AAAAK, and not the other 12 nuts quad boards too? Doesn't change your point much (0.0002% is hardly much different from 0.0026% in the context of this question), but I'm just curious.
    – 3N1GM4
    Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 17:12
  • @3N1GM4 That would be correct. I will edit the answer.
    – paparazzo
    Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 17:15
  • Glad to know my math/logic wasn't failing me this time - as you know it usually does :) On that note, would you mind sharing how you got to 0.0025% for the odds of nuts quads on board? I did (13 * 4)/COMBIN(52,5) to represent the 13 * 4 boards which are quads with top kicker and COMBIN(52,5) as the total number of possible boards, but I get 0.002% with this method, not 0.0025% - what have I missed?
    – 3N1GM4
    Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 17:29
  • @3N1GM4 There are 50 not 52 cards left.
    – paparazzo
    Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 17:46
  • But those cards are not known in the context of this calculation, are they? We're just calculating the chances of quads with a nut kicker being dealt on the board, regardless of what Hero has been dealt prior? Happy to take this discussion to chat if you'd prefer, and avoid clogging up your answer's comments with tangential discussion.
    – 3N1GM4
    Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 17:47

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