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Recently played a cash game with friends and had a situation arise. I was head to head with a friend, culminating in me going all in after the river. My friend asked for a chip count, then counted his matching bet, then said “I’m not folding” and tossed his cards down face up. Based on my reaction (I had a winning hand) he quickly said that he folds. All night, most players were not pushing their chips in the middle on all in bets, including my opponent. What are your thoughts on this situation? Rules, etiquette, etc.

  • That is not a call in my opinion. – paparazzo Jan 21 '18 at 8:12
  • I agree with paparazzi. I don't think it is a call, it is pretty bad etiquette though. – Raymond Timmermans Jan 21 '18 at 9:35
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    That's clearly an intentional angle shot. If I were on the floor, I'd rule it a call, and eject the player. – Lee Daniel Crocker Jan 22 '18 at 18:10
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That is a call. I think I would rule it that way and most would. Here's why, when your all in the opposing player has two choices, fold or call. Saying "I am not folding" then turning cards up is indicating nothing but a call. There is nothing ambiguous about that. When there are only two choices indicating that your not taking one is an indication your have chosen the other.

Even if he had said something a little more ambiguous that indicated a call turning up his hand when he did so, he is going to end up with a ruling that says he calls very often. The thing about angle shooting in poker is that if you do it badly enough where it can reasonably be considered an action by an opponent than it comes down to a ruling in poker, it is going to go against the angling player, as it should.

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Not pushing chips on all bets does not really matter. On an all in you only need to throw out one chip. It is easy to make your intention clear. It is easy for you to force them to make their intention clear. If you don't want to ask them then ask the dealer.

A verbal is binding but it must be clear and heard by the parties involved in the hand (including dealer). "Call" is the word.

“I’m not folding” is angle shooting but I would not call it a call. You hear stuff like "I don't think I can fold here" or "I want to fold" a lot.

Be careful and not say something like "Not sure I can call here". Don't use the word. Not saying the table would force a call there but don't chance it (unless you are angling).

When someone does not make their intention clear then you need to think angel shooting.

You can angel shoot back "Then I guess you got me" and wait for them to formally call.

In some rooms showing your cards before you declare is a penalty but not forfeit the hand.

  • "i'm not folding" when there is only one other option (Call) is completely different than "I don't think I can fold here." The first clearly states a decision, the second is merely a contemplation of a decision. – Dustin Mar 1 '18 at 22:18
  • So it is completely different. Does not make it a call. Know the safe word. – paparazzo Mar 1 '18 at 22:24
  • well...like Jon's answer, it is the House/Floor's discretion and can be ruled a call even if the exact word "call" was never used. – Dustin Mar 1 '18 at 22:28
  • @Dustin Fine, no purpose to debate it with you. – paparazzo Mar 1 '18 at 22:59
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It was ambiguous language and obvious angle shooting. When ambiguous language occurs, call the floor for interpretation, or, simply ask the opponent, "Is that a call?"

Since it was obvious angle shooting, I would have called the floor and advised. The opponent should have been given a warning. But in a home game, everything is open to interpretation, but I agree with previous poster that it is very bad etiquette for a home game.

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House Game = House Rules. It all depends on the rules of where you play.

It's a clear angle-shot which by definition is very poor etiquette! And if it were my house, that's a call. Your opponent deliberately conveyed a "call" in order to elicit you to expose your hand. You said it's common practice at this house game that chips don't actually move on actions. You should express to the House owner the issue and that a rule needs to be implemented for the integrity of the game. Rules are, in nature, there to prevent angle-shots.

But more important than effectively taking a poll on how others would rule this...take this as most likely, a very cheap lesson.

NEVER expose your cards until your opponent puts his chips in the middle or the dealer has verified it's a call. On the other side, when facing a "fold", NEVER release your hand until the pot is pushed to you. And I do mean NEVER.

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