Targeted poker quiz 12: Rules (beginner)


Note: Not at the old Poker1 site. This 39-part series of quizzes, originally published (2004-2006) in Poker Player, is based on the Mike Caro University of Poker library of research and advice. In each entry, Mike Caro presents 10 questions covering a category of poker, targeted for beginner, intermediate, or advanced players. Answers with explanations appear below each quiz, with the questions repeated for easy reference.


The MCU Targeted Poker Quiz series

(See the index to this series)

Poker rules and etiquette (level: beginner)

  1. If there’s a showdown after the betting is completed and you see that your hand is beat…

    (a) You should always throw your hand away immediately without exposing it;

    (b) You must show your hand to anyone who was dealt in and asks to see it;

    (c) You have a right to spread your hand face up and make your opponent verbally announce that his hand beats yours;

    (d) You should expose your losing hand only to players who are sitting next to you, but not to the whole table.

  2. How much do you need to win before you’re allowed to remove some of the money from the table?

    (a) There is no set amount of win, but traditionally you must have at least three minimum buy-ins on the table before you can take any chips or money out of play;

    (b) You can always take money that you’ve won off the table, but you must always leave your original buy-in;

    (c) It varies from casino to casino and home game to home game, but in general, you can only remove chips in excess of what the next highest player has on the table;

    (d) Most house rules state that you can’t remove any chips from the table, except to buy food or beverages – or to tip the dealer or servers.

  3. It’s considered unethical to slow down your play in the late stages of a tournament in order to have a better chance of advancing into the money when players at other tables are eliminated…

    (a) True;

    (b) False.

  4. Leaning over to get a better look at an opponent’s secret cards is considered…

    (a) Unethical or even cheating;

    (b) OK, as long as you don’t lose your balance;

    (c) OK, if you only do it once or twice an hour, but not if you do it constantly;

    (d) Fair in tournaments, because opponents are supposed to hide their hands from every conceivable angle

  5. If what you say about the hand you spread in a showdown doesn’t matter and only the exposed cards on the table determine who wins, the rule is called…

    (a) Cards speak;

    (b) Show-and-shut-up;

    (c) Poker vision;

    (d) Words are wild.

  6. Criticizing the play of opponents at the table is…

    (a) Impolite and usually unprofitable;

    (b) A powerful weapon that most pros find necessary;

    (c) Expected of players who compete against each other often;

    (d) Worth about seven small bets an hour, on average, as a psychological tactic

  7. If you ever end up with two cards of the same rank and suit in your hand…

    (a) It’s a sure sign that you’re being cheated;

    (b) You should immediately announce the problem to the table, show your hand, and expect a new deck and a re-deal;

    (c) Keep quiet and try to bluff. If your get called, you can show the hand and then it will be a misdeal. If you don’t get called, you’ll get the pot, so it’s a free chance at winning;

    (d) You should immediately quit the game.

  8. It’s OK to throw your chips directly into the pot if there’s a professional dealer seated, because the dealer has an obligation to see that the amount you wagered is right and can count the pot, if necessary…

    (a) True;

    (b) False.

  9. Some casinos have a rule that states “verbal declarations are not binding.” This means…

    (a) The game is set up as one where psychological warfare is enjoyed, and you and your opponents should try to say things at the showdown that will get the winner to foul his or her hand;

    (b) You must use hand signals to indicate fold, check, call, and raise;

    (c) You aren’t allowed to speak at the table, except during the shuffle.

    (d) Anything a player says is ignored as a choice of action. Only the actions themselves matter.

  10. Tipping professional dealers when you win a meaningful pot is…

    (a) not done by most professional players;

    (b) theoretically optional, but expected;

    (c) something you do only if you’re winning;

    (d) not allowed in most public cardrooms.


Answers and explanations (with questions repeated for convenience)

Poker rules and etiquette (level: beginner)

  1. If there’s a showdown after the betting is completed and you see that your hand is beat…

    (a) You should always throw your hand away immediately without exposing it;

    (b) You must show your hand to anyone who was dealt in and asks to see it;

    (c) You have a right to spread your hand face up and make your opponent verbally announce that his hand beats yours;

    (d) You should expose your losing hand only to players who are sitting next to you, but not to the whole table.

    Answer: (b). If there’s a showdown, you must show your losing hand to anyone who was dealt in, if they request to see it.

  2. How much do you need to win before you’re allowed to remove some of the money from the table?

    (a) There is no set amount of win, but traditionally you must have at least three minimum buy-ins on the table before you can take any chips or money out of play;

    (b) You can always take money that you’ve won off the table, but you must always leave your original buy-in;

    (c) It varies from casino to casino and home game to home game, but in general, you can only remove chips in excess of what the next highest player has on the table;

    (d) Most house rules state that you can’t remove any chips from the table, except to buy food or beverages – or to tip the dealer or servers.

    Answer: (d). According to most house rules, you can’t remove chips from the table during play, except to buy food or beverages – or to tip the dealer or servers.

  3. It’s considered unethical to slow down your play in the late stages of a tournament in order to have a better chance of advancing into the money when players at other tables are eliminated…

    (a) True;

    (b) False.

    Answer: (a). Yes, it is considered unethical to slow down your play late in a tournament to increase your chances of making the money while players at other tables are eliminated.

  4. Leaning over to get a better look at an opponent’s secret cards is considered…

    (a) Unethical or even cheating;

    (b) OK, as long as you don’t lose your balance;

    (c) OK, if you only do it once or twice an hour, but not if you do it constantly;

    (d) Fair in tournaments, because opponents are supposed to hide their hands from every conceivable angle.

    Answer: (a). Leaning over to get a better look at another player’s cards is unethical and often considered cheating, even if that player could have done a better job of concealing the hand.

  5. If what you say about the hand you spread in a showdown doesn’t matter and only the exposed cards on the table determine who wins, the rule is called…

    (a) Cards speak;

    (b) Show-and-shut-up;

    (c) Poker vision;

    (d) Words are wild.

    Answer: (a). If verbal declarations about your hand at the showdown don’t matter and only the cards spread determine the winner, the rule is called “cards speak.”

  6. Criticizing the play of opponents at the table is…

    (a) Impolite and usually unprofitable;

    (b) A powerful weapon that most pros find necessary;

    (c) Expected of players who compete against each other often;

    (d) Worth about seven small bets an hour, on average, as a psychological tactic.

    Answer: (a). Criticizing the play of opponents at your poker table is impolite and usually unprofitable in the long run.

  7. If you ever end up with two cards of the same rank and suit in your hand…

    (a) It’s a sure sign that you’re being cheated;

    (b) You should immediately announce the problem to the table, show your hand, and expect a new deck and a re-deal;

    (c) Keep quiet and try to bluff. If your get called, you can show the hand and then it will be a misdeal. If you don’t get called, you’ll get the pot, so it’s a free chance at winning;

    (d) You should immediately quit the game.

    Answer: (b). If you ever have two cards of the same rank and suit in your hand, you should immediately tell the table about the problem and show your hand. All money will be returned. Usually, a new deck will be brought into the game for the next deal. Sometimes, the deck will simply be made right, but in any case, a new deal will result, and the last one won’t count.

  8. It’s OK to throw your chips directly into the pot if there’s a professional dealer seated, because the dealer has an obligation to see that the amount you wagered is right and can count the pot, if necessary…

    (a) True;

    (b) False.

    Answer: (b). It’s never OK to throw chips into the pot in a way that makes the amount of your bet confusing. Don’t make the dealer count the pot unnecessarily.

  9. Some casinos have a rule that states “verbal declarations are not binding.” This means…

    (a) The game is set up as one where psychological warfare is enjoyed, and you and your opponents should try to say things at the showdown that will get the winner to foul his or her hand;

    (b) You must use hand signals to indicate fold, check, call, and raise;

    (c) You aren’t allowed to speak at the table, except during the shuffle.

    (d) Anything a player says is ignored as a choice of action. Only the actions themselves matter.

    Answer: (d). If the rule is that “verbal declarations aren’t binding,” this means that anything said is ignored and only physical actions constitute checking, betting, raising, folding, or providing the strength of a hand. You should never abuse this rule in order to take advantage of trusting opponents, though.

  10. Tipping professional dealers when you win a meaningful pot is…

    (a) not done by most professional players;

    (b) theoretically optional, but expected;

    (c) something you do only if you’re winning;

    (d) not allowed in most public cardrooms.

    Answer: (b). Tipping dealers when you win a meaningful pot is theoretically optional, but expected – and almost all respected professional players do it. For most dealers, who are paid minimally, tips are their primary source of income.


Next MCU Targeted Poker Quiz in this series

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Known as the “Mad Genius of Poker,” Mike Caro is generally regarded as today's foremost authority on poker strategy, psychology, and statistics. He is the founder of Mike Caro University of Poker, Gaming, and Life Strategy (MCU). See full bio → HERE.

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