Targeted poker quiz 25: Rules (intermediate)


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: intermediate)

  1. Many tournaments have adopted a rule making it illegal to truthfully say what cards you’re holding during the course of a hand, even heads-up. Mike Caro has written that this rule is…

    (a) necessary to preserve the integrity of tournament poker;

    (b) the same one he advocated in 1979;

    (c) not enforced consistently enough;

    (d) stupid.

  2. If someone is all-in and you’re competing with others for a side pot…

    (a) it’s considered poor etiquette to bet unless you have a reasonably strong hand;

    (b) in many casinos, it’s against the rules to bet unless you have a reasonably strong hand;

    (c) it’s legal and ethical to bet a weak hand, even if there’s no money in the side pot;

    (d) you have nothing to gain by bluffing with no money in the side pot, and that’s why many casinos will bar you if you try to do it.

  3. A common tournament rule is that if you throw or drop one or more cards off the table, you’ll…

    (a) be eliminated from the tournament and be paid off proportional to the number of chips you have in front of you at the time;

    (b) be eliminated from the tournament and be paid off proportional to half the amount of chips you have in front of you at the time;

    (c) get a 20-minute penalty, during which time you’ll have to leave the table while your hands are folded, but you’ll still have to post antes and blinds;

    (d) forfeit the pot, even if everyone else has already folded against your bet.

  4. In a typical no-limit poker game at a casino, if you declare that you’re “all-in”…

    (a) the statement means nothing until you touch your chips;

    (b) you’ve wagered all your chips, even if you don’t move any of them into the pot;

    (c) the statement becomes binding as soon as you move at least half your remaining chips into the pot;

    (d) whether the announcement is binding or not is at the discretion of the dealer, but can be appealed to the floor person in charge.

  5. It’s bad etiquette to show any cards while there are two or more other players competing for the pot…

    (a) true;

    (b) false.

  6. In most major casinos… After you receive your fourth card in seven-card stud (two down, two up), if a player with a pair of threes bets $10 in a $10/$20 limit game, what are your options?

    (a) You can only call the pair or fold;

    (b) You can fold, call $10 or raise $10, making it $20 to play;

    (c) You can fold, call $10, raise $10, making it $20 to play, or raise $20, making it $30 to play;

    (d) You can fold or raise against any open pair that bets, but you can’t just call.

  7. In a typical three-handed hold ’em game in a casino, who acts first before the flop?

    (a) The small blind;

    (b) The big blind;

    (c) The player “on the button” who isn’t in either of the blind positions;

    (d) Whoever bets quickest

  8. In a typical three-handed hold ’em game in a casino, who acts second before the flop?

    (a) The small blind;

    (b) The big blind;

    (c) The player “on the button” who isn’t in either of the blind positions;

    (d) Whoever won the previous hand

  9. In a typical heads-up hold ’em game in a casino, the player “on the button” acts first before the flop?

    (a) true;

    (b) false.

  10. Sometimes the rule is that if the same player wins two pots in a row, he leaves in a blind in excess of the normal size. This is called…

    (a) a kill;

    (b) a near-blind raise;

    (c) winner’s remorse;

    (d) Bradshaw’s rule.


Answers and explanations (with questions repeated for convenience)

Poker rules and etiquette (level: intermediate)

  1. Many tournaments have adopted a rule making it illegal to truthfully say what cards you’re holding during the course of a hand, even heads-up. Mike Caro has written that this rule is…

    (a) necessary to preserve the integrity of tournament poker;

    (b) the same one he advocated in 1979;

    (c) not enforced consistently enough;

    (d) stupid.

    Answer: (d). Mike Caro has written that the tournament rule forbidding players to truthfully say what they hold during the course of a hand, even heads-up, is stupid. The reason he believes this is because it’s perfectly permissible to make comments about your own hand in an attempt to deceive an opponent. But if everything you say must, by rule, be a lie, then you can determine the truth by process of elimination. In fact, to take the rule to the extreme, if you held aces, you could legally lie and say, “I’ll tell you one thing about my hand: I don’t have aces.” But that would mean you must have aces or you’d be in violation of the rule. Poker players should be allowed to randomize what they say – sometimes telling the truth, sometimes not.

  2. If someone is all-in and you’re competing with others for a side pot…

    (a) it’s considered poor etiquette to bet unless you have a reasonably strong hand;

    (b) in many casinos, it’s against the rules to bet unless you have a reasonably strong hand;

    (c) it’s legal and ethical to bet a weak hand, even if there’s no money in the side pot;

    (d) you have nothing to gain by bluffing with no money in the side pot, and that’s why many casinos will bar you if you try to do it.

    Answer: (c). If someone is all-in and you’re competing with others for a side pot, it’s legal and ethical to bet a weak hand, even if there’s no money in that side pot. In fact, doing so is often a strong strategy. It can chase one or more opponents out of the pot, leaving you alone to draw out on the all-in player without risking that someone else might stumble into an even better hand.

  3. A common tournament rule is that if you throw or drop one or more cards off the table, you’ll…

    (a) be eliminated from the tournament and be paid off proportional to the number of chips you have in front of you at the time;

    (b) be eliminated from the tournament and be paid off proportional to half the amount of chips you have in front of you at the time;

    (c) get a 20-minute penalty, during which time you’ll have to leave the table while your hands are folded, but you’ll still have to post antes and blinds;

    (d) forfeit the pot, even if everyone else has already folded against your bet.

    Answer: (c). A common tournament rule is that if you throw or drop one or more cards off the table, you’ll get a 20-minute penalty, during which time you’ll have to leave the table while your hands are folded, but you’ll still have to post antes and blinds.

  4. In a typical no-limit poker game at a casino, if you declare that you’re “all-in”…

    (a) the statement means nothing until you touch your chips;

    (b) you’ve wagered all your chips, even if you don’t move any of them into the pot;

    (c) the statement becomes binding as soon as you move at least half your remaining chips into the pot;

    (d) whether the announcement is binding or not is at the discretion of the dealer, but can be appealed to the floor person in charge.

    Answer: (b). In a typical no-limit poker game at a casino, if you declare that you’re “all-in,” those words are binding. You’ve effectively wagered all your chips, even without physically moving them.

  5. It’s bad etiquette to show any cards while there are two or more other players competing for the pot…

    (a) true;

    (b) false.

    Answer: (a). Yes, it’s true that it’s bad etiquette to show any cards while there are two or more other players competing for the pot. Doing so can influence the way those opponents play against each other.

  6. In most major casinos… After you receive your fourth card in seven-card stud (two down, two up), if a player with a pair of threes bets $10 in a $10/$20 limit game, what are your options?

    (a) You can only call the pair or fold;

    (b) You can fold, call $10 or raise $10, making it $20 to play;

    (c) You can fold, call $10, raise $10, making it $20 to play, or raise $20, making it $30 to play;

    (d) You can fold or raise against any open pair that bets, but you can’t just call.

    Answer: (c). In most major casinos, the limits are half as large for the first two rounds of betting as they are for the final three rounds of betting. There is an exception, though. If a player has an open pair, the betting optionally can be doubled on the second round of betting. However, if someone bets only $10 in a $10/$20 game, you can call the $10, raise $10 more (to a total of $20), or raise $20 (to a total of $30).

  7. In a typical three-handed hold ’em game in a casino, who acts first before the flop?

    (a) The small blind;

    (b) The big blind;

    (c) The player “on the button” who isn’t in either of the blind positions;

    (d) Whoever bets quickest.

    Answer: (c). In a typical three-handed hold ’em game in a casino, the player “on the button” acts first before the flop.

  8. In a typical three-handed hold ’em game in a casino, who acts second before the flop?

    (a) The small blind;

    (b) The big blind;

    (c) The player “on the button” who isn’t in either of the blind positions;

    (d) Whoever won the previous hand.

    Answer: (a). In a typical three-handed hold ’em game in a casino, the small blind acts second before the flop.

  9. In a typical heads-up hold ’em game in a casino, the player “on the button” acts first before the flop?

    (a) true;

    (b) false.

    Answer: (a). It’s true that in a typical heads-up hold ’em game in a casino the order of action changes from what many players expect. The button position assumes the small blind and acts first. This rules somewhat reduces the powerful positional advantage of the player on the button, who will act last on all subsequent betting rounds.

  10. Sometimes the rule is that if the same player wins two pots in a row, he leaves in a blind in excess of the normal size. This is called…

    (a) a kill;

    (b) a near-blind raise;

    (c) winner’s remorse;

    (d) Bradshaw’s rule.

    Answer: (a). When the rule is that if the same player wins two pots in a row, he must leave in a starting bet in excess of (usually double or one-and-a-half times) the big blind on the next deal, that forced blind bet is called a kill.


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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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    1. Thanks, Steven —

      I’ll fix it now. The answer is explained and quoted from the question correctly, but — as you pointed out — the multiple-choice letter wasn’t the one that corresponded with the question.

      Greatly appreciated.

      Straight Flushes,
      Mike Caro

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