Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Something new at the poker room

I'm not going to be able to play poker for a while, so I went to the Gold Strike (Tunica) tonight. The poker dealers there are good. They handle the table and seldom make a mistake.

One mistake I occasionally see is when they prematurely turn and burn. What that means is this: The flop is dealt, the players bet, the dealer burns a card and puts the turn card out there. Then a player says "Wait, I didn't get to bet." That one is simple. The turn card is set aside. The player(s) left get to complete their action. Then the dealer burns a card and a new turn card is dealt. The betting then goes as usual. Before dealing the river, the card that was mistakenly dealt on fourth street is put back in the deck. What's left of the deck is shuffled, and the river is dealt without burning a card. One time I saw the same card that was put back in the deck dealt on the river!

I play almost every weekend, and I've seen the above maybe once every six months -- it happens. But what I saw tonight, I've never seen before. Here's the scenario: We were playing Limit Omaha-8 $4/8 with a half kill. The game was wild and crazy. On this one particular hand, the betting (preflop) was capped at $20 with seven players seeing a flop! That means there was roughly $140 out there -- who says you can't win money in a limit game?

The flop was dealt: J 10 10. Somebody bet, another player raised, and five players saw the turn. The dealer dealt the A. A player checked, another bet, and it was called until it got to the button who raised. The guy who checked folded and everyone else called.

At this point the dealer said "Oh my god, just a minute folks. I've never done this before. Floor!" The floor came over and the dealer explained that she had burned twice before dealing the ace of hearts. What do you think the ruling is?

The floor had the players pull back their bets ($8 each), and had the dealer pull back the A. He took the second burn card (which was face down), and had her put it on the board as the turn card: 8. Players started mumbling, but the floor took charge and explained that he was correcting the dealer error and the cards were now exactly as they were supposed to be. This made sense, if you think about it. There was another round of betting. Now he had her take the A and use it as the burn card, and the river was dealt. The cards were back in order.

What happened? The players checked to the button who bet, one of them called him, and he turned over 10 10. He had flopped quads!

I've played at the five casinos in tunica that have poker rooms, but I'm particularly high on the Gold Strike.

Image by MOJO and taken with my P&S.


  1. Dealers do make mistakes, just like everyone does. It's to be expected. The one dealer mistake I hate to see is when they muck a player's cards by accident!

  2. Never seen a dealer error, where I play!


  3. hey dave, i'm not sure if you remember me, but we've actually talked on the phone before when i was bitching about a commissioner's ruling in fantasy baseball.

    i've been an online poker pro for 5 years now and i wonder if there isn't some sort of collaborative project we could work on, chronicling my path.

    sorry we missed you in san diego.

    lance shull

  4. @lance: of course I remember you. Didn't know you were in SD, sorry I missed you.