The WSOP rules that (almost) no one knows

The WSOP rules that (almost) no one knows

The World Series of Poker in Las Vegas is just around the corner. Over the next few days, we’ll be focusing on the world’s acclaimed tournament series, and today we’ll do it with eight WSOP rules that you probably did not even know existed! Most poker rules are familiar to poker players, but early in the year, our colleagues at PokerNews wrote about rules at the WSOP that we (at least not all of us) were aware existed. Did you know the following rules?

1. Any WSOP event can be postponed due to … bad weather.
Bad weather and Las Vegas do not really go hand in hand. However, the organization has introduced the rules that bad weather is a reason to pause, postpone or completely cancel a tournament. A good example of this is perhaps the earthquake that took place during the Main Event in 2019. The organization then decided to send all players early with a dinner break to restore calm. Incidentally, this is not the only reason to pause or cancel a tournament. Also consider issues that the organization has little influence on, such as a computer virus, technical issues, or large-scale fraud. These are all neat in the rules.

2. There are as many as five penalties that can be imposed on players.
The most famous penalty that any poker player knows is a mandatory round with his out. This rather innocent punishment is imposed, for example, in the case that one does not immediately go to his new table after breaking a table.

However, the WSOP has five penalties that can be imposed if a player compromises the integrity of a tournament or organization:

– Lose your chips
– To lose the right to prize money
Deletion of the entire event or tournament
Loss of privilege to participate in future WSOP tournaments
Ban from the site and / or the casino

3. Speaking excessively is a criminal act.
And no, it does not have to be hernia or gang. We all know a player who just does not stop talking. The WSOP has a built-in rule that allows them to penalize players who use their votes excessively. So if you’re sitting next to a mushy gossip in Vegas, point this line at him, and maybe he’s calming down a bit.

4. Cryptocurrencies or marijuana companies shall not be displayed at the television tables.
Everyone knows it, players at TV tables covered in commercials for all kinds of businesses. Although poker and gambling sites dominate, sponsorship deals are increasingly being entered into with other, more shady companies. To prevent players from carrying offensive advertisements in the eyes of the WSOP, they have introduced a rule to prevent it. This includes, as expressly stated in the rules, any clothing with graphics, text or logos associated with cryptocurrencies or marijuana products.

5. The No Limit Hold’em betting pool does not mean what you think.

Players who play Pot Limit Omaha often say nothing else when it’s their turn: “pot”. In the PLO, this is binding and the player must make a bet equal to the pot. Still, you sometimes hear players say that in No Limit Hold’em.

What many players do not know is that this is not a valid bet there. This is equivalent to a bet or raise, without the player being required to bet the entire pot. In fact, the dealer is not even allowed to count the pot for you in No Limit Hold’em. At the WSOP, it is clearly stated in the rules that if you say ‘pot’, you are only required to make the minimum bet or raise.

To arrange your chips in e.g. stacking with thieves is not mandatory.
Most players already do this automatically. Chips in stacks with ten or twenty moves, so your stack is easy to count. You also make life a lot easier for the possible live reporter if you make stacks of ten or twenty. Especially at the WSOP, there are many live reporters and a film crew.

One would think that the tournament management would also make it mandatory to keep the same piles for everyone. Nothing is less true. As a rule, it is not obligatory to work in stacks of thieves, only ‘strongly recommended to stick by default’.

7. Your hand is dead if you make an action with a joker.
The chances of this happening are extremely small, as there are virtually no poker tournaments where the joker is used. However, there is also a rule for this. If you get a joker in your hand and take an action, your hand will be void. Reporting immediately is therefore the best advice.

8. You can talk freely about your hand and tell each other what you have.

A completely separate rule from the WSOP, but it really does exist. However, there is a rather crucial condition attached to it. You must be among the last two players in a heads-up tournament. If you manage to do that, you can say whatever you want about your hand as a reward! In any other situation, it is not allowed to say your hand.

Lent by Will Shillibier from

Bonus rule

A few years ago we also wrote about a rule that even many retailers do not even know about. The point of this rule is that if you call someone on the river, you can force them to show their cards. This link leads you to the correct article.

For more information on the 2022 World Series of Poker, please visit our WSOP file

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