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One for Grump

May 16, 2010

My friend Grump will occasionally post about various dealer errors or habits that either adversely affect the game or that are just plain disgustingIn either case, his observations are often insightful and, sometimes, humorous.

I make no such claims about this little nugget from last night’s session.

The player on my right was sitting on a very solid stack of about $400 in chips and $800 in bills when he decided to take a dinner break at around 10 p.m. Since he was planning on returning in about 30 minutes, he left his bankroll on the table before starting to make his way out of the poker room.

He’d taken about four steps away from the table when the dealer suddenly called him back and told him to take his cash with him before he left.

Now, I’m sure the dealer was just trying to be helpful, but this is a big mistake as far as I’m concerned. Set aside the fact that its highly unlikely that anyone would ever touch another player’s stack let alone try to steal cash from the table, especially under the watchful eyes of casino security. The problem I have here is that the dealer is essentially giving the player an opportunity to go south and take a significant amount of money out of the game.

For those of you unfamiliar with game etiquette, any money that a player has on the table needs to remain on the table at all times unless the player decides to rack up and leave the game. The reason for this is simple; By leaving all of your money in play, you’re giving your opponents a fair chance to win back whatever they may have lost.

In this case, if the player had picked up his $800 in cash, there’s no telling how much – if any – of that money he would put back on the table when he came back from dinner. When a few of us pointed this out to the dealer, he quickly apologized and the player went on his way while his money remained right where it should — on the table.

One Comment leave one →
  1. May 27, 2010 12:00 pm

    It’s permitted in every card room I’ve ever played in where cash plays. Also, high-denomination chips can be temporarily removed. I’ve never seen it to be a problem, because the other players will make sure the player puts the money back on the table when he returns, even if the dealer forgets or if there’s been a dealer change.

    You didn’t say where this took place, but I think you’re putting far too much faith in casino security, especially in poker rooms, which have minmal camera coverage and often no one watching at all, and where you have cocktail waitresses, chip runners, porters and other players squeezing between tables all the time. I personally would never leave loose $100 bills lying on the table when I go on break. If I have enough chips, I’ll stack them on top of the bills, but otherwise I take the bills with me and tell the dealer.

    Did the dealer ask for a count? If the player is allowed to remove the bills, the amount should be announced to the table (e.g., “He’s $800 behind”). If the dealer didn’t ask for a count, that’s a mistake.

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