TOURNAMENT SETUP - DEALER RULES
KILLING HANDS OF ABSENT PLAYERS
A player must be at the table at the end of the showdown in order to have his hand live. Players must be at the table to call time. What this means is that a player must be in his seat when the last card is dealt to the button. If he is not AT the table, the dealer will kill his hand. If the dealer doesn't kill the hand, it will still be considered dead. If he is the blind, his bet will be posted and his hand dead.
Rabbit hunting is allowed at some laid back home games but not at formal ones.
Most home games have the person on the button dealing the cards. Sometimes you may want to have a designated dealer for a 2 reasons: 1. You don't have to worry about the dealer cheating. 2. The number of misdeals will be lower because many of the cards that flip over are due to the fact that a player has to deal a card to someone across the table. If you use a designated dealer then make sure the button moves because that is the only way to keep track. In a game where players deal themselves then most players remember who dealt last and therefore it is easier to remember whose turn it is.
What qualifies as a misdeal depends on the seriousness of the game. In most laid back home games, if a dealer accidentally skips a player then the dealer just gives him another card when he is done with all the other players. In formal games though people prefer to call a misdeal if any minor dealer protocol is violated. Some examples would be:
If a card is given to someone out of turn then it is a mis-deal.
In stud, if any of the players' two down cards are exposed due to dealer error, it is a misdeal.
If the flop is shown too early then the hand is dead.
If one of the players hole cards is exposed, it is a misdeal.
If any other holecard is exposed due to a dealer error, the deal continues. The exposed card may not be kept.
If the dealer fails to burn a card, the card will be shown to every player and then mucked, the next card will take its place.
If any players were dealt out of order, this includes if the dealer starts the dealing to the wrong player, then it is a misdeal.
Your hand is declared dead if:
You make a physical or verbal fold.
In stud, you turn your upcards facedown.
A hand mucked is dead. But, if someone folded their hand due to another person's mistake and there is no question about which cards belonged to the player then the hand may be ruled to be alive.
A hand mixed with another players hand is ruled to be mucked.
DEAD BUTTON - SMALL BLIND BUSTS OUT
If the big blind busts out then the blinds post their money as usual and the button is in the empty seat.
DEAD BUTTON - BIG BLIND BUSTS OUT
If the big blind busts out then the current big blind post their money as usual and there is a dead small blind.