Tournament Rules

Note: Rules 3, 6 and 7 are relevant only to Hold'em and Omaha tournaments.


All tournaments will begin promptly at the scheduled time stated in the Tourney Lobby.


Seats are assigned at random. Seat changes are not permitted.


The button will be positioned at Seat 1 to start play.


The tournament ends when one player accumulates all the chips in play. If the tournament is a satellite event, the tournament will end when all players have qualified for the target event (ie, if the tournament awards 5 seats, the tournament will end when there are 5 players left).


If two or more players are eliminated on the same hand, the player with more chips at the beginning of the hand is placed higher. If players started the hands with an identical amount of chips, both players tie for that rank, and any prizes due to those players will be equally distributed between them.


We use a "forward moving button" rule in tournaments. According to this rule, no player ever receives the button twice; at the completion of every hand, the button is moved clockwise to the small blind. The implication of this rule is that when players are eliminated, there may be players who get a reprieve from one or both blinds. The forward moving button is common practice in online poker due to the technicalities involved in adjusting the blinds after players are eliminated. Since these are basically random occurrences, no player will receive any long-term advantage, and the rule is necessarily fair for all players.


When two players remain in the tournament, the button will post the small blind, and act first on the opening round.



  • By participating in a tournament, a player accepts the risk of Internet disconnection, due to the problems with the connection between their computer and the servers, lag or freeze or some other problem in the player's computer. We do not accept any responsibility for a player disconnect except in the case of a server crash.
  • While each user is responsible for his or her own Internet connection, we make an effort to protect players who are disconnected during the final stages of a tournament (with a buy-in), by allowing extra time to reconnect. More on Disconnect Extra Time (DET) .
  • If a player times out during a hand, whether connected or disconnected, his or her hand will be folded.
  • If a player is not connected before a hand starts, he or she will be dealt cards, and a blind and/or antes will be posted. There is no rule against choosing to sit out; a player doing so will continue to have blinds and antes posted and cards dealt.

Soft playing or chip dumping is grounds for disqualification from the tournament. Any unethical play may result in the termination of the offender's account.


A bet and three raises are permitted in structured limit tournaments. There is no raise cap in pot-limit and no-limit tournaments.


Time Bank:

  • Each player will be allocated a time bank which allows the player extra time to make a decision. The time bank depletes as it is used throughout the tournament. If a player elects to use his or her time bank, other players at the table will be notified.
  • If a player fails to act in time, the time bank will be activated automatically if the following conditions are met:
    • The player is connected to the system when his or her time expires
    • The player has play money invested in the pot

As players are eliminated from the tournament, the software may balance tables to ensure all tables have an equal number (or as close as possible) of active players. The balancing of tables is done randomly and, although rare, may result in a player having to post several big blinds in a row. When nine players remain in a Hold'em or Omaha tournament or eight players remain in a Seven Card Stud tournament, all players are brought together at the "final table".


Prizes will be awarded as stated on the Tourney Lobby.


Players and "railbirds" are expected to use the chat feature in a courteous manner.


Players, whether in the hand or not, may not discuss the hands until the action is complete. Players are obligated to protect the other players in the tournament at all times. Discussing cards discarded or hand possibilities is not allowed. A penalty may be given for discussion of hands during the play.



  • We do not enforce deals in Free Play tournaments. Deals may be requested in some promotional tournaments which award Real Money prizes.
  • If all remaining players in a tournament agree to split the prize play money according to an agreed formula of their choosing, we will accept this agreement and transfer the funds after notification by all parties to the agreement.
  • It is the players' responsibility to determine total agreement. Chat records alone will not necessarily validate an agreement.
  • Only players at the final table may deal for the play money, and no deal is allowed that does not include all remaining players.
  • Dealing for Tournament Leader Board points is not allowed. Doing so may result in the revocation of all awarded Tournament Leader Board points for the deal making players in the tournament.
  • We will not participate in the deal making process, but will execute the agreement if the previous conditions are met.
  • If you wish to make a deal, please email Support with the subject line: "Tournament # (insert tournament number) chop: URGENT" and support will come to the table to ensure a smoothly arranged deal.

Late Registration: Late registration may be available in selected tournaments. If it is available, it will be until the first tournament break. However, registration will terminate if all tables allocated at the time of seating are full, or once the first player is eliminated.


Unregistration. In most tournaments a player can unregister up to 10 minutes before the start of a tournament.


At stages of the tournament where the prize play money jumps significantly with the next player eliminated, and when there is more than one table remaining, the tournament may be played "hand-for-hand". This means that if one table finishes its hand before the other table(s), that table waits for the other table(s) to finish before the next hand is dealt.


In case of disputes, management’s decision will be final.