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Contracts and Poker: Cheating

by Scott J. Burnham |  Published: Jan 17, 2018


Instead of prying up the corners of the cards to look at his hand, a player lifts his cards to his chest, enabling his neighbor to see them with a slight effort. If the neighbor looks at the cards, is he cheating? Law students like to complain that a rule is “vague and ambiguous.” They have not yet learned to sympathize with the drafter faced with the problem of trying to cover all the bases. As for cheating, it appears only once in the TDA Rules. Rule 66.B. states: Penalties will be invoked for soft play, abuse, disruptive behavior, or cheating. Immediately the warning bell goes off that this language is vague – what does it mean by cheating? More specifically, are players on notice as to what they can and cannot do? To provide more guidance, we could start by listing various forms of cheating: “A player shall not ...

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