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Contracts and Poker: Basic Principles

by Scott J. Burnham |  Published: Mar 14, 2018


The TDA Rules admonish players to know the rules, but is that a reasonable expectation? Ideally, the rules should be based on what we would reasonably expect the rules to be. If that were the case, then even if we didn’t know a rule, we could deduce it most of the time based on our sense of what is reasonable. When I teach contracts, I tell the students that contract law is easy because nine times out of 10, the rule is what is reasonable. It works a lot like the old Montana speed limit. People used to say that Montana did not have a speed limit. That was nonsense – of course it did. The speed limit was “reasonable and prudent under the circumstances.” Given that principle, you could pretty easily figure out how fast you could go in a particular situation. You didn’t need to remember or look ...

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