2023 APL TOURNAMENT RULES
The APL KOREA tournament follows the International Tournament Rules (TDA Rules).
1. APL Tournament Floor and TD
Reasonable decisions may replace TDA rules for the best interest of the game.
The decision of TD is final.
2. Player Obligations
Players participating in the tournament agree to provide personal information
to the organizer.
They also agree to cooperate for smooth and reasonable game progress,
such as seat assignments, hand protection, clear decision making
and chip management.
3. Official Gestures
Terms for betting should be simple and clear. Officially, tapping the table is
considered a check and players must clearly indicate their intentions
and assume responsibility for the outcome of their decisions. Players are responsible
for any risks resulting from the use of unofficial terms or gestures.
4. Use of Electronic Devices at the Table
Players are not allowed to use electronic devices, including cell phones,
during live hands. The use of electronic devices or cameras that
disrupt game progress may result in penalties.
5. Official Language
The official languages used in APL are Korean and local.
6. Floor/TD Calls
If the dealer calls for Floor/TD, the table situation must be preserved.
The dealer or players should not move cards or chips.
Seating, Breaking & Balancing Rule
1. Random Seat
Players participating in the tournament are randomly assigned seats.
If a player sits in the wrong seat with the correct chips, they must immediately
move to the correct seat.
If there has been a change in chips while in the wrong seat,
the player does not move seats.
2. Table Breaking
If a table breaks, players can participate from any seat at the new table,
including SB, BB, and the button. However, participation is not possible
between SB and the button.
3. Table Balancing
A: In Flop & Draw games (Hold'em, Omaha, Badugi, etc.),
balancing means the next hand's big blind player moves to the worst
(closest to the button) seat at another table. The worst seat cannot be the SB.
In Stud games, players simply sit in empty seats.
B: For other Mix games, balancing follows the TDA rules.
C: The selection of the table to which a player is moved is at the discretion of the TD.
D: Not all tables may progress to a full table.
Pot / Showdown
1. Cards Speak
In a showdown, the verbal declaration of a hand's value is not final
(for example, if someone declares a full house as a flush).
Intentionally declaring a hand's value incorrectly is subject to penalty,
and the dealer has an obligation to clearly read the value of the hands at showdown.
All players at the table can challenge the dealer's decision.
2. Card Openings & Covering Winning Hands
A: A correct card opening occurs when all cards are face up on the table
and both the dealer and players can see them. In Hold'em, this means two cards,
while in Omaha, it means four cards.
B: In a showdown, players must protect their cards. If a player who hasn't opened
their cards mucks them thinking they won, they assume the loss.
If a hand cannot be salvaged 100% and cannot be verified, the player has no claim
to the pot. The final decision on whether cards were correctly opened is
up to the TD's judgment.
C: The dealer cannot muck cards that have been correctly opened (clear winner).
3. Live Cards in a Showdown
Discarding or communicating cards to the dealer without opening them
does not mean the hand is dead. If a player's cards can be identified,
they can retrieve and open them. If the dealer mucks cards
and they mix with other cards,
the player's cards cannot be retrieved and cannot be identified.
4. Discard Showdown and Discard that Violate Rules
If a player shows only one card at showdown, the dealer requests that
the player opens all cards. If the player refuses, the floor is called.
If a player discards their hand thinking they won, and the cards are mixed
with the muck and cannot be identified, the player's hand is dead,
and the bet called is not refunded. If the cards are mixed with the muck and
the player's bet or raise has not been called, the uncalled amount is refunded.
5. Face Up When All-in
If there is no more betting after an all-in, all players immediately show their hands face up.
A player who went all-in or called an all-in cannot muck their cards without showing.
At this point, all shown hands are live.
6. Standard Showdown Order
In a standard situation, the last aggressive player in the final betting round
opens their hand first. If there was no betting in the final betting round,
the first player to act opens their hand first.
7. Requesting Opponent's Hand to be Shown
If a player pays chips to an opponent's action and shows their hand,
they can request to see the opponent's hand. Other situations are at the discretion of the TD.
A player who does not have a hand or mucked their hand cannot request
to see the opponent's hand.
8. Showdown for Chop Pot
To win a Chop Pot, players must correctly open all of their cards.
9. Chips Remaining in Chop Pot
Chips remaining in a Chop Pot go to the player closest to the button.
10. Bounty Chips Remaining in Chop Pot
Bounty Chips remaining in a Chop Pot go to the player with the most chips in their stack.
If the chip stacks are the same, they go to the player closest to the button.
Objections to Pot errors are accepted until the following criteria are met:
-When the Pot calculation is incorrect: Until the next substantial action.
-When the Pot winner is incorrect: Until the start of the next hand.
* If the hand has ended and it's break time, the objection must be raised within one minute.
1. New Hand
The new blind level is applied at the start of the next hand.
The next hand starts with the dealer card riffle. If the dealer mistakenly
starts with the previous blind level, the blind is applied based on the standard
of the SA (Substantial Action).
2. Chip Race
Starting from the first seat, players draw cards equal to the number of chips they have,
and the player with the highest card receives the extra chips.
(Each player can receive a maximum of one chip.)
If any chips are found to have been removed after the chip race,
they may not receive compensation. Players cannot be eliminated from the tournament
by the chip race. The remaining chips are rounded up.
3. Deck Change
A deck change is only allowed at the dealer's request when there is an issue
with the cards. Players cannot request a deck change.
4. Rabbit Hunting
Rabbit hunting is not allowed in the tournament.
5. Clock Request
A: If a player does not act within a sufficient amount of time (approximately 1 minute),
anyone at the table can request a time clock. The player in question
will be given an additional 30 seconds.
B: If a player's decision is made right before the end of the time count
(even the clock reaches to zero), the player's decision will be followed
(Player beats the Clock).
C: There are no incidents where the time count is stopped due to chip count requests, etc.
6. Dealer Button Draw
During the High Card procedure in Table 1, the seat number with the highest card
will become the dealer button.
7. Hand for Hand
If the bubble time is approaching, TD may conduct Hand for Hand at any time,
and the procedure is as follows:
1. During Hand for Hand, the clock will be paused and each hand will be deducted
2 minutes to proceed.
2. All tables must start the hand simultaneously, and play one hand at a time
until a player busts out.
3. If a player goes All in and there is a Call at the table, the dealer will not proceed
to the showdown and will wait until other tables have finished their hands.
8. Final Table
- 9 handed game: 9 or 10 handed Final table
- 8 handed game: 9 handed Final table
- 6 handed game: 7 handed Final table
9. Shot Clock
In events where the shot clock is applied, the dealer will count player’s bet
and raise (including All-ins) before activate the action clock.
The action clock will not be used during the Hand for Hand period.
If a player exhausts all of their Time Bank Chips, their hand will be declared dead
due to the action clock countdown.
Player Presents/Eligible for Hand
1. Live Hand
In order to have a live hand, a player must remain in their seat
until the last card dealt by the initial pitch touches the button
(e.g. in Hold'em, this would be the last card dealt in the second round of pitch).
Any cards belonging to a player who is not in their seat will be immediately killed.
Being in your seat means being in close proximity to your chair (within reaching distance).
2. Live Hand Players Must Stay Seated
Players with live hands (even if they haven't bet or gone all-in) must remain in their
seat at the table. Leaving your seat is considered an act that doesn't protect
your hand and may result in penalties.
1. Dead Button
In tournaments, a Dead Button is used.
2. Avoiding Blinds
Intentionally avoiding paying blinds is subject to penalties.
3. Button in Heads-up
In heads-up play, the small blind (SB) acts as the button.
When the button moves, it is positioned to ensure that
no player pays the big blind (BB) two hands in a row.
Ante forms the initial pot in a tournament. It is a single big blind amount
and is considered dead money.
1. Misdeal and Foul Deck
A: A misdeal occurs when
1) two or more cards are exposed during the deal,
2) the first card is dealt to the wrong position,
3) a card is dealt to a seat with no player, or
4) a card is not dealt to a seat with a player. In draw games like Badugi,
the decision is at the discretion of the TD.
B: A player can receive two cards consecutively from the button.
C: If a misdeal occurs and the hand is redealt, the same player,
same button position, and same limit are used.
D: If substantial action occurs, a misdeal cannot be declared and the hand continues.
E: The determination of a foul deck is at the discretion of the TD.
2. Substantial Action (SA)
A)With two actions, all combinations except Check-Check and Fold-Fold.
B)With three actions, all combinations of actions.
3. Shortage of Cards at the Button
If a player at the button has a shortage of cards, they must immediately declare it.
The player at the button will receive the missing card(s) even if SA has been applied.
However, if the button acted with fewer cards and made an action
(check, bet, or raise), the hand is immediately killed.
4. Burn Cards after SA
Burn cards are to protect the stub, not to determine the order of the stub.
If SA is applied and a player's hand receives an incorrect number of cards
and is killed, all killed cards become muck cards. The stub is considered valid,
and one burn card is applied to each street.
5. Four Cards on the Flop
If there are four cards on the flop instead of three, the TD will be called
regardless of whether the cards were exposed or not. The TD randomly selects
one of the four cards to become the next burn card, and the other three are used as the flop.
6. Premature Cards
Premature Flop: If the flop is opened after the burn card is used, the flop is
reshuffled with the stub.
Premature Turn: If the turn is opened before the burn card is used, the turn is
reshuffled with the stub.
Premature River: If the river is opened before the burn card is used, the river is
reshuffled with the stub.
Play: Bet & Raises
1. How to Bet: Verbal Declaration and Chips
Betting can be done through a verbal declaration or by tossing chips.
If a player does both, the first action determines the bet.
If they happen simultaneously, a clear verbal declaration takes precedence.
2. How to Call
The common ways to call are: A) verbally saying "call"; B) placing chips equal
to the call amount; C) placing a single high-value chip; D) placing multiple chips
that add up to the call amount.
3. How to Raise
In pot limit or no limit games, raising can be done in two ways: A)
placing the total amount in one motion; B) verbally declaring the raise amount.
The player has an obligation to clearly communicate the amount.
4. Raise Amount
A raise must be at least the same as the previous raise amount (The Difference).
If a player bets more than 150% of the previous amount
but less than the minimum raise amount, they must raise the minimum raise amount.
If the raise amount is less than or equal to 150% without a clear verbal declaration,
it counts as a call.
5. High-Value Chips
When facing a bet or in a blind situation, pushing a high-value chip onto the table
counts as a call, even if chips are already on the table. To raise,
a verbal declaration must be made before the high-value chip touches the table.
If a player does not declare the raise amount verbally, it is equal to the amount that
the high-value chip can cover. If a player places a high-value chip without facing a bet,
the bet amount is equal to the high-value chip.
6. Multiple Chips
A: If there is no declaration of all-in or raise when facing a bet, and
if all chips including those already placed are enough to call, this action is a call.
Ex1) Player A bets 400, and player B raises to 1100. Player C puts down one 500 chip
and one 1000 chip. In this case, C is considered to have called.
(Because if the 500 chip is removed, it would not be 1100.)
Ex2) A bets 1050, and B puts down two 1000 chips. B is considered to have called (same as in Ex1).
B: If not all chips are necessary to call, for example, even after removing
one chip of the smallest denomination, the amount is still higher than the call amount,
then the decision to raise is determined according to the 150% rule.
7. Retrieve the First Bet Chips
A: To avoid confusion, players with chips already on the table
must verbally declare the amount before adding additional chips.
B: If a player retrieves chips that were already on the table after facing a raise,
they must either call or raise. (In this case, they cannot fold.)
C: If new chips are added and the bet is uncertain, the call and raise rules are as follows.
1) If the chips already on the table are insufficient to call and are left as they are
or retrieved, one high-value chip is a call.
2) If some of the chips already on the table are retrieved, or if the call
amount is already satisfied, the decision to raise is based on the final amount
with the added high-value chips.
8. Re-Opening bet
If a player's all-in amount does not reach the full bet or raise amount,
they do not have the right to re-open for players who have already acted.
If there are multiple short all-ins, the minimum raise amount is always the final valid
raise or bet amount.
9. Permitted Actions
It is the responsibility of the player themselves to accurately determine
the opponent's amount, regardless of who is involved. If a caller requests a count
and receives an incorrect amount from the dealer, the caller must accept that
they must call the correct amount.
10. Acting in Turn
A: Players must act in turn by placing their verbal or chip action.
Actions made in right turn cannot be changed.
B: Players must wait for a clear bet amount before taking action.
For example, if A says "raise" and B quickly folds, B has violated the order.
11. Incorrect Bet Amount
A: In Limit and No Limit games, if the raise or open amount is smaller than the normal amount, the amount must be corrected anywhere in that street.
(Until showdown in the case of the river)
ex) In 100/200, after the flop, A opens with 600 and B raises with 1000 (200 less) .
If C and D call and E folds, and an error is discovered, the betting
must be corrected to the correct amount (1200) before the turn.
Errors found after the turn cannot be corrected.
B: If the pot amount is incorrectly counted in Pot Limit games,
1) If the count is lower than the actual pot, the amount can be corrected in that street.
2) If the count is higher than the actual pot, the amount can be corrected before the SA is announced.
12. Action Out of Turn
A: A penalty is applied to a player who takes OOT action, and the action bind is
determined according to the action of the player in turn.
If there is no change in action (the player in turn checks or folds),
the OOT player's action is binding. If there is a change in action
(the player in turn bets or raises), the OOT player has all options.
If the OOT player's action is a fold, it is binding.
B: Players have an obligation to defend their OOT action. If there is no action taken
by the missed player after a reasonable amount of time, the OOT action is binding,
and the action is either returned or limited to non-aggressive actions.
13. Pot Size and Pot Limit Bet
A: Players can only ask the dealer for a pot count in Pot Limit games.
The dealer cannot count the pot in No Limit and Limit games.
B: In Pot Limit games, Ante and short all-in amounts that are smaller than
a Big blind are not included in the pot count pre-flop. Post-flop bets follow
the actual pot count.
14. String bet and raise
The dealer calls TD when string bet or raise occur.
16. Incorrect Fold
If a player folds before facing a bet
(i.e. when facing a check or need to act first post-flop),
at any point before the last betting round ends, their fold is binding and
they receive a penalty.
17. Conditional Declarations
Players should not predict future actions or make conditional statements.
If a conditional declaration is made, it is binding and may result in a penalty.
Also, if Player A declares a bet or raise before stating the amount, and
Player B then says call, B has accepted responsibility to call any amount stated by A.
18. Counting Opponents' Chips
The dealer, players, and tournament director have the right to know
the number of chips in each player's stack. However, a player may only request
an accurate count of an opponent's chips during their turn. If there is an all-in player,
the dealer will count the all-in stack only if requested by a player
(excluding Shot Clock events). All players must keep their chips visible.
19. Chips Found after All-In
If Player A goes all-in and Player B calls, and then chips are found,
Player A does not count the found chips if they win the hand. If Player A loses,
the found chips are included in the pot and awarded to Player B.
1. lost and found chips during the tournament
if unclaimed chips or bounty chips are found during the tournament,
they will be removed from play.
2. quitting the game
players may quit the game at any time, and their remaining chips will be removed
from the tournament
3. end of the event
at the td's discretion, any event may be ended or postponed earlier than scheduled.
4. table start
the typical minimum number of players needed to start a table is 5. (*3 for 6-handed table)
5. mucked/fouled/exposed cards
players are responsible for protecting their own hands.
if a dealer accidentally kills a player's hand, and the hand cannot be recovered
and the player has no right to ask refund any bets made on that hand.
if the player was the first to bet or raise, any uncalled amount will be returned to them.
6. Final Table Blind Roll Back
When the event reaches the final table, the blind level will be adjusted so that the average chip stack is at least 40 BB. (Example: If the average chip stack is 20 BB, the blind level is rolled back 2~3 levels.) If the average stack of players is 100 BB or more, the blind level is adjusted to 100 BB or less.
etiquette & penalties
1. out of turn
if a player takes an action out of turn, the following penalties apply.
penalties are cumulative within one level.
1st offense: 1 hand muck
2nd offense: 2 hands muck
3rd offense: 3 hands muck
4th offense: 1 round (at the point of the offense,
based on the number of players at the table) muck
leaving a seat before his/her turn also subject to penalty
2. behavior affecting other players
players must protect the other players' play during the game.
during the game, players must not:
- discuss the hand in progress.
- offer advice or coaching.
- publicly read a hand
3. deliberate hand opening, an appropriate fold
deliberately opening a hand during the game is penalized. in this case,
the hand is played live. when players fold, they should not throw their cards high,
but rather give them to the dealer face down.
4. ethical play
intentional soft play is subject to penalties
(including disqualification from tournament play).
5. penalized and disqualified ships
penalties apply to actions such as throwing cards, breaking the rules,
soft play, cheating, violent behavior, and language.
if a player is disqualified from the game, their chips are removed from the tournament.
flip & go
1. initial deal & miss deal
starting with the player to the left of the dealer button, each player receives three cards.
as with hold'em, if the first card dealt to the blind is exposed,
or if a total of two cards are exposed during the deal, a miss deal is declared.
2. flip round
1) after all players have received their hole cards, they open their cards.
2) players check each other's hole cards.
3) after a set amount of time (30 seconds), players discard one of their hole cards face down.
4) all players reveal their hole cards after going all-in.
5) this process is repeated until there is one winner at the table.
3. go round
the winners of each flip round proceed to the go round.
the go round is conducted according to the typical tournament structure.