Can a player join an active game after the pre-flop? if so what would be the conditions? (for example if he sits between the smallBlind and the bigBlind


2 Answers 2


No. A player can join a game before cards are being dealt. In that event he usually pays an out-of-turn big blind to avoid people joining the game at opportune moments or skipping the blinds.
House rules may apply.


Yes. I've seen it happen and no one spontaneously combusted!

Please note that house rules apply. In most casinos, tournaments, and formal games, joining a hand at any point after the cards have begun to be dealt is strictly prohibited. However, in my personal experience at many friendly home games, house rules permit a player that is perhaps late to the table or still rebuying chips to receive cards and buy into the hand. Of course, for ethical reasons, this should either be expressly covered by your house rules or mutually agreed upon by all in the hand when extending this courtesy.

In one home game, we have this scenario happen so often that we have house rules for exactly when it is allowed and which cards are dealt to the entering player: We allow it when there have yet to be any raises, allow the person to return to their position, or if they are new, seat them UTG and they act immediately upon receiving the next two cards from the top of the un-flopped deck.

In your example asking about if it were a new player and they were to sit between the small and big blinds, we usually prevent that placement via house rules about where a new player is allowed to join (as close to UTG (next big blind) as possible). If a player returns to the table having been gone while the blinds pass their position, if they had not been blinded in automatically, we charge them the blinds they missed in advance when they return. So a player added in the Under the Gun position would be able to fold for free, and be big blind on the next hand.

However, if there were no house rule about joining position, I assume the new player that sat between the small and big blind positions would play in order, be forced to at least call the big blind (sort of a two-in-a-row big blind penalty for entering in the worst manner) and of course the actual big blind would retain the benefit of the final "option" given no previous raises.

  • Almost all of these are common casino rules or required by legislation, not just house rules. A rebuy player still has chips and is still in the game, a missed blind gets paid on returning, and new players are required to post an equivalent to the big blind when they join unless posting the big blind itself.
    – Nij
    Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 5:08

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