The dealer dealt all the cards to 10 players, 6 players are now in the hand, so he flopped 3 cards on the table and all 6 players checked. So as he was going to do the turn card he messed up the top 5 or 6 cards and he was not sure they went into the original order so he ruled the hand dead, Is this the right decision?

  • 3
    In a professional or tournament setting I can understand the concern, but in a home/friendly game, if no cards were revealed, it makes no difference if the order of the unseen cards changes.
    – GendoIkari
    Nov 12, 2018 at 22:45
  • @GendoIkari it never makes a difference the order of unseen cards, tournament (where this wouldn't happen really anyways) or friendly games. The whole point is that the deck is random, until the cards are seen, each card remaining unseen is equally likely to be at every position in the deck.
    – Andrew
    Nov 13, 2018 at 19:46
  • 2
    @Andrew Of course, but in a tournament or professional game; things like a dealer mixing around the top cards of the deck would lead to suspicion that the deck isn't truly randomized. This is why a card is burned before dealing each stage; it doesn't change the randomization, but makes cheating harder.
    – GendoIkari
    Nov 13, 2018 at 19:55
  • In other words "the concern" that I was talking about wasn't that you might no longer be getting the card you were supposed to get next; but that there might be the appearance of cheating.
    – GendoIkari
    Nov 13, 2018 at 19:56
  • 1
    @GendoIkari True, but if such a thing does happen the solution is to reshuffle the remainder of the deck and go from there, re-randomizing those top few cards back into the rest.
    – Andrew
    Nov 13, 2018 at 20:36

2 Answers 2


No, the hand is not dead.

Looking at Robert's Rules of poker here the following is included in rules for misdeals.

In button games, action is considered to occur when two players after the blinds have acted on their hands. Once action occurs, a misdeal can no longer be declared

As action has occurred (players calling pre flop) then this rules that the hand can not be declared dead.

I'm confused as to how the top few cards would get mixed up but as long as they haven't got mixed with the muck (previously folded cards, or discard pile to boardgamers!) then the cards coming off the deck will still be random and continuing is possible.


It is correct to rule the hand dead, but if all the players at the table agree, it can continue. It must be unanimous, and the already folded players are taken into account. Individual tournaments or pre-agreed house rules may override this.

  • 4
    Can you cite a source stating it is correct to rule the hand dead?
    – corsiKa
    Nov 13, 2018 at 16:53
  • Completely wrong answer, and would be resolved by reshuffling the stub, then continuing the hand, leaving muck and board and burn cards as laid.
    – Nij
    Nov 13, 2018 at 18:56

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .