Poker

Cash Games

Portomaso Casino is the only poker room in Malta where poker players can find cash games every day.

The poker cash games are open daily from 18:00 onwards.

Rake percentage =  MAX 4%*

The casino takes €1 every full €25 in the pot.

Rake is capped to a maximum of :

Table limit €1 - €2 = Cap €20
Table limit €2 - €5 = Cap €20
Table limit €5 - €10 = Cap €25

*During international events, rake percentages and cap levels may change without prior notice.

Events

In October 2008, the Casino hosted it's first international poker tournament and since then has established itself as one of the top European venues for poker events. To date, leading poker rooms such as Pokerstars, Unibet, Betsson and  Betpro have all chosen The Casino to host their live events.

The facilities on offer are second to none, including 4 seperate poker areas, which can accomodate 103 tables (enough seats for over thousand players at once). Our 4000 square meters of facilities, include extensive dining areas, ample space for bloggers and journalists, corporate players' lounges, not to mention five star accomodation at the group owned Hilton Malta and all the entertainment facilies on offer at the Portomaso complex.

For enquires regarding hosting of events, contact us on events@portomasocasino.com

View The Latest Tournament

Poker Parties

Have you ever thought of organizing a poker party for family and friends? Perhaps to celebrate a special occasion such as a birthday, bachelors party, christmas staff party or just a get together ? The Casino offers special packages that cater for all your needs. Among others we offer, a private poker area, catering - finger food, set menus or buffet and extensive bar services.

For further details, please feel free to contact our poker team on events@portomasocasino.com

House Rules

Portomaso Poker Tournament and Cash Game Rules:

Floor People are to consider the best interest of the game and fairness as the top priorities in the decision making process. Unusual circumstances can on occasion dictate that decisions in the interest of fairness take priority over the technical rules. The floorperson’s decision is FINAL.

If an incorrect rule interpretation or decision by an employee is made in good faith, the establishment has no liability.

The punctuality bonus during our tournaments will be given only to the players that register or are present at the tables before the first hand of the tournament is dealt.

The English only rule will be enforced during the play of hands.

Official terms are simple, unmistakable, time-honored declarations like: bet, raise, call, and fold, check, all-in and pot (in pot limit games only). The use of non-standard language is at player’s risk because it may result in a ruling other than what the player intended. It is the responsibility of the players to make their intentions clear.

Players may not talk on the phone or on skype using other devices while at the poker table.

All tournament and satellite seats will be randomly assigned.

When a button game starts, there will be a draw for the button starting position. The button will be awarded to the highest card by suit. This will also be done at the start of the final table.

A participant who will enter during the first round of play will received a full stack so long as the blinds have not passed their starting position. Participants who enter after the first round of blinds will have chips deducted from their stack. One small blind and one big blind will be taken for every level passed including the level you entered on if the blinds have already passed your seating position.

A player who started the tournament in the wrong seat will be moved to the correct seat and will take his current total chip stack with him.
Accommodations for players with special needs will be made when possible.

Players going from a broken table to fill in seats assume the rights and responsibilities of the position. They can get the big blind, the small blind, or the button. The only place they cannot get a hand is between the small blind and the button.

In flop and mixed games when balancing tables, the player who will be big blind next will be moved to the worst position, including taking a single big blind when available, even if that means the seat will have the big blind twice. Worst position is never the small blind.

The number of players at each table will be kept reasonably balanced by the transfer of a player as needed. When there are more than 3 tables balancing will occur when the table is 3 players short.

In flop games, the final table will consist of 10 players unless the tournament structure states otherwise. In six-handed games, the final table will consist of 7 players.

Cards speak. Verbal declarations as to the content of a players hand are not binding. However, any player deliberately miscalling his hand may be penalized.

All cards will be turned face up with no delay once a player is all-in and all betting action by all other players in the hand is complete.

In a non-all-in showdown, at the end of the last round of betting, the player who made the last aggressive action in that betting round must show first. If there was no bet in the last round, the player to the left of the button shows first and so on clockwise.

A player must show all hole cards when playing the board in order to get part of the pot.

Muck, muck will be accepted. Asking to see a hand is a privilege granted at the TD’s discretion to protect the integrity of the game (suspicion of invalid hand, collusion, etc.) This privilege is not to be abused. A player who mucks his cards face down at showdown without fully tabling it loses any rights he may have to ask to see any hand. Open muck is not allowed.

Your hand will be declared dead if:

a) You fold or announce that you are folding
b) You throw your hand away in a forward motion causing another player to act behind you.
c) The hand does not contain the proper number of cards for that particular game.
d) You act on a hand with a joker as a holecard. (A player who acts on a hand without looking at his cards assumes the liability of finding an improper card)
e) You have the clock on you and exceed the specified time limit.
Cards thrown into the muck may be ruled dead. However, a hand that is clearly identifiable may be retrieved at management’s discretion if doing so is in the best interest of the game. We will make an extra effort to rule a hand retrievable if it was folded as a result of false information given to the player.

Cards thrown into another players hand are dead, whether face up or face down.

If a card with a different colored back or a double card with the same rank and suit (e.g: 2 K’s of spades) appear during a hand, all action is void and all chips in the pot are returned to the players.

Dealers cannot kill a winning hand. Players are encouraged to assist in reading tabled hands if it appears that an error is about to be made. However, if the cards or one of the cards touched or are in the muck pile they are ruled dead.

In Flop games when there are two or more high hands the odd chip will go to the left of the button.

Each side pot will be split separately.

If a pot has been incorrectly awarded and mixed with another players chips that were not in the pot and the hand can be reconstructed, the floorperson will determine how much was in the pot by reconstructing the betting, and then transfer that amount to the correct player. However, if a new hand has begun and then the mistake is noticed there won’t be a reconstruction of the pot.

To keep the action moving, it is possible that a game may be asked to continue even though a decision is delayed for a short period. The delay could be needed to check the cameras, call the poker manager for a ruling or some other good reason. In such circumstances, a pot or portion thereof may be impounded by the house while the decision is pending.

The right to dispute a hand ends when a new hand begins.

When time has elapsed in a round and a new level is announced by a member of the tournament staff, the new level applies to the next hand. A hand begins with the first riffle.

Chip Race: When it is time to color-up chips, they will be raced off with a maximum of one chip going to any player. The chip race will always start in the No.1 seat. A player cannot be raced out of a tournament: A player who looses his remaining chip(s) in a chip race will be given one chip of the smallest denomination still in play. Players are encouraged to witness the chip race.

Players are entitled to a reasonable estimation of an opponents chip count: thus chips should be kept in countable stacks. Stacks should be kept clean and in multiples of 20 pieces. Players must keep their higher denomination chips visible and identifiable at all times. Tournament directors will control the number and denomination of chips in play and may color up at their discretion.

Players may not ask for deck changes.

Re-buys: a player may not miss a hand. If a player announces the intent to re-buy before a new hand, he is playing chips behind and is obliged to make the re-buy.

Once a reasonable amount of time has passed and a clock is called for, a player will be given a maximum of one minute to make a decision. If action has not been taken before time expires, there will be a ten second countdown followed by a declaration to the effect that the hand is dead. If the player has not acted before the declaration, the hand is dead.

No rabbit hunting is allowed. Rabbit hunting is revealing any cards “that would have come” if the hand had not ended.

Looking through mucked cards isn’t and won’t be allowed.

A player must be at his seat by the time all players have been dealt complete initial hands in order to have a live hand. A player must be at his seat to call time.

A player must remain at the table if he has a live hand. Thus even when the player is All-in.

Tournament play will use a dead button.

Players who intentionally dodge any blind when moving from a broken table will incur a penalty.

Button in heads-up: In heads-up play, the small blind is on the button and acts first pre-flop and last on all subsequent betting rounds. The last card is dealt to the button. When beginning heads-up play, the button may need to be adjusted to ensure no player takes the big blind twice in a row.

Misdeals: In flop games, misdeals include but are not necessarily limited to:

a) Exposure of one of the first two cards dealt
b) Two or more exposed or boxed cards
c) First card dealt to the wrong seat
d) Cards dealt to a seat not entitled to a hand
e) A seat entitled to a hand is dealt out

Players may be dealt two consecutive cards on the button. If substantial action occurs, a misdeal cannot be declared and the hand must proceed.

Substantial action is defined as either:

a) Any two actions in turn, at least one of which must involve putting chips in the pot( i.e. any two actions except 2 check or 2 folds) OR
b) Any combination of three actions in turn ( check, bet, raise, call or fold)

If the Flop contains 4 (rather than 3) cards, whether exposed or not, the dealer shall scramble the four cards face down. A floorperson will be called to randomly select one card to be used as the next burn card and the remaining three cards will become the flop.

If the dealer deals the turn prematurely the card is taken out of play even if the rest of the players decide to fold. The betting is then completed. The dealer burns a card and puts face down the river card. He will then re-shuffle the remaining cards together with the card that was taken out of play (the prematurely deal card) but not the burn cards or mucked cards. The dealer then cuts the deck and turns the turn card without burning a card. After the final round of betting no other cards will be dealt. The dealer will just turn face up the river card that was earlier put face down. If the river card is dealt pre-maturely the deck is re-shuffled and dealt in the same manner.

Players must act in turn. Verbal declarations in turn are binding. Chips placed in the pot in turn must stay in the pot.

Action out of turn will be binding if the action to that player has not changed. A check, call or fold does not change action. If action changes, the out of turn bet is not binding and is returned to the out of turn player who has all options including: calling, raising, or folding. An out of turn fold is binding.

If there is a discrepancy between a players’s verbal statement and the amount put into the pot the bet will be corrected to the verbal statement.
In no-limit and pot-limit, a raise must be made by:

a) Placing the full amount in the pot in one motion
b) Verbally declaring the full amount prior to the initial placement of chips into the pot
c) Verbally declaring raise prior to the placement of the amount to call into the pot and then completing the action with one additional motion.

It’s the player’s responsibility to make his intentions clear.

A raise must be at least the size of the largest previous bet or raise of the current betting round. If a player puts in a raise of 50% or more of the previous bet but less than the minimum raise, he must make a full raise. The raise will be exactly the minimum raise allowed. In no-limit and pot-limit, an all-in wager of less than a full raise does not reopen the betting to a player who has already acted.

Anytime when facing a bet or blind, placing a single oversized chip in the pot is a call if a raise isn’t first verbally declared. To raise with an oversized chip, raise must be declared before the chip hits the table surface. If raise is declared but no amount, the raise is the maximum allowable for that chip. When not facing a bet, placing an oversized chip in the pot without declaration is a bet of the maximum for the chip.

When facing a bet, unless a raise is first declared, multiple same-denomination chips is a call if removing one chip leaves less than the call amount.
Example of a call: preflop, blinds are 200-400: A raises to 1,200 total (an 800 raise), B puts out two 1,000 chips without declaring raise. This is just a call because removing one 1,000 chip leaves less than the amount needed to call the 1,200 bet. Placing mixed denomination chips in the pot is governed by the 50% standard in Rule 52.

There is no cap on the number of raises in no-limit and pot-limit play. In limit events there will be a limit to raises even when heads-up until the tournament is down to 2 players. The house limit applies.

Poker is a game of alert, continuous observation. It is the caller’s responsibility to determine the correct amount of the opponents bet before calling, regardless of what is stated by the dealer or players. If a caller requests a count but receives incorrect information from the dealer or players, then places the amount in the pot, the caller is assumed to accept the full correct action and is subject to the correct wager or all-in amount. As with all tournament situations, Rule 1 may apply at TD’s discretion.

Players are entitled to be informed of the pot size in pot-limit games only. Dealers will not count the pot in limit and no-limit games. Declaring ‘I Bet the Pot’ is not a valid bet in no-limit but it does bind the player to making a bet.

Dealers will be responsible for calling string bets and raises.

Players use unofficial betting terms and gestures at their own risk. These may be interpreted to mean other than what the player intended. Also, whenever the size of a declared bet can have multiple meanings, it will be ruled as the lesser value. Example: ‘I Bet Five’ if it is unclear whether ‘five’ means 500 or 5,000 the bet stands as 500.

Anytime before the end of the last betting round of a hand, folding in turn when facing a check or folding out of turn are both binding folds and may be subject to penalty.

Conditional statements regarding future action are non-standard and strongly discouraged. They may be binding and/or subject to penalty at TD’s discretion.

Example: “if- then” statements such as “If you bet, then I will raise”

Players may not hold or transport tournament chips in any manner that takes them out of view. A player who does so will forfeit the chips and may be disqualified. The forfeited chips will be taken out of play.

Playing out of a chip rack when you move from a broken table is not allowed.

Players must protect their own hands at all times. If a dealer kills a hand by mistake, or a hand is fouled the player will have no redress and is not entitled to a refund of bets. If the player initiated a bet or raise and hasn’t been called, the uncalled bet or raise will be returned to the player.

Floorpersons reserve the right to require that any two players not play on the same table.

Penalties and Disqualification:

A penalty may be invoked if a player exposes any card with action pending, throws a card off the table, violates the one-player-to-a hand rule, or similar incidents occur. Penalties will be invoked in cases of soft play, abuse, disruptive behavior, or cheating.

Penalties available to the tournament director include verbal warnings, “missed hand” penalties and disqualification.

Except for a one hand penalty, missed hand penalties will be assed as follows:

The offender will miss one hand for every player including the offender, who is at the table when the penalty is given multiplied by the number of rounds specified in the penalty.

For the period of the penalty the offender shall remain away from the table but will continue to be dealt in.

Tournament staff can asses a one-hand penalty, 1, 2, 3 OR 4 round penalties OR disqualification. A player who is disqualified shall have his/her chips removed from play.

Repeat infractions are subject to escalating penalties.

Players are obligated to protect other players in the tournament at all times. Therefore players whether in the hand or not, may not:

a) Disclose contents of live or folded hands
b) Advise or criticize play at anytime
c) Read a hand that hasn’t been tabled

The one-player-to-a-hand rule will be enforced.

A player who exposes his cards with action pending may incur a penalty, but will not have a dead hand. The penalty will begin at the end of the hand.
Poker is an individual game. Soft play will result in penalties, which may include forfeiture of chips and/or disqualification. Chip dumping and/or all other forms of collusion will result in disqualification.

Repeated etiquette violations will result in penalties. Examples include, but are not limited to, unnecessarily touching other players’ cards or chips, delay of the game, repeatedly acting out of turn or excessive chatter.

During the days of international tournaments the poker tournament registration will be open a week in advance. You can register for multiple tournaments. We suggest that you register during this week as the tournaments will be capped at 50 players and they will be open to all players. The tickets are non-refundable. At the TD’s discretion more players will be allowed to fill in the seat opens.

Daily tournaments will end on the same day (with an exception for the Friday Tournament). The last hand will be given 30mins before the casinos closing time. If a deal is not reached the TD will split the money according to the chip stacks.

Once a deal is reached between players on the final table no more hands will be dealt and the points will be given according to chip stacks.

A Player must be at his seat when the first card is dealt on the initial deal or he will have a dead hand. A player not then at his seat is dealt in, he may not look at his cards, and the hand is immediately killed after the initial deal.

Cash Game Rules:

When you enter a game, you must at least the minimum buy-in for that table.

A new player will not be required to post a blind until the button has made one complete revolution around the table, provided a blind has not yet passed
his seat.

A new player entering the game has the following options if the button made one complete revolution around the table:

a) Wait for the big blind
b) Post an amount equal to the big blind and immediately be dealt a hand

New players can enter on the dealer button.

A player who misses any or all blinds can resume play by either posting all the blinds missed or waiting for the big blind. If the player chooses to post the total amount of the blinds, an amount up to the size of the minimum opening bet is live. The remainder is taken in as part of the pot. On the next turn to act the player has the options to raise.

A player who changes seats will be dealt in on the first available hand in the same relative position. Example: if you move two active positions away from the big blind, you must wait two hands before being dealt in again. If you move closer to the big blind, you can be dealt in without penalty. If you do not wish to wait then you can post an amount equal to the big blind and receive a hand.

Adding to your stack is not considered a buy-in and may be done in any quantities between hands as long as it doesn’t exceed the maximum buy-in of the table.

A player who is forced to transfer from a broken game to a game of the same limit may continue to play the same amount of money even if it is less than the minimum buy-in.

A player switching games voluntarily must have the proper buy-in size for the new table.

Cash is not permitted on the table. All cash and will be changed into cash chips in order to play. Plaques taken out on the table are automatically in play.

All chips and money must be kept in plain view at all times. Any removal of chips from the table during hands is not permitted. A penalty will be given to the player if this is a repeated violation.

If you return to the same game within one hour of cashing out, your buy-in must be equal to the amount removed when leaving the game.

Players can leave their cash chips on the cash table for a maximum of 45minutes when there is a waiting list. If the player doesn’t return after 45 minutes the chips will be removed from the table. Your absence may be extended if you notify a floorperson in advance.

If your chips are removed from the cash table (for absence longer than the time limit) and when you return there is a waiting list your name will be put on the waiting list together with the other players. Seating will then be according to the list.

No one is allowed to play other players chips.

Permission is required before taking a seat in a cash game.

Splitting pots will not be allowed in any game even if there are only two players left in the hand. However, chopping the big and small blind by taking them back when everyone has folded will be allowed.

Insurance propositions are not allowed. Management will decline any agreement between players and the pot will be awarded to the best hand.

The players are allowed to agree to run the board twice or three times when a player is All-in. A maximum of two players to run the board more than once.

The games table limit will not be changed when a game has already started if one or more players object. Raising the limit is subject to management’s approval.

No seat will be locked up for more than 10 minutes if there is a waiting list.

Keeping the cards to show the other players at the end of the hand is not permitted.

A non player may not sit at the table or behind a player. Exceptions will be made when there is only one cash table and if none of the players object. However, it is improper to look at any hand or comment on any action. Infraction of this rule will lead to the guest being escorted out of the cash area.

It is a player’s responsibility to be in the playing area and hear the list being called. A player who intends to leave the playing area should first notify the list person.

When there is more than one cash game of the same stakes and poker form, we will not force players who are already seated to move tables. However, new players entering will be seated to balance out tables in order to best preserve the viability of existing games.

A transfer to a same stakes game is not allowed if the game being left will then have fewer players than the game being entered.

A player may be on the list for a seat move on more than one cash table with the same stakes if he was forced in the beginning to sit at a table to balance it out.

A player who is already in the game has precedence over a new player for any seat when it becomes available. No change will occur after a new player has been seated.

When a game breaks, each player may draw a card to determine the seating order for a similar game. The floorperson will draw a card for an absent player. If the card entitles the absent player to an immediate seat the player has until due for the big blind to take his seat . He will be put up first in the list if not back in time.

Only one straddle will be allowed. However, if all the players on the table agree there can be more than one straddle.

The minimum no. of players for a straddle is 4.

The straddle is not treated as a raise. After the straddle the minimum raise is double the bet. Example: SB:1 / BB:2 / UTG:4 (straddle) / UTG+1: 8 (min raise)

Players that are not present at the table will not receive a hand.

Buying The Button: A player may enter the game between the Button and the Small Blind and ‘Buy the Button' by putting in both blinds. The Small Blind amount is taken into the center and is considered ‘dead' and the Big Blind remains in front of the player starting the betting action. The natural order of the blinds resumes in the next hand when the player entering and posting receives the Button and the two players in front of the Button satisfy their blinds
Portomaso Casino reserves the right to alter these rules as and when necessary without prior notification. Management decision is Final.