Believe it or not… Dealing the cards is a much bigger “DEAL” (see what I did there) then most new players think it is. It can most definitely be done wrong and today we are going to show you the right way to do it! The deal can be broken down into 3 actions: 1.) The shuffle 2.) Recognizing Player Seating and finally 3.) The Deal
The proper way to shuffle a deck of cards is to first place the whole deck face down onto the table and mix them up like the beautiful Sabrina has shown us in the image provided. Next, you stack the cards back into a deck and perform a proper shuffle on the deck 3 times. Finally, you have someone immediately behind the dealer cut the deck to ensure that there is no type of (stacking the deck) aka cheating.
Recognizing Player Seating
Before the cards are dealt, it is best to make sure that all of the players at the table have taken their seats. Someone who is not seated when the cards are dealt should not get to play their hand. Cards should still be dealt to an unseated player but then after the last card is dealt, their hand should be immediately folded and thrown into the muck. If a player is out of their seat for an extended amount of time, their blinds will still be put up for grabs and their cards should be immediately folded.
The dealer should hold the deck in the palm of their hand so that the bottom card is covered by their palm and cannot be seen. They should also take special care to not let any of the card faces show as the cards are dealt (or as we like to say, “Make sure you put some drawers on those cards”).
The dealer always deals the first card to the player immediately clockwise of the “Dealer Button”, which is the white button that is put on the table to represent the dealer position. This button rotates around the table in a clockwise manor from player to player. The reason this button is used is in case you have one person at the table who is designated the full time dealer. Cards are always dealt in a clockwise position until the proper amount of cards have been dealt. The subsequent cards are dealt in the same manor following each betting period.
In the case of a community card game, after the initial deal and following the first betting round, a single card should be “burned” (put into the discard pile) before any flop, turn or river card is displayed. This is to ensure that the deck has not been tampered with by an unscrupulous dealer in between deals.
Finally, in the event that a mistake is made during a deal, that deal should be declared a “Missed-Deal” or “Misdeal” and all bets/money should be returned to the players. The hand should be reshuffled and dealt again. If a misdeal takes place in a casino tournament, then the house procedures for handling of misdeals will apply or a card room manager will make the call on how to remedy the misdeal situation.
Well as you can see… there is quite a bit more to dealing then you probably were aware of or initially thought. That is why we want to take this opportunity to remind you that tipping the dealers is important. Let’s take care of the dealers, and in doing so we are continuing to take care of this great game of poker! Now what are you waiting for… Go start a game!