Poker Tournament Directors Association Rules

TDA rules

Our planet is huge, that’s why there are a lot of dissimilar countries and cultures in the world. Every country has its own unique history, all of which has led to the fact that each country, culture, and religion has different customs, habits, rules, and laws. The same holds for tournament poker rules.

Poker players often come across situations when the rules in one tournament/house may be absolutely different from the rules of another tournament/house. For this reason, a group of well-known poker figures headed by Matt Savage has established an organization called the Poker Tournament Directors Association and aimed at creating a single set of poker tournament rules that the whole world will stick to.

What is Poker Tournament Directors Association?

The Poker Tournament Director’s Association (abbreviated as the Poker TDA) is an international non-commercial body created to standardize the rules for conducting poker tournaments. The tda rules are in addition to the standard rules of casinos or poker clubs across the globe, meaning that they are used along with the so-called “house” rules of a gambling establishment.

Important! If there is a conflict between the TDA rules and the gambling house rules, then the house rules apply.

The Association was created in Las Vegas in far 2001 by famous and well-respected people in the poker community: Matt Savage, Linda Johnson, David Lamb, and Jan Fisher.

Back then, the rules of poker were discrepant from venue to venue, disturbing and confusing both management and poker players. It took official texas holdem rules, and thus the TDA was founded. At present, this organization includes more than 4 000 members from 65 countries of the world.

The TDA members are represented by gambling establishment employees (these may be tournament directors, managers or even dealers) and poker players from around the world.

It's should be mentioned that Jan Fisher, David Lamb, and Linda Johnson are no longer in charge of the daily management of the Poker TDA but they remain active honorary board members of the Association. On the other hand, the Board of Directors has updated with new names: Lloyd Fontillas, Tab Duchateau, Jack Effel, Neil Johnson, Mike Bishop and Johnny Grooms. These industry veterans keep abreast of changes in the world of poker to positively influence the environment and apply relevant texas poker rules.

Poker TDA

Main mission of the Poker TDA

As far as the main mission of the Poker TDA is concerned, the organization seeks to establish key standards, procedures, and rules that will have a positive impact on the poker industry. In order to achieve this goal, tournament directors, poker players, and the media meet to examine and discuss the proposed rules and then vote to adopt them or not. This happens at regular intervals.

Every second year, the Poker Tournament Director’s Association holds a meeting, referred to as the TDA Summit, in the world gambling capital – Las Vegas, where they conduct discussions on the situation in the poker world, change or eliminate the current tda poker rules as well as create and adopt the new ones.

For the record, 14 suggested procedures and 71 rules were adopted at the last TDA Summit in 2019. The next Summit will be held in 2021.

Poker TDA Summit

What are the TDA rules?

The poker tda rules include standard issues like players’ responsibilities, the usage of electronic devices and means of communication during the game, dealing cards, seating, betting rounds and blinds, showdown with and without an all-in situation, general poker etiquette, etc.

There are also procedures for uncommon situations indicated, for example, when the flop contains four cards instead of three. In this case, a dealer should cover the cards and call a poker manager. Then, the dealer is required to shuffle these four cards (face down) so that the manager can choose one of them and remove it. Thus, the remaining three cards will form the flop to continue the game.

Adopting new rules, applying changes or innovations is always a very complex process since everything is done by ordinary voting. Besides, it often happens that players oppose the rules and procedures set by the TDA.

Read also: Everything you wanted to know about Poker All Time Money List

For instance, a few years ago, the legendary poker pro Daniel Negreanu expressed his deep disagreement with the requirements that Poker Tournament Director Association imposed on the players at that time. In particular, the player’s displeasure was caused by the First card off the deck rule.

The given rule boiled down to the fact that a poker player had to be in their chair when the action reached them, otherwise, the hand would be considered as "dead". Being in the small blind at an EPT Barcelona 2013 event, Daniel got up from his chair to talk to his friend. The dealer, noticing that the player was standing (that is "absent"), silently took Negreanu's cards, although he was literally opposite him.

Daniel was overwhelmed with the dealer’s behavior so he later expressed his opposition to the First card off the deck rule. We suggest that you watch a video message in which Negreanu describes the situation that happened that day.​


The Poker TDA is the official body of the poker tournament staff. The Association is dedicated to develop the poker (tournament) industry and determine common poker tournament rules to be used in the whole world.

This organization plays a huge role in maintaining vital poker-related issues, as knowing the rules of tournament poker can help you avoid costly mistakes at the game table. However, the process of adopting new rules and changing the old ones is very complex, as there are always people who stand for and against them.

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