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Frequently asked poker questions

Frequently Asked Poker Questions

A great online resource for learning about poker

What is “Poker”?

Poker is generally a game of short term luck and long term skill which is played against other players. Spirit Mountain does not participate in the play. The object of the game is to win money. Most often winning is accomplished by having the best hand, however, unlike other casino games, “bluffing” is an integral part of the game.

Why should I play poker at Spirit Mountain Casino?

Spirit Mountain Casino cares about all of our guests whether you are guest who plays on a regular basis, or a first time visitor. We hope you enjoy your experience and we’d appreciate your feedback on ways we can continue to improve our gaming activities and service.

What are the rules for playing poker?

It is Spirit Mountain Casino’s intention to conduct all games in a manner which meets the very highest standard of fairness for all our patrons. With this in mind the Spirit Mountain Poker Room has adopted certain rules and procedures which govern the various games we offer to the public. All rules, regulations and procedures are subject to change without notice. View the Rules Of Play.

Does the Dealer play?

No. Our dealers do not participate in any poker game while on shift and have no interest in the outcome of any hand. Spirit Mountain makes money by taking a “rake” on each hand. This rake is usually 10% up to $3.

How many decks of cards are used?

All poker games are played with one (1) standard 52 card deck.

How do I get into a game?

When you first arrive in the Poker Room there is a large player waiting list board for all games. Simply tell the Poker Clerk at the board what type and limit of the games you might be interested in. As vacancies occur in those games, the clerk will call your name from the list. You can place your name on different limit games but you are responsible for making sure your name has been updated each time you are seated.

May I leave my seat?

You may leave at anytime and take a break, but you will be eliminated from the game if you are absent too long. We eliminate players when they have received three “missed blind” buttons. This could take approximately 15-30 minutes. To be safe, players who need to be gone from the table for a period of time can pick up their chips and place their name at the top of the “Dinner List”. This means that if they return within 1 ½ hours, they will be placed at the top of the waiting list for the game they were playing previously.

How do I get chips (buy-in)?

We offer several convenient ways for players to get chips. Players may choose to purchase chips from the Poker Room Cage or purchase them from the Dealer at your table. Our Poker Clerks will also be happy to get chips for you.

How much is the “buy-in”?

A “buy-in” must be in chips and generally must be a minimum of ten (10) times the minimum wager. In games with limits of higher than $10-20 the minimum buy-in amount is ten (10) times the maximum wager.

What are “table stakes”?

All poker games offered are “table stakes”. This means the amount you buy in for, or win, must stay at the table until you leave the game. Once you are finished playing that game, you may take all of your chips with you.

What if I run out of money?

You can add money to your “stack” at anytime in between hands. If you do not have enough money to finish playing the hand, you can go “all in”. This means you can only win the amount you have invested in the pot. An additional pot will be made by the dealer to include the bets made by other players left in that hand. The “all in” player is not eligible for the side pot.

How do I make a bet?

When it is your turn to act, place the appropriate amount of chips inside the betting area (usually about halfway between a player and the pot). The chips will remain until all other players have acted. The Dealer will then collect the wagers into the “pot”.

What is “calling” a bet?

You call a bet when you match the total amount of the wagers to you.

How do I make a “raise”?

A raise may be made by placing the proper amount of chips into the betting area, or by stating “RAISE”. You cannot say “I call and I raise” This is considered a string raise. Be aware that an incorrectly made raise made may be disallowed.

What is a “check”?

You may “check” whenever you are first to act, or when the players acting before you have checked. “Check” is simply choosing not to bet, but reserving the option of remaining in the action if other players do bet.

Is “check and raise” permitted?

Yes. Checking early in a betting round and then later raising after a bet has been made by another player is a common strategy.

How many raises are allowed?

Generally the “cap” or maximum is three (3) raises per betting round. However, if action becomes “heads-up” (only two (2) active players remaining) before a third raise is made, there is no limit to the number of raises that can be made between the “heads up” players.

What is a “string bet”?

A string bet is when a player tries to raise in two motions. For example…a player calls by placing out the bet and then says “I raise”. You must say “raise” or put all chips out in one motion.

What is an “ante”?

An “ante” is a stipulated amount which must be posted by each player before cards are dealt.

What is a “force bet”?

A “force bet” is a mandatory predetermined wager used to stimulate action. It is usually the player with the lowest card (Aces are considered high). In determining the lowest, suits will be used to break ties with the value of the suits increasing from clubs, diamonds, hearts and spades.

What is a “Dealer Button”?

This is a small round disk which is used in most games to indicate the location of the theoretical “dealer”. All cards are dealt, and betting action begins after this position.

What is a “blind”?

A “blind” is a mandatory bet posted before the cards are dealt used to stimulate the action on the first betting round. Usually there is a big blind and a small blind, both must be posted before the start of the hand. Each player takes a turn posting blinds.

What is a “straddle”?

A straddle is a blind wager made in a board game which raises the “big blind”. Because it is made blindly, (prior to receiving any cards), the straddle has the right of last action if there has been no subsequent raise.

What is a “kill”?

A “kill” is a blind wager which is placed prior to receiving any cards. When a “kill” is posted the wagering structure for that hand is then double the standard limits for the remainder of the hand. Some games are played with “half kills” which raise the limits half again as large as standard limits.

What is a “structured limit”?

Structured limit games are those where the wagering limits are clearly defined for each betting round. For example, in a $1-2 game, the initial betting rounds would have all the action taking place in $1 increments while the later rounds would be in $2 increments.

What is a “spread limit”?

In a spread limit game, (for example, $1-5), players may wager any amount between $1 and $5 at any time. Any raise must also be within the limits, with the additional requirements that a raise must be at least double the previous bet or raise amount.

What is a “pot-limit” game?

Pot limit and No-Limit games offer the more experienced player an opportunity to make much larger wagers when they have a powerful hand. Also known as “big bet” poker, there is usually a predetermined minimum wager, and the maximum wager is the size of the existing pot.

What is a “no-limit” game?

This wagering limit is clearly one of the most exciting games available. Along with Pot Limit, this form of “big bet” poker is not for the inexperienced. While there is usually a predetermined minimum wager, the maximum wager is in fact all of your remaining table stake.

What is a “burn” card?

A burn card is a method of providing an additional protective measure in the case of a marked or damaged card. After each betting round, the Dealer will deal the top card off the deck and place it under the pot.

How do I know what wins?

At “showdown” (after all wagering is completed), the best poker hand according to the “Rank of Hands” is determined, and the pot is awarded by the Dealer.

Do I have to show my cards?

If you feel you have the winning hand, you should expose all of your cards, and declare the value of the hand. Before you relinquish your cards: Please make sure that you are either the winner or your hand has been beaten by another player.

Can I use my “Coyote Club Card” in Poker?

Yes! Be sure to present your Coyote Card when you are seated in a game to earn valuable points that can be used toward meals, lodging, merchandise, and entertainment attractions. At Spirit Mountain Poker Room, if you use your Coyote Card to sign up for a tournament, you will receive 100 extra tournament chips. If you do not already have a Coyote Club Card, simply talk to one of our clerks and you can acquire one instantly with a valid ID.

How do I redeem my chips?

Dealers cannot redeem chips for cash. You must go to a cashier’s cage to redeem your chips for currency. Depending on the table’s chip inventory, the Dealer may be able to “color up” your chips (exchanging smaller-value chips for larger denominations) which makes them easier to transport to the cashier’s cage.

Can I tip the staff?

If you wish to present a “toke” (token of your appreciation) to a Dealer, Chip Runner or Clerk, you may do so at any time during your visit. However employees may only accept tips in the form of cash or chips. Please make the employee aware of any gratuity by noting it as such when you present it. All of Spirit Mountain Casino employees strive to provide the utmost in courtesy and professional service, and sincerely appreciate each and every toke received.

What if I still have questions?

Our professional gaming staff will be happy to answer your questions related to particular games. In fact, we encourage you to ask. After all, the more you know, the more you can enjoy your gaming experience. You may also contact us with your questions at any time.

What is a tournament?

  • A tournament is a Poker game played with fake chips. Players “buy-in” for a predetermined price and receive a set amount of tournament (fake) chips. Players play until they either win or lose all of their chips. Once a player has lost his/her chips, they are out of the tournament.
  • Some tournaments allow players to “re-buy” more chips for a set amount of time. This way, if you lose all of your chips, you can purchase more. Once the rebuy period is over, players cannot buy any additional chips.
  • All of the “buy-in” and “rebuy” money is collected and paid out to the last people left in the tournament.
  • All of the “buy-in” and “rebuy” money is collected and paid out to the last people left in the tournament.
  • First place usually wins 25-30% of the prize pool.

How do I sign up for a tournament?

You can sign up for all tournaments in the Poker room at the Poker cage. Sign ups are only done in person.

When can I sign up?

  • Sign up times differ for each tournament; we hold weekly, monthly, and special event type tournaments.
  • Weekly: Sign up at 8am the day of event
  • Monthly: Sign up the Monday before event at 8am.
  • Special: First day of the event month at 8am.

What is a Buy-in/Entry?

A Buy-in is the amount of money that will be placed in the prize pool. 100% of all players’ buy-in is paid out in prize money. An entry fee is what the house (poker room) takes to pay for expenses.

What time does the tournament start?

A Tournament start time is always posted on the tournament structure/information sheet which is available in the room and on our website.

Can I sign up more than one person?

For most tournaments, we allow players to sign up anyone they would like. For our Real Money tournament, players are only allowed to sign themselves up.

Do I need to sign in when I get there?

Nope. Just show up with your receipt and approximately 15 minutes before start of tournament, we will assign seats.

Can I use a Visa, check, or money order?

At this time, we only allow cash.

How long does a tournament last?

Most tournaments last approximately 4-6 hours. Remember, not everyone will last that long. If you do, you have probably won money!

What is a Satellite?

A Satellite is a small, one table, low cost, tournament. Players play satellites in order to gain entry into a tournament with a high buy-in. For instance, a tournament costs $120-the satellite for that tournament would be $25. The (1) winner of the satellite, would be signed up for that tournament and have his buy-in paid in full. We do not hold satellites for all tournaments.

How many players can play?

We can hold up to 161 players for a tournament. From time to time we do sell out. You are welcome to call ahead for availability. 1-800-760-7977 ext. 3501

Will there be live Poker games while the tournament is running?

Most of our tournaments do not sell out so we continue to run live games all day. If we have a tournament that is sold out, we will close all games at the start of that tournament. In this case, we will start games as soon as players start coming out of the tournament. The wait is usually not more than an hour.

Poker Events
$350 Free Roll Mondays
Every Monday
Limited to first 30 players
Start signing up at 8am
Tournament starts at 10:30am
$0 Buy-In/Entry = T2000 chips

Day Time Tournaments
Daytime Tournaments, $100 added with 1 free entry
Limit Hi/Lo Stud on Tuesdays, 10:30am, $30 buy-in/entry=T3000
Limit Hi/Lo Omaha on Wednesdays, 10:30am, $30 buy-in/entry=T3000
No-Limit Hold'em Beat the Boss on Thursdays, 10:30am, $30 buy-in/entry=T3000

Tournament @ 12pm
$80/$10 Buy-In/Entry = T5000 chips
Includes $25 Bounty Button
$10 Dealer Bonus = T1000 chips
Sign up 30 minutes prior to start and get 500 extra chips

$500 Added
$60/$10 Buy-In/Entry = T10,000, $10 Dealer Bonus = T1000 ~ at buy-in
20 minute rounds

No Limit Hold'em @ 10:30am & 7:00pm
Beat the Boss
$30/$10 Buy-In/Entry = T3000
Includes $10 Bounty Button
$10 Dealer Bonus = T1000 ~ at buy-in

Wheel Spin Day
11am to 11pm
1x what is spun for Quads
2x what is spun for Straight flush
3x what is spun for Royal flush
$500 Max Payout
Players must use at least one hole card to qualify for the wheel spin

Monte Carlo
Sunday @ 8pm through Friday @ 11:59pm each week.
Quads will pay: $50
Straight flushes will pay: $300
Royal flushes will pay: $500
Both Hole Cards Must Pay

Sunday High Hand
$100 every 30 minutes for the highest hand.
10am to 8pm first qualifier starts at 9am.
The highest hand per half hour will be paid $100.

View All Poker Events
General Information

27100 SW Salmon River Hwy
Grand Ronde, OR 97347
Phone: 503-879-2350
Toll-Free: 800-760-7977