Call the Clock in Poker

Call the Clock in Poker

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The world of poker is no stranger to controversies and one facet of poker that has generated the greatest number of controversies in the last few years is when a player tried to call the clock. In this post, we have detailed the meaning of the term call the clock, answered the pivotal question who can call the clock in poker and much more. So, read on.

What does the term call the clock mean in poker?

When it comes to poker, a player is said to be calling the clock when he challenges another player for taking too long to act. The clock call is essentially a rule that was first enforced by poker tournaments like WSOP (World Series of Poker) in a bid to discourage the players from taking an excessive amount of time to act.

Once a clock call is made on a player, he is generally allotted a set amount of time to make a decision. If a player fails to make the decision within the allotted time then his hand is declared dead for the purpose of the game. In poker, a player whose hand is declared dead automatically loses the game along with all the chips he has contributed to the pot until that time.

In private or home games, it is rare to call the clock on other player, though in poker tournaments with a large number of players, it generally becomes imperative to clock call to speed up the gameplay. Though, even in poker tournaments players are advised to call the clock only after a sufficient amount of time has passed.

Who can call the clock in a game of poker?

To put it simply, any player who is currently playing on a poker table can clock call on his opponent at the same table. Generally speaking, in high stake poker tournaments once a player calls the clock, a floorman is summoned, who thereafter confirms from the dealer if the player who the clock was called on was taking too long to act or not.

If the dealer confirms, the floorman thereafter announces to the offending player that he has approximately 30 seconds to 1 min to make a move, otherwise his hand will be declared dead. In certain rare scenarios, the floorman may himself clock call if he has reasons to believe a certain player is taking longer than usual to make a move.

World series of poker rule on clock call

It was poker tournaments like WSOP that first introduced the clock call rule in the poker world. However, the WSOP thereafter tweaked its old rule in response to calls from several players that their opponents are taking too long to act by establishing the new call the clock rules. So, in this section let us take a look at the old and new WSOP rules with respect to clock call.

Old rule

As per the old clock call rule, each player was given the liberty to call the clock on another player who did not make a move after a reasonable amount of time. Herein, 2 minutes were defined as the minimum reasonable amount of time. Thereafter, once the call was clocked on an opponent, the floorman used to be summoned, who after checking with the dealer generally used to give the player a 50 second countdown to act. This used to be followed by a 10 second verbal countdown after which the player’s hand was declared dead.

New rule

Moving on, the new clock call rule effectively allows the players to call the clock on their opponents whenever they feel like. Yes, the new rule has eliminated the earlier 2-minute reasonable amount of time limit, though it is still imperative to call the floorman to make the final ruling. Once, the floorman makes a decision then in contrast to the earlier rule the players are now allotted only 30 seconds with a 10 second verbal countdown.

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