Ruling! #7 – Two Burn Cards Before the Flop

By Kelli Mix | August 6, 2009

The Scenario

During the deal a card is exposed and is swapped for the top card, and the exposed card becomes the first burn card. The hand continues, and after the flop, turn and river, where betting action occurred, one player realizes that there were two burn cards before the flop and not one. The dealer had placed the first burn card (original exposed card) face down on the table and burned another card on top, before doing the flop. This changed the sequence of the cards. One of the players complains and says “this hand should be dead”. What is the ruling?

Kelli’s Ruling

The board cards stand in this situation since action has occurred. There is a passage from Robert’s Rules of Poker section 5.6 that addresses this exact situation:

“If the dealer fails to burn a card or burns more than one card, the error should be corrected if discovered before betting action has started for that round. Once action has been taken on a board card by any player, the card must stand. Whether the error is able to be corrected or not, subsequent cards dealt should be those that would have come if no error had occurred.”

By Kelli Mix

Kelli is the author of the 'Game Day Poker Almanac - Official Rules of Poker'. She lives in Carrollton, Georgia, where she is the state director for the Poker Players Alliance.


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