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  • September 27, 2020

What does the term “verbal declaration” mean in poker?

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In poker, a “verbal declaration” is when you verbally declare what your move is going to be. Verbal declarations are binding.
Verbally declaring an action during a game makes it an obligation for the player to carry out the move and finish off what s/he had declared. There are many things that a player declares during the course of a game of poker.
A player may declare an action that s/he may be taking, such as fold, call or raise. In all poker games, except online versions, these actions may be declared verbally. Once spoken, the player is bound by the rules of the competition to perform the action.
In draw poker, a player may, similarly, declare the number of cards s/he wishes to draw on that turn. Unlike the action declaration in most forms of poker, the verbal declaration for the number of cards drawn is not binding. This means that the player is not obliged to take all the cards that s/he wishes to draw.
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In the high-low split game, a player has to declare which hand s/he wishes to play for. They can choose to play for a high hand, a low hand or go for both simultaneously. While a player may make such a declaration verbally, s/he can also do so using cards speak.
In cards speak, a player does not need to declare what s/he is playing for and therefore, when the cards are revealed at showdown, they are classified as high or low, based on the hand that a person holds, her/his hand is designated as a contender for the high or low stakes.
The other form of declaration is one where players pick two chips of their stacks, take their hands under the table and re-emerge with one, two or no chips in one hand. The idea is for all players to show their declarations simultaneously. If a player holds just one chip, then that means that s/he will be playing for the high hand. No chips refer to low hand while two chips mean that the player is declaring to play for both the high and the low hands.
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