Floorman – The cardroom employee responsible for the monitoring and administration of poker games.
A floorman is a middle manager in a poker room. Their responsibilities will vary somewhat from casino to casino, but they are
generally focused on monitoring the games and assisting customers with any issue which relates to poker play. These responsibilities
may include seating players, assisting with cashiering services, making rulings, settling disputes, handling customer requests, and
managing the games, among other things.
From management’s standpoint, allowing the dealing to stop in a poker game is a cardinal sin. When the dealing stops, so does the
rake. It is usually much more difficult to restart a
stalled game than it is to keep one going. If the dealing stops for long enough, it can cause the game to break. It is the floorman’s
job to monitor the games and prevent this from happening. Having a game monitor is of critical importance, because numerous situations
will arise which can cause the dealing to stop. If a problem arises which causes the game to stall, it is the floorman’s first priority
to solve it, and get the card back in the air.
A poker game can stall for any number of reasons. There can be a technical problem like a bad deck or a broken shuffle machine. The
floorman can resolve this by replacing the broken instruments. A game may stall because too many players are taking bathroom or
cigarette breaks at the same time. When this happens the floorman will call the players back to the game, and then replace the
non-returning players with players from the waiting list, if necessary. Quite often, when a game goes short handed, it will stall, and
possibly break, due to a lack of players. This is because many players do not want to play in a game with a lot of open seats and only
a few players. A game in this condition will generally be regarded by the floorman as weak, and in danger of breaking. If the floorman
has proposition players (or props for short) available, he will use
them to fill the empty seats in the short game, and prevent it from breaking. The floorman may also take other steps to protect the revenue
stream for the house, including but not limited to, combining short handed games, and starting alternate games.
Another reason a game may stall is because the need arises for a ruling from the floorman. When a ruling is required, play can not
resume until the ruling has been made. It is common for player disputes to arise over both the technical nature of the rules, and how
those rules are meant to govern events that have occurred. There are many situations where there is a dispute between players, and the
dealer is unable to evaluate or enforce the rules of the road. In this case, the dealer must defer to a manager who is authorized to
make a decision about proper procedure. This responsibility falls on the floorman, and his decision must be accepted by all players.
Sometimes, even when there is no dispute among the players, a ruling will be required in order to clarify a grey area in the
rules. This means that the floorman must be very knowledgeable about the rules of the game. The floorman must also prevent people from
shooting angles and must protect the integrity of the game
This can sometimes be a balancing act. The floorman is always authorized to make a ruling “in the best interest of the game,” even if it is
contrary to the house rules as they are written.
In addition to enforcing the rules, the floorman is also responsible for handling player requests, either directly, or by referring
them out to other employees. Common player requests include table and game changes, in-game cashiering services, the procuring of food
and beverage service, and assistance with comps and amenities. It is customary for players to tip their floorman for services
provided, and a good portion of a floorman’s income can come from tips. Some casinos do not allow their management staff to accept
tips, so it is possible that in certain casinos a floorman may reject your tips for this reason.
A brick and mortar poker room is subdivided into
sections of games which are similar either in game type, limit, or both. One or more floormen are responsible for each of these sections.
They are responsible for both protecting the revenue stream for the house as well as attending to player’s individual needs. Typically, the
best, most experienced floormen will work the higher limit section (top section), while the less experienced floormen will work in the lower
limit section (bottom section).
The term “floor man” is gender specific because it comes from an age in which women rarely held casino management positions. While the
profession is still dominated by men, it is not uncommon to see a woman managing the floor. For this reason, many casinos prefer to
use gender non-specific terminology, like “floorstaff” or “floor person,” or simply “floor.” Even so, the term “floorman” is a widely
recognized and commonly used by players, who can modify the gender as needed.
Usage: Ruling From the Floor, Top Section Floorman, Floorman’s Decision
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