What is ‘Must-Move’?
In poker, ‘must-move’ is a situation where the players in a game are required to change to a different game, usually to keep a main game such as a contest active, or when tables are filled temporarily while a popular main game is in play and players are waiting for a chance to join. These ‘must-move’ situations often appear in elimination games.
There are many different ways to play the game of poker and each casino or card room will have its own version of the rules. Often, there will be a number of different games going on at the same time. Most nights in these venues, there will be a main game in play and several smaller games at surrounding tables. If players are waiting to join this main game, they might take part in a situation known as a ‘must-move’.
Must-move situations occur when players are required to leave the current game they are in, usually to move up to a bigger game such as the one at the main table. One, some or all of the players might be taken from the secondary game and added to the main game. This is common in contest and tournament poker and especially in ‘knockout’ or ‘elimination’ style games where players hope to be the last person standing.
Often, this ‘must-move’ happens because the card room wants to protect the main game. This top game will lose players over time, either through busting out and having no chips left to play or through choosing to leave the table where this is permitted. To keep the game going and to keep the stakes high in every round, fresh players will be brought up from the other tables to fill the seats left by these drop-outs.