What is a ‘Quorum’?
In the casino, ‘quorum’ means the minimum number of players required to start a poker game (or any game which needs a set number of players to operate properly). It comes from the Latin phrase which is still used commonly today – a ‘quorum’ is a full quotient of people needed to hold a meeting, pass an assembly decision or attend a specific event.
The word ‘quorum’ is most commonly heard in a legal sense. It means that the required number of people have attended a meeting, assembly or organisational event and therefore any actions discussed and determined at that meeting as judged as valid. It is borrowed in the casino, usually by poker players, to refer to the minimum number needed for a full game.
Poker can be played between just two people in a heads up battle, if desired. However, pots will struggle to get very big, and if one player folds the game is quickly over, so things can get boring very quickly. Most poker players agree that a good game has between eight and 10 people in it. This means that even if some of the players are opting out of hands regularly, there should always be a few opponents willing to make the game interesting.
Many poker tables establish a ‘quorum’ – a minimum number of people needed in order to play. This is common in casinos, and also in home games and social games. If the limit is set at five people, for example, the game will not go ahead unless five or more players buy in and start playing. However, casinos may allow players waiting for a full quorum to take a few hands against the dealer and the other players, just to keep them interested, or they might bring in some ‘proposition players’ to fill the tables.