What is ‘Time’?
In the casino, ‘time’ is a request by the player to suspend play temporarily, giving them more time over their decision without the risk of being folded out. A limited period will be given to the player, after which they must act or fold. ‘Time’ can also refer to a call from the casino, at which point a portion of the pot is taken and held as a fee for the game.
If a player hears ‘time’ at the poker table, it can mean one of two things depending on whether a player or the dealer has called it. For players, calling ‘time’ is a request for a brief break, perhaps a minute, so that they can think about their bet. This call is made during fast games with a lot of action when a player needs a moment to calculate their chances or to decide how much of a risk they wish to take. If a player does not request ‘time’, then they might be subject to a penalty. Not acting in good time can result in having to fold your cards, and this might even happen after a request for time if the player takes too long over their decision.
‘Time’ can also be called by the dealer, and it signals that the collection will be subtracted from the pot. In card rooms and casinos, the house takes a fee for poker. Sometimes this is a straight payment made at the start of the game, or a portion of the buy-in rate held by the casino. In other cases, a regular collection is taken from the pot at timed intervals – usually half an hour. This encourages hands to play more quickly, as players try to avoid the rake and get the most out of each pot played.