Poker Etiquette

Poker etiquette is a very important concept to understand if you are going to ever walk into a poker room. It is less important for home games and definitely not as important for online poker. Still, it is nice to know what is acceptable and what is not when it comes to such an intense game. Keep in mind that when in a poker room, a lot of the people sitting down at those tables do not look at this as a game. They will take it very seriously and will not take kindly to inappropriate behavior. There are just some things that you do not do in a poker room.

Things you Never Do

Just like anything else, there are different levels of poker etiquette. Some things are tolerated more than others. Some things that you should never ever do in a poker room are as follows.

Show your cards while a pot is still live. – This is something you should never do no matter what game you are playing in. If you where to flip your cards over in a casino, you would definitely get yelled at and warned, but you would not get penalized in any way most of the time. That is why this is called poker etiquette and not poker rules. Still, it is equally important.

Open your Mouth During a Hand. – A lot of players have a tendency to talk about their hand while other players are still in it. This is not acceptable. When you disclose information to other players it may give them an edge over another that they should not get. It is best to just keep your mouth shut until the hand is completely finished.

Splash the Pot – It is disrespectful and rude to splash the pot. Splashing the pot would consist of a player grabbing his/her chips and throwing them into the pot. Stack your bet in front of you and let the dealer handle the rest.

Messy Chip Stack – There is normally not any rule saying how you have to stack your chips. It is proper poker etiquette to keep your chips stacked in front of you so the other players have an idea of how much money you have. Some people will just let their chips lay spread out in front of them. There is no possible way to know how much is there or what is denominations the chips are.

Things that you Shouldn’t Do

Of course there are some things that are tolerated more than others, although it is still a good idea to stay away from the following.

Bad Mouthing the Dealer – No matter what happens, it is a guarantee that the dealer has absolutely nothing to do with the outcome of the hand. There is nothing worse than listening to some idiot freak out on the dealer for giving him a bad beat. The dealer did not do anything – this stuff happens. It is part of the game. The dealer is just doing his/her job and they are probably working hard.

Looking at other player’s hands – Sometimes this is acceptable more often is house games, but it can be annoying. Do not show your neighbor your cards. It is against the rules to show the cards to each other if you are both in the hand which should be obvious. This is the times when one is not in the hand and the other still is. Even then, just keep your cards to yourself.

Poker Etiquette is something that can seem confusing at first. All of these different things you can and cannot do. The best advice is to just sit there and stay cool. Watch what other people are doing and follow them. Also, make sure you do not do anything until the player in front of you has acted. Just sit still with cards in front of you and your chips on the table, until that player to your right makes his/her move.

Filed Under: Poker Lessons


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