Poker Etiquette | Dos and Don'ts at a Poker Table

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Poker is a Gentleman’s sport, hence it should be played like one. There are a specific set of unsaid rules and poker etiquettes to follow while playing poker which not just helps you play better but enables you to win big. Here are some unwritten rules:

Be polite

Be a pleasant gentleman or a lady on the table. If you are nice to others, then they are less likely to get upset or angry when you make a mistake or even when you beat them in the game. They might even help you out when you make errors or show you some mercy and not go hard at you.

Know the rules

If you are playing at a real table, then know the rules to the house before playing the game. It is quintessential to know what and how you will be playing before you join the table.

Know the tournament structure

In case of tournaments, if it is available, review tournament structure before playing. The tournament structure will help you figure out when to be aggressive or when to take it easy. It will help you understand when breaks are coming. Therefore, the structure will prevent you from making a costly mistake when the break is just around the corner.

Pay attention

The most important thing to do is to pay attention which means staying away from distractions such as, cell phones, laptops, headphones, etc. These things will only distract you and irritate the other players who are actually following the table manners for the game.

Always act

Act when it’s your turn. If it is not your turn to do the folding, betting, raising, then do not call. When you do not act in turn, you give off unnecessary information and immediately your opponents can adjust their game to raise or fold the bet, and beat you in the long run.

Don’t react

Do not react to the cards when they come out. If you react to the card(s), you unintentionally give off your hand by showing the expression. Unless you want to fool them into thinking, never react to the cards. Basically show no emotion when cards come out, this is what we call a poker face.

Showing cards (A Big NO)

Don’t show your cards to the players at the table, no matter what your neighbour or the dealer may ask you to do. In general, players should never show their cards unless it’s a showdown.

Shhh! No discussions

Don’t discuss the hand. This is considered exceptionally rude and can also get you penalized. Be careful!

Do not string bet

A string bet is when you make more than one action while placing the chips on the table. For example, you place a few chips on the table as a bet and immediately come back in your stack and add some more; now that will be illegal and will be considered a string bet. Make one motion while placing your chips on the table and best announce your bets.

Don’t splash the pot

This slows down the game and causes unnecessary hassle for the dealer who has to stop the game and place your chips back up in your stock. It is customary to slide your chips out to the centre of the table after announcing them.

Don’t be a show-off

No one likes a show-off player. It makes you look cocky and stupid. There are only a few occasions where showing off may come in handy, and those are especially for the more seasoned players. It may work for you, or against you.

Appreciate the dealer and staff

Always show your dealer and staff appreciation. It’s customary to tip 1-5% towards the dealers, and a very good etiquette to willingly participate in dealer appreciation bonus chips. They not just appreciate but also work for the tips.

Following all the above-mentioned unsaid rules will not just make you a better player, but also might just add in a little bonus to your luck. These will make you appear like a seasoned player. And, also will help you minimize the losses and prevent other players from coming after you from time-to-time, till you eventually run out of luck. Now put your poker face on and most importantly enjoy the game!

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Edited by Raunak J
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