Etiquette in Poker

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Poker Etiquettes

People often say that cricket is a gentleman’s game. However, this doesn’t mean that poker is a game where you’re permitted to behave like a beast. You still have to observe some poker etiquette. Usually, the house dealer is the one, who acts like a teacher controlling and disciplining a rowdy classroom, maintains a level of decorum at the table. But that doesn’t mean that the players are absolved of any responsibility. They need to be on their best behavior, and remain respectful and civilized.

Poker is a game that has many high highs and low lows, and this can cause a lot of exhilaration or frustration. However, you’ll rarely see a poker player celebrate wildly, or get angry and turn the table over. Despite the volatile nature of the game, all the players know that they need to be calm, obey the poker rules, and observe a mannerly way of behaving. Now, if you want to be a poker player, and you’re worried that you might make a faux pas at the table, then don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. I’ll be a handy helper and provide you with a list of what’s expected and what’s frowned upon at the table. So, straighten your bow ties and pull up your socks; we’re about to learn some poker game etiquette.

Top 7 Poker Game Etiquettes

We’re about to go through the basics of poker etiquettes, so pay close attention, if you want to avoid being shown the door. The rules are as follows:

1) Act in Turn:

If you’ve played any board game before, then you know what I’m talking about. Often while playing, people get excited and roll the dice before their own turn. And while this is okay when you’re playing Monopoly with your family, this kind of behavior does not fly at a poker table.

At the table, the game proceeds in a clockwise fashion, and that’s what you need to stick to. Also, playing ahead of your turn can give someone, who sits before you, an advantage to exploit your game. So really, it’s for your own benefit to play when you should.

Patience is the mother of all virtues, even in poker.

2) Don’t Throw Your Chips:

This rule should be an obvious one for anyone who isn’t five years old. I know that throwing your chips in the pot, when you make a bet, can be dramatic and theatrical, but it’s also highly inconvenient.

When you throw your chips in the pot, the dealer and the other players don’t know the exact amount of your bet. So, the dealer might interrupt the game and count your thrown chips. Honestly, causing an interruption in the game, just for a little flair, is not going to make you a favorite at the table. Just place your chips in front of you, at the table, and throw things when you’re back at home.

Throw your chips, and you’re throwing your game.

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3) Avoid String Bets or String Raises:

Not only is this move against the rules of poker etiquettes, but it’s also illegal. If you’re at the table and you want to make a bet, or a raise, then you need to use your words and say ‘raise’. If you don’t, you’ll be making a string bet or a string raise.

Some players, who want to bet, or raise, put less than the full amount in the pot, and don’t announce their move. Then, they go back to their stacks to get more chips. This lack of announcement is not considered a proper thing to do, and is usually attributed to unscrupulous players.

For the first time, it’s a good thing to announce your every move, so do it.

4) Act on Time:

This isn’t just a tenet of poker etiquette, but it’s a fundamental rule for your life. Try to be on time, people. Even at the poker table, you should make your best attempt at being punctual.

Most of the time, players spend more time watching their opponents play, than do the playing themselves. So, if it’s your turn to play, don’t loiter. Try to play as quickly as possible. That doesn’t mean that you need to compromise your game. You can definitely take a pause to ponder over a tough decision by saying ‘time, please’. But, when you’re not faced with some dilemma, think ahead and plan, so that you can play in a timely fashion.

At a poker table, you can’t play late, and tell your opponents that you were stuck in traffic.

5) Cards on the Table:

I know what I’m saying sounds like an antithesis to everything you’ve heard about poker. People always say that you need to keep your cards close to your chest, but that is not the case. At a poker table, you need to keep your cards on the table.

In fact, card rooms don’t allow you to pick them up. There are two reasons for this rule. One is that when you go to pick up your cards, your opponent might see them. The second reason being that the dealer refers to the cards on the table while dealing, so if your cards aren’t there, he might skip you.

So, keep your cards on the table and keep yourself in the game.  

6) Turn Your Cards at Showdown:

Finally, when the game comes to an end, you have to reveal your hands at the showdown. This is the right moment to turn your cards and show your hand to the entire table. This helps the dealer determine who has the winning hand, and has won the pot.

However, if you act like the righteous kid in an exam who shows only part of his answer, and show only some of your cards, you will not only miss seeing the winning hand, but the other players will raise an objection to your move.

It’s a good time to show off.

7) Don’t Discuss Your Hand:

When you’re playing the game, poker etiquette demands that you refrain from talking about your hand. It’s a very simple rule to follow. You can’t divulge any information about your hand to the other players, during the game, even if you’ve folded.

If you make any statement about your cards to another player, you are helping him or her make deductions about the cards at play. Even after you’ve folded, if you let a player know that you’ve thrown an Ace and a King, you’re speeding up their logical calculations. Doing so, will stop them from making the moves they would’ve, or encourage them to play a riskier game. Just don’t say anything, and let the game unfold, as it should have.

It’s not that hard to keep your mouth shut for a couple of hours, is it?

We’ve gone through some of the basic rules of poker etiquettes, and given you some helpful tips to help you play a good game of poker. You can be rest assured that you won’t commit any blunders at the table, anymore. Now that you’re up to date on poker etiquette, you need to start playing and putting all the advice into action. So, come join us at Spartan, and get ready to play some poker games!


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