When it comes to behavior at the table, in other words – poker etiquette, you’ll probably find that there are as many ‘rules’ as in the game itself!
These rules may not actually be written down and it might seem as though they are only there to be broken – even by the most seasoned players at times – but you really should be paying attention to most of them to avoid getting yourself a bad name, or worse!
Many poker players think just because they are sitting behind a computer or have a big stack it gives them a free license to do as they please. That’s not the case and there are few considerations every poker player should be aware of before they sit at an online poker table. Here are some online and offline poker etiquette tips:
Always try to treat others the way you would like to be treated “with respect”. Watching the likes of Tony G and Phil Hellmuth bad-mouthing his opponents might seem like harmless fun, but acting this way yourself may get you blacklisted, and who wants that?
This might be forgiven occasionally, but repeated offenses cause not only ill-feeling and irritation but serious problems for the other players. Although you sometimes might not have the best seat at the table and distractions around might not help, channel your inner concentration and focus on the action at hand and wait for your turn. After all you are playing for money, honey!
You might be as good as “The KID” when it comes to your reads, but you don’t have to show off in between a hand, especially one that you are not a part of. Not your money, not your problem. Don’t ever talk about another poker player’s hand or give another player advice on a hand which they are in. Imagine if you were on the receiving end of this- For instance, if you have the nuts and you go all-in and a fishy player has to decide whether to call or fold. How would you like it, if another player at the table kept prodding to fold because you have the nuts or similar? These things happen one too many times and it’s about time we put a stop to it.
They are generally professionals doing their best to make sure your game goes smoothly and dealing you 7-2 offsuit 5 times in a row isn’t REALLY their fault. If they had any control over it we are pretty sure they would be living the High Roller Lifelike Dan Bilzerian, so don’t take it out on them! On a side note, nobody ever won a big pot after abusing the Dealer- Just Saying!
You might be a high-roller or a frustrated player, but splashing the pot is a big no-no – it’s not only rude to the dealer and to other players too. It can lead to accusations of cheating. If you throw your chips or money into an already big pot, no-one actually knows how much you’ve paid into it. So, to put it simply –DON’T DO IT!
Apart from being rude, everybody at the table has the same right to see or not see certain cards – to do otherwise could give an advantage to some and not others. Of course, it’s easy enough to just flash your bluff to the guy next to you without thinking, but you should then display it to the rest of the table. Show one show all.
Slow rolling is really bad etiquette. Anytime you think it’s clear that you have the best hand and are going to call your opponents to bet, do so as soon as you have made your decision. Slow rolling can sometimes be justified in some cases I suppose. For example, if you’re playing someone who’s being abusive in the chat or someone like say Phil Hellmuth, slow-rolling can be used as payback(But don’t hold our word to it). However please don’t do it to random people!
Poker School time is for home games, not for the casino or clubs. If someone is new to the game, they can ask the dealer for questions or doubts. It’s super rude and a bit sketchy to share any hand information anyway. Discussing the hand in any way usually doubles the decision time, which stalls the game and also suddenly make it an unlevelled playing field. Imagine Roger Federer playing me in a game of tennis.
If you want to learn how to play poker, do it at home or online first to avoid being ‘that’ guy at the table. Also, don’t flash your cards to your buddy or anonymous players, it’s usually against written policies and it’s the distraction equivalent of passing notes in the classroom.
Although this is pretty much a given in many instances in online play, it’s another one on the ‘blacklist’ of poker’s ‘etiquette rules’. You are never allowed to collude with other players in any way in live poker. It is unfair to the third player. Play the sport with the right integrity
This isn’t golf, but this a game where you can make a lot of money. You don’t want to lose an opportunity to make yourself look good. It’s not all about drinking and talking crazy. If you do play poker for a living, or desperately want to one day, look and act the part 100%. Think about televised events, how you want the world to see you. This is also a chance for strategy, use your “costume” or “mask” and you can control every aspect of another player’s perception.
There are a lot of dos and don’ts when it comes to professional poker, but they all boil down to one point: be respectful. Hundreds of thousands of people play poker, each for their own reasons and with their own intentions. Don’t bring your trash to someone else’s table because poker might be their livelihood or their only means of entertainment. Treat other players the way you would want to be treated in terms of poker etiquette.
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