Poker Etiquette
Tuesday, 20. October 2009

In addition to rules and regulations, most games will have a particular etiquette associated with it. Poker is certainly no exception to this rule and there are a number of important points of etiquette which players should follow and there are even those that players must follow, unless of course they are looking for trouble.

The rules of etiquette of poker have been developed over the course of its history as a matter of necessity. At the end of the day, poker is a game revolving around betting and money. In some cases, players will find themselves involved in a pot in which they have a great deal of money invested. Without rules of etiquette, a friendly game of poker can quickly fall into chaos with fighting and worse.

The following are some simple points of etiquette that all players should be familiar with before participating in a game of poker:

* Do wait until it’s your turn. Folding, or raising or meeting a bet before your turn is like butting ahead in line.

* Don’t get or give advice about card hands. Each person should play their own hand as well as they can. It is unfair to other players if you are getting advice about your own hand or giving advice to another player during a game. It is distracting, too.

* Do keep your chips neatly in front of you and put them into the pot tidily. Throwing your chips quickly into the center of the pot creates a mess and leads to arguments about how much you have contributed.

* Don’t talk when someone else is deciding what to do with their hand. Keep commentary to a minimum. Poker is a game that requires concentration, and it is rude to distract other players with your talk, even if you think you are helping them with tips and strategies.

* Do pay attention to the rules and to the game. It is annoying to wait for a player who does not realize it is their turn and it is equally annoying to other players to constantly remind a player about the rules of the game.

* Don’t be a sore loser. No one likes someone who brags or goes on and on about losing or winning. If you win, accept it with a smile. If you lose, don’t start blaming the dealer or making unfounded accusations about cheating. Winning and losing with style makes everyone at the poker table feel better about the game.

* Do play in a timely way. You do not have to feel as though you are rushing your hand, but don’t take forever to decide whether to bet or fold. Try to anticipate what you will do while other players are making their decisions so that you can keep the game moving forward.

* Don’t race or grab. If you are playing in a home, don’t grab cards out of the dealer’s hand or grab the pot before a winner is even announced. It’s bad form. If you are playing in a casino, don’t rush to the cashier or start making demands of the dealer immediately after a game just because you lost (or won) a pot. Take a minute, thank the dealer and the other players.

* Do speak only English at a poker table if the other players speak only English. Otherwise, it looks as though you are talking about the game behind everyone else’s back. Talking to another player in a language no one else can understand is considered rude, as well.

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