What To Expect Playing Poker At The Casino
Monday, 1. March 2010

When you walk into a casino to play poker, you are often asked to sign in at the front desk. The host will ask which poker game you are interested in. If the casino needs to see your ID, your ID will be checked before you can enter the casino itself. The host will check to see if any openings are available in the poker game you are interested in. If there are no openings, you may have to wait until you are called.

If an opening is available, you will be seated right away at a poker table. Before sitting, you will need to purchase your chips at the cashier counter to take with you to the table. Once you are seated, you will not be able to buy more chips at most casinos, so make sure you buy enough. If you run short of chips during a game, you will have to announce “all in” which means that you will only be eligible to win the pot up to that point. Any further bets will be placed in a side pot, which you will not be able to win, no matter how good your hand is. Some casinos ask that you be seated first and then purchase your chips. In some casinos, dealers will sell you the chips while in other casinos the host may bring you the chips you order.

The dealer will announce the rules before the game begins. In some casino poker rooms, you need to post a bet right away to play or you need to pay a fee to begin play. Some casinos will let you watch a round or two without taking part. This can be a useful way to see what sorts of players you will be playing against and the style of game being played. This can also be a chance to notice any “tells” in any of the players that can give you a clue as to how the players react to good or bad hands.

Once you are playing, you need to observe the rules of the casino. Most casinos will not allow you to play if you do not follow basic etiquette rules. For example, you are expected to wait your turn. In some casinos, there is a time limit for each player, so you have to make your decision within a specific time frame. Most casinos do not allow swearing. Plus, at almost all casinos you are expected to place your bet on the table in front of you rather than throw it into the pot. When it is your turn, you need to clearly and immediately announce your intention to raise a bet, if that is what you will be doing. If you place your chips down to match a bet and then move to add to the bet, this is known as a “string bet” which is not allowed by most casinos. If you need to brush up on rules and etiquette, ask the dealer or host well before the game. They will be happy to tell you everything you need to know.

As you play, be sure to remain courteous. If you lose a game, thank the dealer and other players. If you win, again thank the dealer and other players. If you win a medium-sized or larger pot, tip the dealer from the pot. Take the chips to cashier or counter to get your money.

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