Poker Etiquettes 101
Being a good poker player isn’t just about winning hands or showing skills on the felt. It is also about maintaining poise and portraying proper decorum. There are unsaid etiquettes which are essential when playing live games. Being rowdy doesn’t only give you a bad name, it’s also a deterrent in your long-term poker life.
Let’s examine a few poker etiquettes we all must follow:
Being polite goes a long way
Even if you get a bad beat; doesn’t mean you start bad-mouthing your opponent. Losing hands is part of your poker life. Table talk and irking an opponent can be part of your strategy; however, being disrespectful is completely different.
Pay attention to the action
Even if you’re preoccupied with your phone or chatting with another player; make sure you are aware of your turn. Keeping others waiting or asking what the action was is really annoying for other players.
Don’t hit and run
It’s common on online tables to hit-and-run. All of us do it! However, in live games, etiquette dictates that you at least stay for one ‘orbit’. A lot of casinos may require to call ‘time’ before you sit on the tables, however, it’s best to stick around for a bit.
Holding up the game
If you need to make an important decision, by all means, take your time. However, if you take time for every small action, it gets annoying. Getting the clocked called on you isn’t recommended.
Don’t discuss hands mid-game
Just because you’ve folded your hand, doesn’t mean you start discussing it when others are in the game. Many casinos have strict rules against this. Even if there aren’t such rules in place, it is extremely rude to divulge information about your hand.
Keep your table talk in check
Some people use table talk as a strategy to either extract information about a hand or get a general read of a player. However, swearing incessantly or passing needless comments is not only amateurish, it’s also a one-way ticket to get kicked from the table.
Be a gracious winner and a polite loser
Refrain from passing unnecessary comments when you are beaten or get a bad beat. Nobody likes a sore loser. I’ve often seen whiny players passing snide comments to the winner about how he/she got lucky on the river and that it was a poor play (poor pot odds, 2-outers, etc.).
On the other hand, in case you win a huge pot, be proud of yourself but don’t gloat. Especially, don’t teach others how to play and rub their noses in it.
No string betting, please
Casinos and tourneys have defined rules about string betting. String betting is one of the most annoying things one can do at the table. Some people do it on purpose to get tells on their opponents while others are just novices. It’s always best to announce your bet.
Don’t play out of turn or fold out of turn
Playing out of turn or folding out of turn can disrupt other people’s game and strategy. Even making suggestive movements is a big no-no; like gesturing to fold your cards etc. This will upset other players; so, be aware of your turn and wait for your move.
Don’t insult the dealer
Dealers are people too and just because you were dealt a bad beat doesn’t make it their fault. Dealing cards for a long time is tiring work. Insulting a dealer is considered extremely rude and bad karma too (I guess).
Don’t splash the pot
Splashing the pot only adds to the dealer’s ordeal. It also slows down the proceedings of the game. On top of that, it’s really annoying to watch. There are other ways to show your ‘swag’ rather than splashing the pot.
The last and the most important: Slow rolling
Slow rolling might be fun at home games to mock your friends/family. Doing it in professional scenarios is a cardinal sin. People will be at your throat if you slow roll. There have been instances where there have been massive fights just because someone slow rolled.
Folks, being called a ‘fish’ behind your back is one thing, in fact, it may work in your favor at times. However, being called an annoying idiot behind your back isn’t good. Think about it, what if you were going to get invited to a soft game, and the only reason you weren’t was that players find you irritating. Think about it! In any walk of life, being polite and courteous goes a long way.