Knowledge of poker etiquette is necessary, especially if you are new to visiting a cardroom. Following the established social guidelines helps create a fun, relaxed atmosphere and can prevent arguments flaring up. It also prevents players, either accidentally or purposefully, from ruining a game for others by revealing too much about what they had in their hands.
These etiquette pointers also apply to home poker games and much of the advice can be used for online players who might otherwise fall foul of saying the wrong thing on the in-game messenger service.
Becoming so excited or feeling so despondent that you blurt out your intention to call or fold before the play has come round to you is immensely confusing for the order of the game and can help furnish those yet to bet with information that could change their intended action. This is unfair on those who have already taken their turn as it creates an uneven playing field. Pay attention to what’s going on in the game so you know when it’s your turn!
You may have folded and then realised, on the flop, your cards were much more valuable than you had expected. Of course you will be disappointed, but revealing that information provides the remaining players with an unfair advantage, so keep it to yourself. This is also why you shouldn’t show your cards at any point before the showdown, so it’s vital to be careful when throwing them into the muck once you fold.
Similarly, it is frowned upon to discuss the hand in progress at all, as you might inadvertently tip off a player to a move they could make but which would never have occurred to them otherwise. In addition, unless you are Phil Ivey or Daniel Negreanu, no one wants you to spout advice at them - it can hinder their concentration, is unfair on the others round the table and, if it goes wrong, you will cop the blame!
There is absolutely no need to attack other players or the dealer, either verbally or physically. It is not their fault the cards haven’t landed well for you, it is better to just give it up as a bad job and try again another day.
On the flipside, if you are on fire then a little decorum is expected. It is not the done thing to over-celebrate and make too much of your victory, as it will just annoy others. It’s no good for the game if everyone else around the table feels beaten-down and just wants to get things over with so they can get away from the braggart sitting next to them.
When making a bet, you just need to nudge forward your neatly-stacked chips and the dealer will add them to the rest of the pot. There is no need to throw them into the middle of the table as that could disrupt the cards and chips of the other players, whilst making it difficult for them to work out how much you have put down. This is called splashing the pot and while it may look cool in films, it is actually quite annoying in real life.
Making an opponent believe they may have won the hand by taking an age before turning over what you know full well to be a stronger selection is showboating and is termed slow rolling. There is nothing wrong with taking your time if you are genuinely weighing up the strength of your hand, but purposefully dangling the hope of a win in front of another player, then snatching it away with a smirk will not make you any friends.
For your chance to try out your knowledge of the etiquette of poker, visit the Live Poker Listings section of Gamble.co.uk, where you will find game times, information on stakes and all the contact details you need for the venues.
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