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Poker Etiquette Rules You Need To Know - How To Behave At The Casino Table


Poker is a social game, and like all other social activities, there are some rules you need to follow not to ruin your and the experience of other people involved.

One of the most important things for poker is knowing how to behave when you are in a game, or in other words, following certain poker etiquette that will improve the game's speed, quality, and overall atmosphere.

With this said, here is the most important poker etiquette rules that every poker player should know.

Poker Etiquette Rules You Need To Know - How To Behave At The Casino Table

Don’t Slow Roll

Slow rolling is probably one of the most well-known breaches of poker etiquette, and there is a good reason for this; nobody likes to get slow-rolled.

For all of you that don’t know what slow rolling is, it is an act in which the player who knows he has the best hand pretends that he has the decision to make and thus gives an illusion to his opponent that they still have a chance to win.

If you know you have the best hand and no more betting is to be done, you should turn your hand as soon as possible and avoid giving an impression to the other player that he maybe won the pot.

Don’t Waste Time

There are spots in poker in which players need to use all of their available brain power to make a decision. This is something that all players know, and nobody will give you a hard time thinking too much in a tough situation or a big pot.

However, you should avoid using too much time each time when the action is on you. Don’t waste your and your opponents’ time pretending that you have a big decision when you don’t.

Poker players hate individuals who waste their time for a couple of reasons. First, it slows down the game and makes it boring, and second, it lowers the number of hands they can play in a specific time frame, which negatively impacts their bottom line.

Poker Etiquette Rules You Need To Know - How To Behave At The Casino Table

Don’t Act Out Of Turn

Another important part of poker table etiquette is acting in turn. When you are at the poker table, you should only announce your decision or make your move when it is your turn to act.

By making a move before the action comes to you, you are giving valuable information to the players still to act. And since each piece of information in poker is crucial, you will spoil the whole hand by acting out of turn.

Even if you do this unintentionally, it will still have the same consequences, so make sure you are concentrated and patient and wait until it is your turn to act.

Make Your Actions Clear

Making only non-verbal actions at the poker table can result in other players and the dealer misinterpreting what you want to do.

They might think you made a raise when you just called, or they might miscalculate how much you bet. To remove any doubts about your actions at the table, the best course of action is to always verbally announce what you are going to do.

By verbally announcing your actions and bet sizings, you remove any doubt that someone at the table might misunderstand your move. More importantly, you protect yourself from making a betting mistake since verbal action is binding, so you can bet however you want when you announce it in advance.

Don’t Hide Your Stack

Stack sizes are extremely important in poker as they have a big impact on the players’ decisions. Therefore, you should never try to hide the size of your stack.

Two of the best ways you can allow your opponents to see how many chips you have is to avoid blocking the size of your stack with your hands and organize your stack so you will put the highest-valued chips in front.

These two steps can be extremely important as they will allow you to avoid answering questions about your stack size during a hand and thus possibly giving away free information.

Instead, the dealer will answer for you, or your opponent can count your stack himself.

Poker Etiquette Rules You Need To Know - How To Behave At The Casino Table

Pay Attention To The Action

This unwritten rule of casino poker etiquette goes hand in hand with acting in turn. If you decide to play poker, you should give the game your undivided attention. This means avoiding using your phone, talking to someone not in the game, flirting with the waitresses, etc.

By focusing on what is happening at the table, you will avoid acting out of turn and forcing the dealer to constantly remind you that it is your time to act. You will also speed up the game and make it more enjoyable for everyone involved.

Finally, if you don’t pay attention to the action, your results will suffer as you will have less information than the players paying attention to their opponents' every move.

Don’t Reveal Your Hole Cards Until The Hand Is Over

Revealing your hole cards before a hand is over is not only a breach of Texas Holdem etiquette, but it can also impact the integrity of the game. For this reason, you should always keep your hole cards secret until the hand is over.

If the action is still open and you mention your hole cards, you might give away crucial information that will help some of your opponents and hurt others, which you should always avoid.

Even if the action is over and players are already all-in, and there are still more cards to come, don’t reveal your holdings. No one wants to know that some of their outs might be dead when they are all in.

When you are out of a hand, wait until the hand is over if you want to reveal your cards to other players at the table for whatever reason.

Be Nice Towards The Dealer

Poker is a game full of variance, and players experience a rollercoaster of emotions in any given session. But no matter your emotional state after a hand or during a session, you should always be respectful to the dealer.

At the end of the day, dealers are only doing their job and can’t influence the outcome of the hand or choose which cards will come next.

If they make a mistake, do your best to tell them nicely and find a solution that will correct their mistake with a minimal impact on the gameplay.

Blaming or arguing with the dealer makes players at the table uncomfortable and has an additional impact on your emotional state, leading to you making wrong in-game decisions.

Don’t Complain Too Much

Anyone who has been playing poker for a while knows how cruel the game can sometimes be, but the important thing is to keep your head up and make good decisions. Ranting for five minutes about a bad beat will do no good for you or the other players at the table.

No one likes a player that complains about how unlucky he is all the time, it is annoying and distracting, and it can make the game less enjoyable.

On the other hand, thinking too much about bad beats will do you no good in terms of strategy either. It can only cloud your judgment in future hands and thus make you perform suboptimal decisions.

Don’t get us wrong; saying a sentence or two after a bad beat is understandable and most players do it, just don't hold a speech about your misfortunes.

Poker Etiquette Rules You Need To Know - How To Behave At The Casino Table

Don’t Berate Other Players At The Table

One of the most annoying groups of poker players is those who think they know it all and try to spread their “knowledge” with the rest of the table. If you notice that someone made a mistake, don't berate them about it, no one likes being told that they made a mistake, especially if they just lost a pot because of it.

Instead, keep your opinion about other players playing for yourself. This way, you will be doing a favor to yourself, as you can capitalize on these mistakes in the future hands.

Don’t Angle Shoot

In poker, angle shooting is a term used to describe an action that a player uses to gain an unfair advantage over his competition. This is most often done by deceiving other players or breaking the rules of the game.

String betting (betting in multiple motions), hiding big chips, pump faking (pretending that you will perform a certain action to deceive your opponents), trying to see your opponent's hole cards, and lying (in specific situations) are just some of the most common types of angle shooting.

Some of the mentioned might not be against the poker table rules, but they are definitely against casino poker etiquette, and you should avoid doing them at all costs.

If you angle shoot, it can result in you being thrown out of the game, getting in a confrontation with other players, or even getting a bad reputation in the poker community, none of which makes it worthwhile.

Poker Etiquette Rules You Need To Know - How To Behave At The Casino Table

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