Poker Etiquette


Playing poker should be enjoyable for everyone and certainly requires a keen eye and strict attention to detail but it’s important to keep in mind there’s a level of etiquette that must be

followed, as well. Whether following rules of the game, behavior at the table or proper hygiene, it’s important to know the do’s and don’ts of playing poker so everyone has a good time and the game runs smoothly.

Don’t Talk About Cards You’ve Folded

It’s goes against etiquette to discuss the cards you’ve folded. Talking about
the hand, banging your hand on the table, dropping your jaw or reeling back in your chair could potentially alert the rest of the table that you would have hit the flop, which could in turn affect their decisions. You could potentially be ruining the game by giving other players an advantage, so it’s best to have no reaction and say absolutely nothing.

Never Help Other Players

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Always play your own hand, and don’t try to interfere with another player’s cards.

Poker is not a team sport. It’s not your job to assist other players or decide for them whether or not to show their hand. A simple guideline to follow is one player per hand. That you think a fellow player is making a mistake doesn’t matter, and it’s not your place to inform their game. That said, if you notice a mistake being made, make a mental note and learn from it so you don’t repeat the mistake in future games.

In most brick-and-mortar card rooms, giving advice to others is actually against the rules. Other players don’t want your unsolicited opinions crowding their thoughts, especially if you’re no longer in the hand.

Always Keep the Game Moving

Slowing down the game brings everyone down and dampens the mood. Make sure to post your antes/blinds quickly without other players having to comment about it. Don’t deliberately hold up the game. If you’re in public, don’t text, place a food order or do anything other than play when it’s your turn. Poker isn’t the quickest game to begin with and slowing it down further will reflect poorly on you as a player.

Don’t Talk About a Hand in Progress

Whether you’re playing live or on the internet, it’s never OK to discuss the current hand in play. Don’t talk about the cards on the board, the ones you folded, which cards you think other players are holding, how you would have acted or how big the pot is. Commonly referred to as “table talk,” discussing a hand that’s currently in play could be construed as a method of cheating. You could be creating advantages for other players, and will have to profusely apologize if that happens or possibly face punishment in a tournament or casino setting.

Never Blame the Dealer

When the cards don’t go your way, it’s important to remember that it’s not the dealer’s fault. Dealers don’t have any control over what cards are dealt to each player. If you’re somewhere with a professional dealer, they are simply doing their job and deserve to be treated with respect. Not tipping because the game didn’t work in your favor is poor sportsmanship.

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Never blame the dealer if a hand doesn’t go your way.

Avoid Slow Rolling

Slow rolling is when a player takes a long time to turn over what they know will be a winning hand, often while saying or doing something to make their opponents think they’ve actually won. This is one of the greatest poker etiquette breaches someone can make. If it’s become clear you have the best hand and you’re going to call the bet, do it as soon as you make that decision.

Try Not to Multitask

If you’re playing online poker, try to focus on one game at a time. This will keep your concentration and focus on the action instead of spreading it between multiple games and getting lost in all of the action. Additionally, avoid other things like phone calls, TV shows or anything that pulls your attention away. You’ll make people wait unnecessarily long and they will not appreciate it.

9-3-Celebrate

As with many enjoyable things, always celebrate in moderation.

Celebrate in Moderation

There’s no reason not to take joy in winning a hand, especially if there was a lot of money at stake. You played to the best of your skills and it worked out. However, throwing your win in everyone’s face, yelling, fist pumping and excessive celebration will not make you friends at the table. Presumably you’ve lost a game at some point, so it’s important to remember how those people are feeling and celebrate accordingly.

Keeping these rules and guidelines in mind ensures that all players, whether in front of your or across the world wide web, will have a good experience.