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Poquer Etiquette

For some players, poor poker etiquette is as bad as being dealt a lousy hand. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the social rules of the game so you don’t embarrass yourself or upset your opponents. Every casino and home game has its own set of rules. Make sure you familiarize yourself with them before you begin playing.

1. Your cards and chips should always be visible on the table. At no time should they be hidden out of sight.

2. You’re responsible for your own chips and money and should always have them in your sight.

3. When you’re not looking at your cards, they should be kept face-down on the table. Don’t show your cards to inactive players.

4. Don’t touch other players’ cards, chips or money.

5. Don’t show your cards at any time during play until the showdown or your hand will be declared dead and you lose any claim to the pot.

6. If you drop a card, your hand is declared dead and you lose any claim to the pot.

7. Don’t discuss any action you might take out of turn, regardless what action it is. This information can help other players, which is bad for you and everyone else.

8. Even if you have folded, don’t discuss a hand that’s still in play.

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9. Once the hand is over, it is still not good manners to discuss the hand, especially if it is to criticize other players’ decisions.

10. Don’t make misleading statements about your hand. Some people claim this is a form of bluffing and is acceptable, but openly lying about your hand is still considered bad form by many.

11. It’s OK to let the dealer know when you notice them making a mistake, but don’t be rude when you tell them.

12. Pass the dealer your discard don’t throw it at them (especially since it might flip over and reveal your card).

13. When you’re going all-in, announce it so the dealer and the other players are made aware. The dealer should announce it as well so everyone knows.

14. When you announce that you’re betting, don’t ‘string bet.’ This is when you say you’re betting, and then wait for a response from the other players before you say how much you’re betting. People who do this should be encouraged to make faster and clearer bets. This is also called a ‘string raise.’

15. When putting chips in pot, do it so it’s clear how many chips you’re putting in. Don’t ‘splash the pot,’ which occurs when a player throws their chips into the pot in such a way that it’s impossible to know how many were put in. You’ll just waste everyone’s time as now all the chips need to be counted to make sure you didn’t cheat by putting less chips in.

16. Chips should first be placed right in front of you when betting so the dealer can confirm it’s the right amount. They will then push your chips in the pot (or you, depending on the house rules).

17. Putting a chip on your cards shows the dealer you’re still in the game and prevents any confusion that you might have folded.

18. Treat all players equally. That means don’t bet less against a friend than you would any other player.

19. Don’t take too long thinking what you’re going to do when it’s your turn. Some casinos have a limit on ‘thinking time’ (usually about two minutes). You can all agree to have one for home games as well. In some games, by calling ‘time,’ you will be given additional time to think.

20. When playing home games, don’t quickly leave once you’ve won a lot of money early in the night. Let the players know you intend to leave so they try to earn back some of their money. This is fine in casinos, though.


21. Don’t talk too much at the table at casino games (this doesn’t apply to social home games). Some players incorporate idle chatter in their game, but don’t talk the ears off the other players.

22. Don’t place your drink directly on the table in casinos. Use the drink holders provided.

23. Don’t ask to see mucked cards.

24. Don’t swear at casino games.

25. Don’t hit on other players at casino games.

26. Don’t be rude to the dealer or other players.


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