There are proper venues for everything—even on poker tables. There are set of unwritten rules on the table that every poker player should know before getting a seat. Like a gentle man walking into a room for a fine dine evening, one should be able to know which one is the salad fork and where does the soup spoon go. That being said, every player should be able to remember these simple yet important poker etiquette notes. For newbies on the field, here are pieces of advice from us here in Capitol Casino:
1. KNOW WHEN IT IS YOUR TURN.
Poker is played in a clockwise turn where every player should wait their turn before making their move. If a player acts out of turn then this is a complete disregard of the rule and will confuse the flow of the game. If you try to check, fold, or raise a bet before your turn, you will obscure everybody in the table with your action.
2. PLACE YOUR BETS ACCORDINGLY.
First, never throw your chips into the pot. Players call this, “splashing the pot”. When players do this, they give the dealers a hard time counting the chips as they wouldn’t know if the player has given enough chips to cover the bet, the raise, or the pot. Next, wait for your turn before making a bet. If players place their bets out of their turns it could give an unfair advantage to the player that hasn’t acted yet. This is the same if a player raises out of turn because the player that might have called that turn folds. Doing this can also go against your own game as the player next to you can predict your move. Also, do not attempt to make a string bet. This is a form of cheating in this time and age. Players should properly announce a raise if they wish to make a raise. To avoid this, be sure to put the amount of chips you wish to include in the pot as your bet. Placing some chips and going back to your stack after can be considered stringing. This may be a no brainer, but players should be present enough in the game to know how much the current bet is or how much people are raising their bet. Doing this does not only keep a smooth flowing game but it also makes you a smart player.
3. PROTECT YOUR CARDS AT ALL TIMES.
Protecting your cards at all times means keeping your hand faced down on the table. Poker is a game of strategy and revealing your cards early in the game is a bad idea. Do not discuss your hand to another player even if you have folded in the game. The information you are giving to the other players will put out those who are on the other side of the table. Making a remark such as “A queen and a king” is no good as well as it has the same impact on the table. Be sure to keep your hand to yourself until the end of the game. During the showdown, make sure to reveal your card in a way that the dealer will see both cards clearly. Lastly, keep your cards on the table. Some play in style and uses card guards or weight to keep their cards in place on the table. This is good as long as it does not interfere with the game. Throwing a winning hand is just as bad as splashing bet. If you think you have the best hand on the table, be patient until the dealer decides on the winner. Until this happens, your opponents can challenge your cards.
4. TABLE STAKES
Playing proper poker means you only play with the chips you have on the table. Unlike fun game tables where you can just pull money from your pockets when you run out of funds, proper poker plays at tables stakes. You have to give up your seat once you run out of chips to play or if your existing chips can no longer cover the stakes of the current game in play.
5. HOLD YOUR HORSES
Since poker is a game of nerves and strategy, some players will try to taunt your or intimidate you. If this happens, be sure to be in control of your emotions. Picking a fight or using foul language takes you from the gentlemen’s league to the slums real fast. You wouldn’t want to make yourself look foolish in front of your fellow players, right? So, until the game is over, hold it all in.
These are only a few of the most common table etiquettes that can help a young budding poker player to get into his or her game. Here in Capitol Casino, a true born Sacramento casino, we encourage a clean and peaceful game. Beginners are usually focused on the game that they forget that there are etiquettes to follow when playing. Remember, this does not only go for poker as every table game has its own set of unwritten rules that every player should abide by.