The Rules of Poker Etiquette

Posted on: June 15, 2017

Show up in a tux and make sure you go all in with the bow tie. Your drinks should always be shaken, not stirred. Make sure you bring a plus one to come and kiss you on the cheek so that your competition will be focusing on her neckline and not their cards. Oh yes…and always introduce yourself with the last name first.

On second thought, maybe you shouldn’t play the game quite like the great James Bond. After all he did need the American CIA to bail him back into the game after he lost all his government’s money, but nonetheless, he may be the poster child of Poker etiquette, courtesy, and finesse.

Like most things in life, whether it’s your child’s first grade graduation or closing a sales pitch, the standard of behavior changes depending on how much money was invested or is on the table. Of course as the stakes go up, much more is expected of you as a player and there’s a few things you need to know in order to be gracious and win cleanly.

Be Honest

The way any poker game goes is fully dependent upon the amount of money that is up for grabs. In big-bet poker, players are entitled to correct information regarding the bets placed. Another player may ask, “How far in are you?” Players will normally give either an approximate answer or raise their cards so the other contestants can get a glimpse of their chips, which is gives generally enough information. Some players have taken a completely inappropriate action by hiding larger value playing chips behind stacks of smaller ones, which is inexcusable. That poker face is for hiding the cards you have, not the money you’ve placed.

Keep Up With The Game

While poker playing may be incredibly reliable on luck, part of the skill of playing is keeping up with the pace that the game is played and making the right move without backtracking. It is improper for players to ask competitors if they can see what cards have already been folded or what has already been beaten in the pot. It will not only give the rival player another chance at the pot and may put you at a disadvantage, but disrupts the flow of the game.

The Gift of Gab

Poker is a common entertainment release for most, but always remember that it is a competition. Light conversation and a little banter is accepted, but as the game grows more intense with higher bets the last thing every player wants to hear is someone droning on about whatever it is they may be talking about. It also makes players look incompetent as they talk about how they should have played the last hand or regret moves they made.

A Few More Tips

Of course there are no rules against the next few tips and the way the game is played at your table will indefinitely influence your decisions in these regards.

-If the crowd isn’t a smoking crowd, don’t smoke there.

-Make your decisions as a player crystal clear. There is a rule that is you don’t say “raise” while putting another chip into the pot. It is understood to be “call”, but it is more polite to say “call” so the table knows how you’re playing.

-Don’t read newspapers or text during the game. Sadly enough it does happen and degrades the professionalism of the game.

-Don’t blame scapegoats. It’s a game and you have either played badly or gotten an unlucky set of cards. The last thing you want to do is blame the dealer or generate excuses.