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Posts : 125
Join date : 2010-05-28
Age : 44
Location : Fife

PostSubject: POKER ETIQUETTE   POKER ETIQUETTE EmptySat May 29, 2010 7:10 pm


Despite poker's badboy image, there are certain rules of behaviour, both written and unwritten which aspiring players should bear in mind. They are there not only to keep the game honest, but to make it an enjoyable game for involved and also to help make you a winning player. Poker in many ways is a mirror to life, big business and life coaches use similar game theory to reach correct or at least balanced decisions. If the eyes are a window to the soul, the way you play poker is the driveway

Online and Live play share many of these rules, but both have their own variations.


Playing live can be a daunting experience and there is a lot to keep track of.. Where do you sit? When do you post? How much can you bet? What are the chip denominations? Added to this you must try and be courteous and abide by the rules, do you really want to annoy the regulars and show how green you are on your first visit? Plus, its bad enough if you are knocked out, but to suffer the humiliation of being told to leave by the tournament director is extreme, but possible! Therefore, heres a list of simple rules and guidance to keep you right, get accustomed to them as they will make you look more professional and improve your game at the same time.

NO SWEARING: On the whole this will be frowned upon and at the wrong table will result in the director coming over to have a word. Keep it up and jeopardise your seat! Keeping to this rule helps keep you calm and avoids showing the signs of tilting (you just have to learn how to stop the steam coming out your ears).

PAY ATTENTION: Learn the value of your chips, be aware of the action and know when its your turn. Do not muck or act before its your turn as this has serious implications to the hand and effects other's play.

DONT DELAY: While some decisions will take time to assess and at other times you may decide that a few extra minutes will feign weakness, in general don't take an age on every move. (As an aside its advantageous to learn to take a similar time for every decision to purge that tell.. Chris Ferguson is a master of this). It is rude to unnecessarily linger and slow the game down for the rest of the table.

MUCKING YOUR CARDS: Your best to push your cards across the table to the dealer if you are folding rather than throwing them for fear of exposing either of them and definitely no throwing them AT the dealer! They are not to blame and are only doing their job.

USING YOUR CHIPS: Do not 'SPLASH' the pot, ie throwing your chips into the middle. It makes it harder to see the bet size and can lead to complications if the chips get muddled and could rule you out of the hand if not the game. This ploy has been used to try and cheat the pot by adding less chips than required, don't get suspected of being a cheat, ease a neat pile of chips forward to state your bet. No 'STRINGING' your bet/chips. Your bet must be pushed forward in one steady go. Do not try and get a reaction to a certain bet size, then attempt to add further chips. The dealer will rule to take your initial bet only and you will be marked.

DON'T DISCUSS A HAND IN PLAY: NEVER discuss a hand you are not involved in or suggest you may of hit the flop hard with your mucked cards. It can give another player an unfair advantage, possibly ruining a pot for someone. What if they are trying to represent hitting the flop, then you pipe up that you had the magic cards? In fact don't even react to the board! If you talk about your hand in multi-way pots, some rooms will judge your hand to be forfeit, let your bets do the talking, not your mouth. In addition, do not offer advice to any player while a hand is ongoing.

STAY SEATED: Unless you are '-in' do not leave the table during a hand.

SHOW ONE SHOW : If you decide to show your cards (WHY?) even though everyone else has folded, make sure everyone sees them, not just the player next to you.

DON'T MOVE YOUR CARDS: If in a hand, keep your hole cards on the baize, in front of you. This will prevent allegations and players acting out of turn as they cant see your cards and think you have folded. Also - leave the dealer button alone!

DON'T TAP THE FISHTANK: Do not be abusive or criticise the play of another person. If their move was bad, then you want them to continue in that vein, do not give them a free lesson on how they should have played the hand! You want to keep the fish, so play nice and do not scare them off, besides its just rude! If someone takes that tone with you, be polite, agree or ignore them. The table will soon let them know they are out of order. Don't let it affect you and do not tilt.. if its too bad, get the director involved.

RESEARCH: Before the big day, or at the very least go to the venue early, in order to familiarise yourself with the layout and the house rules.


Online is a true test of someone's character. In the course of any session you will be faced with many obnoxious individuals trying to tilt you or just being 'brave', abusive and generally pathetic when theres hundreds of virtual miles separating you and in real life they are 5'3" and 10 stone! How did that make you feel? How did the table react to him? Do not be one of these donkeys.

Some of the above rules also apply to online play with some additional guidance:

DON'T TAP THE FISHTANK: As per live play, but bear in mind without the visual body language, a flippant remark meant in jest can be offensive and taken out of context, know your audience. Most internet casinos will censor offensive words, however using them will draw the attention of the managers and will result in chat bans or worse. If someone is being abusive at your table, even if it is not directed towards you, why not let them know they are out of order and warn if it continues you will report them. Most rooms have the function to get the attention of a manager to highlight this.

DON'T DELAY: Again take your time to make hard decisions and try to balance your thinking-time out as it can be one of a few online tells, but do not make a habit of letting the timer run down every time. On the flip side, do not type 'ZZZZZZZZZZ' if someone takes their time making hard decisions, its what the timer is for and its only 30 seconds or so!

COLLUSION: Whilst possible live, it is online that it strikes fear into the heart of all genuine players. It is WRONG and if/when you are caught you will have your accounts suspended and possibly seized. All sites have tracking software that will flag up suspicious plays and players who tend to play at the same tables, along with the eager, paranoid eyes of other players reporting iffy circumstances. Also, do not create multi-accounts, there have been a few high profiles incidents of this and it will lead to accusations and frozen funds. DON'T DO IT!

CHIP DUMPING: eg - you play heads up cash with the intention of donating the money to the other player. No matter how innocent the reasons, its best to stay clear of this as it can result in account freezing and seizure and be looked upon as money laundering.

Remember, breaking these rules may make you look like a donkey, or even face legal charges... but it could be worse. In the formative poker years in the wild west cheating card sharps were shot or tarred and feathered!

It's nice to be important but more important to be nice

Be lucky....
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