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Poker Ettiquette

Essay by   •  March 16, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,586 Words (7 Pages)  •  971 Views

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Poker Etiquette

Have you ever walked by a poker table in a casino and thought to yourself, "I know I can play with these guys." ? Then you just kept walking because you felt a little intimidated because you are not familiar with all the little intricacies and etiquette of the game. Knowing even the most minuet ways around a poker table can make you feel more at ease with yourself and allow you to concentrate on your game plan and strategy. Here are a few simple rules of thumb that will allow even the newest of players to the poker game to feel a little more at home while sitting with some of the most intimidating people in the world.

Rule 1. Tempo

Inevitably during the course of any poker game you are going to be forced into making a decision that will alter your position at the table. With the outcome of this hand you will probably become the chip leader or the short stack. This is the time to put your thinking cap on and start "mind grinding". This is the time when you need that extra time to make the correct decision. On the flip side, not every hand is a life altering choice. There is no need to sweat it out over a 10-4 off suit in the first position, pre-flop. Keeping a good solid pace of play will allow for two things to happen: The first being that the other players will lose one whole "tell" from their check list. How quickly or slowly you play each hand is one of the first signs of a strong or weak hand. Keeping your tempo and speed of play consistent will not allow the other players to pick up any signs of strength or weakness. Second, nobody likes the slow over dramatic player. Being that player frustrates other players, and not in a way where you get them to go on tilt either. You will wind up being the target of a few jokes and more than likely end up on the wrong end of some nasty comments.

Rule 2. Courtesy

As was mentioned in rule 1, people may say or do some things to another player because he or she is playing to slow or playing poorly. There is no need to chime in with these people. Being the bigger person will allow you to concentrate more on your cards and other players tells. During such instances you can pick up a lot of hints and signs that the other player may miss because they are thinking of a smart remark.

Rule 3. Playing in Turn

NEVER fold your hand out of turn! It doesn't matter if you are holding the equivalent of two Uno cards. Being technically still in the hand, folding out of turn gives the other players a huge advantage. For instance: If player one bets the minimum amount allowed player two may simply call the bet if he thinks player three possibly has a good hand. However, if player three mucks his cards out of turn, player two could smell weakness with player ones' minimum bet and raise. So by player three folding out of turn, he just hurt player one and helped player two.

Rule 4. Don't Flip Your Cards

A very important rule while playing poker is to keep your cards as secret as possible. While folding your cards, be sure that both cards make it to the dealer face down. You may have reach a little bit but tossing your cards at the dealer is not only rude but can cause the cards to unintentionally flip over exposing them to the rest of the table. If the cards get flipped over the hand is not replayed but continues on normally except that now the remaining players know what two cards can be counted out of the equation. Your 7-2 off suit is garbage to you, but the player holding 7-7 now knows there is one less seven in the deck to make his set.

Rule 5. If Your Not Playing, Don't Play the Hand

Comments, suggestions, hints, etc. should be kept to yourself at all times during the course of play. There is no need to attempt to help out other players that are in the same game as you are. A player who makes a bet does not need a player who is not in the hand to help out the person who is in the position to call or raise. The player who bet first may be in position to try and bluff the pot and he is trying to sell this move to the others in the hand NOT a player who has already folded.

With the rise of tournament poker this rule will also ring true with "spectators". Of course we have an opinion on what the players at the tables should be doing but we need to stay out of the game until the hand is over.

Rule 6. Take Care of Your Dealer

There is no need to smack the dealer around when playing poker. They are professional people that are doing a professional job. They don't care if you flopped an Ace high flush and lost or if they just dealt you four Queens, its all the same to them. I am sure they enjoy seeing bad beats and great play but they have a job to do: deal cards.

Whenever you are at a cash game, tipping the dealer is always a good suggestion.

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