How Do You Conduct Yourself: Live Poker Etiquette and Common Courtesy at the Table

Poker is a game that has multiple facets that players should all be able to master if they want to enhance their chances of winning. Of course, various strategies and techniques can be adopted regarding gameplay, such as bluffing and aggressive betting.

There are also a number of other things that anyone sat at a table playing a hand should be aware of. In fact, those who are new to the game might not know exist. These typically relate to the etiquette and common courtesy that should be shown.

7 Things You Should Know

While there are a plethora of different things that should be known, there are seven major points that should be known by all. These include:

  1. Never ‘Slowroll’
  2. Never talk about your cards during a hand
  3. Never splash the pot
  4. String betting is not acceptable
  5. Never act out of turn
  6. No place for rudeness or offensive language
  7. Be vigilant at all times

No ‘Slowrolling’ allowed

Used as a term to describe how long a player waits before revealing their cards, ‘slowrolling’ is not permitted in regard to proper poker etiquette. This is because it is seen as a way of slowing down the game and can be considered disrespectful as it may provide a false sense of winning the pot. Simply reveal your cards quickly and see what the outcome is.

Never Talk While Holding Cards

While communicating can be considered a distraction unless you are playing a poker game online with others via the use of a chat box, typical game etiquette highlights this as being frowned upon. While holding cards, if you start to talk about them, it may have an influence on any possible move your opponents may make. Even if they are bad, you should always avoid speaking until the hand is over.

Never splash the pot

Poker can be a game that features a lot of jargon. ‘Splashing’ is another term that inexperienced players may not recognize but ultimately do when playing. It is simply the process of making a bet or raise and throwing chips into the middle of the table. It is considered poor etiquette as it makes it difficult to know what the pot size is, and makes things difficult when it comes to collecting. We might see it in the movies, but this is just one of the many inaccuracies experienced pros have with the medium.

Never string bet

A string bet is a process whereby you declare a raise and continue to reach back and forth between your chips and the pot. This is considered poor etiquette as other players will not know when they can play their hand as they will not know whether you are done or not. It is a common mistake for novices.

Never act out of turn

Common courtesy dictates in any walk of life that you should wait your turn, and the same certainly applies to poker. You should keep an eye on the position you have on the table and never jump in before it is your turn. Even if you know you are going to fold, then simply wait your turn and let those ahead of you make their own play first.

Never be rude or use offensive language

While emotions can be at their highest during a live poker game, you have to remain cool and civil at all times. There is no place for foul language or tirades of abuse being thrown at fellow players and/or the dealer. It is not accepted and many will not tolerate it. Poker is meant to be a game for fun, and an uncomfortable environment is not what players need when things are already tense.

Remember to be vigilant at all times

Much like in regard to never acting out of turn, it is important to remain vigilant at all times when playing. Although a lot can happen in a game and a lapse in concentration can be costly, it also becomes frustrating for everyone else if they continue to remind you that it is your turn. It can slow the game down, which can also take the life and excitement out of it.

Final Thoughts

If you remember the seven points outlined, your poker etiquette and the common courtesy that you show when sitting at the table will be at its highest. You will be a respected player and one that many will enjoy playing with. If you do not follow them, you may find you are not welcomed back to a table in the future.