Poker etiquette refers to the code of conduct that begins the moment a player takes a seat at the table. In addition to the rules of the game, there are additional unwritten rules, which guarantee that a game proceeds smoothly, and allow players to enjoy the poker game in a healthy atmosphere.
Sophisticated playing skills are definitely important, but a strong understanding of social etiquette and DOs & DON’Ts can elevate the gaming experience of you and your companions to another level. At the end of the night, what you win is not only the poker chips on the table, but also the respect of other players.
- Respond and Act Quickly - It's understandable to slow down when you need to take a minute to think or when the pot changes drastically. However, do not hold up the game because you’re playing with your mobile phone, watching television, or talking to other people.
- Pay Attention - Even though you might be used to listening to music while playing poker, never plug both your ears and make sure that you can hear other players or the dealer. Pay attention to the game and ensure that you are not causing unnecessary delays to the game and you are not missing vital information that could affect your decisions. Don’t "jump in line" or fail to notice that it is your turn, otherwise you might influence other players at the poker table and the process of the game.
- Show Respect - In order to keep a healthy and positive atmosphere at the poker table, show mutual respect to all the players. Do not have any uncivilized behaviors such as berating other players, being rude or mean, acting violently, tearing cards, or throwing chips.
- Be Fair - Organize your poker chips in a way easy for you to calculate and place them where other players in your area can see as well. Other players have the right to know how many chips you have.
- Be Clear - Be straightforward when making a bet. Verbally announce first, then take action. Otherwise, if you just push the chips forward, it may take a while for the dealer to figure out what your intentions are.
- Responsibility - Protect your hand (and chips) at all times. There is always the possibility for an incident to happen at the table. You might have a nut hand but it gets mucked by a mistake. There is nothing else you can do. Your hand will be ruled dead since no one can verify what playing cards you had, and the pot will be awarded to another player.
- Don't get caught up in endless arguments, this will not solve any problem. Remember to be respectful. But if you are going to accuse another player for some reason, be 100% sure they did something wrong before escalating the issue.
- Don't splash the pot. This is not only disrespectful, but also makes it difficult for the dealer and the player to know how many chips you have bet, which adds confusion to the game.
- Don’t unnecessarily disturb others. Don’t be disruptive and a nuisance at the poker table in any way. This includes talking too loudly, talking too much, playing music outloud, and making phone calls at the poker table. If you must answer a call, signal the other players to apologize and leave the poker table to answer it.
- After you fold, don't do or say anything to influence players who are still in the game. It is inappropriate to discuss any information about the hand or make any reaction, for example, telling others your hole cards, making verbal or facial expressions in response to changes in the game.
- Don't try to teach others how to play, unless they seek your advice.
- Don’t slow-roll, ever! Deliberately, belatedly revealing your winning hand is not a clever move but is rude and unethical.
- Don’t hold up the game. Don't deliberately waste time, or take too long for unnecessary small decisions. This could be frustrating for other players and in poker, time is money.
- Never show your cards to anyone while still in a hand. Whether you have folded, your action could affect the game.
- Don't complain about bad poker hands. Cards are distributed randomly. Constantly complaining will only make people see that you are average, and will affect the mentality of subsequent games, which may cause further disadvantages.
There might seem many details in the poker etiquette, but it is very important. Every player's respect for etiquette is a prerequisite for a better and smoother game experience. Share these poker tips with your player friends, and how about starting a home game together? We even have strategies ready for you.
Check out our tips on how to set up a SNG poker game at home.