As we approach the World Series of Poker (WSOP), many players will be heading to Las Vegas to play live poker for the first time ever. To that end, a discussion of live poker etiquette seems in order because, well, you won’t be in Kansas anymore. Here’s a top ten list of things to remember at the tables.
Poker Etiquette Tips
Tip #10 – Take a Shower
The last thing you want to do is annoy your table with bad personal hygiene. Most people don’t need to be told this, but sitting beside a dirty, foul-smelling individual is extremely unpleasant. If you know you wouldn’t enjoy it, have the courtesy to show up clean and smelling like roses. Additionally, do you really want to sit in your own filth for the whole day?
Tip #9 – Look Good
There may not be evidence to support the correlation between how well you dress and your work performance, but looking dapper certainly isn’t going to hurt your confidence. People are also going to respect you more if you’re wearing nice clothes as opposed rags and you should always take any advantage you can get.
Tip #8 – Carefully Check Your Cards
While it seems incredibly obvious that you don’t want to be looking at your cards in such a way that your neighboring opponents get a peek too, it does happen. Hold your cards as close to the edge of the table as possible and only lift the corners up. Once you look, put a chip on your cards so the dealer knows they’re in play and try to commit them to memory so you don’t have to look at them throughout the hand.
Tip #7 – Don’t Talk About Your Cards During a Hand
There’s nothing more annoying than players who talk about the cards they folded while a hand is still in progress. For example, in a heads-up pot, the flop comes down 7s-7h-Ts and a player who has already folded exclaims, “Man, I folded 8-7.” It’s ignorant, rude, and stupid. Don’t do it – nobody cares what you folded and there are still players contesting the pot.
Tip #6 – Don’t Stall
Nobody says you have to act quickly, but don’t agonize over a call for 10 minutes. It should never be that difficult and, if it is, you’re doing something wrong. At most, a tough decision should take you a minute or two; anything longer is just an unnecessary delay.
Tip #5 – Don’t Muck Until Seeing Winning Hand
Mucking your cards is fine, but never throw them in the middle until you see a hand that beats yours. In situations where your opponent is hesitant to reveal his hand, he may be angle-shooting and hoping you simply toss your cards in, so always flip them up for all to see.
Tip #4 – Keep a Level Head
Never let your opponents see you get too high or low at the table. When you drag a pot, act like you’ve won one before. When you get beat, act like it’s no skin off your back.
Tip #3 – Don’t Misrepresent Your Hand
Once you reach showdown, stop angle-shooting and reveal your cards. Also, don’t pretend to put chips in and then take them back or anything like that; just play the game and win fair and square.
Tip #2 – Don’t Slow-Roll
Unless somebody really deserves it, slow-rolling is childless and a breach of etiquette. There’s just no reason to stall when you know you have the best hand. Call and put the hurt on your opponent, but refrain from slow-rolling.
Tip #1 – Act in Turn
It’s not hard to keep tabs on the action in a hand, yet people constantly act out of turn. Whether you’re folding, calling, or raising, wait until the dealer looks to you before making your move. If you’re going to fold, simply push your cards toward the dealer. When calling, slide your chips into the middle. If you intend to raise, then make sure you clearly announce “raise” before you put chips over the line and remember not to splash the pot.Play Poker Now!
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