A Guide to Poker Table Etiquette
Playing poker in a casino is far different than playing online or at a friendly home game. There are certain behaviors expected of a player, such that any deviation from these expected behaviors may ruin the game.
By following the simple house rules and some unsaid poker table etiquette, you insure yourself and others of a good and smooth-flowing game. If you are planning to play poker at a casino, be sure to keep the following in mind:
1. Players always act in turn. This means that you can't just fold whenever you want. You have to wait for your turn. While this may be allowed in friendly home games, in a casino game of poker, acting out of turn could be disastrous for other players.
For example, if you fold before your turn comes, then you are giving away valuable information to early players. That is unfair for the players succeeding you.
2. Know the proper chip actions. Do not throw your chips into the center pot, as the dealer will have a difficult time knowing how much your bet was. Doing so will just end up in a dispute. Neatly place your chips in a stack in front of you.
If you intend to raise, say 'raise.' If you don't, you won't have the privilege of putting chips equivalent to a call and returning to your stack to get more chips.
3. Look at your cards discreetly. Try to memorize them, so you won't be telling everyone what cards you have by peeking at them often. It is also common practice to place a chip on top of your cards in order to protect them and keep them from accidentally facing up.
4. It is alright to be talkative, but stay out of insults and lambasting. Talking too much is a good act of distraction in poker. People will eventually get annoyed, but that's their problem. However, do not let it escalate into a full-blown fight by insulting people or by telling them how bad they play. Keep your talk into simple or even boring things, like shows on TV and the like.
5. Never give out valuable information. This means that even if you fold, never ever talk about the cards that you threw away. Even if the cards you threw away miraculously improve, keep silent. Your opponent's plays will definitely be ruined if you do. And when that happens, say goodbye to a good game.
Remember: only by exhibiting good behavior can you really enjoy a game of poker in a casino. By having a stress-free and enjoyable game, then you could go home all smiles, even if you end up losing the pot.