It doesn’t matter if you’re playing poker at home with your friends or at the casino, basic poker etiquette must be followed at all times in order to make the game fair to everyone and to ensure everything runs quickly and smoothly. Even if you’re not a professional poker player, everyone should always know and follow these rules closely.
1. Always Pay Attention
Follow the action closely and if you’re in hand, don’t make others remind you it’s your turn. Keep up with everything so the action is always moving and turn off all distractions like smartphones and tablets.
2. Never Splash The Pot
Although it might look dramatic and impressive when it’s done in the movies, tossing a great big mess of chips into the center of the pot is a big no-no. It’s called Splashing the Pot and it makes it difficult to know how much money you’ve bet because no one knows whose chips belong to who? Next time you want to make a big bet just neatly stack your chips in front of you.
3. Don’t Make String Bets
Ever hear someone say “I’ll call your $1,000 and raise another $5,000!” It’s another Hollywood faux-pas and it’s called a String Bet. All you have to do is simple declare if you’re calling or raising. So if you want to raise, just say “raise” and let your opponent know the amount.
4. Don’t Play Out Of Turn
Sometimes you feel so excited about your hand you just want to raise the pot, but you still need to wait until it’s actually your turn to do so. This also holds true when you can’t wait to fold your hand. Jumping the gun gives other players information they shouldn’t receive until it’s your turn to act. Plus it makes following the action confusing when things happen out of turn.
5. Don’t Discuss Your Cards While The Hand Is Still In Progress
It’s simple, once you fold, don’t talk about your cards. It can be tempting to talk about what would have happened had you stayed around to see the flop or the river, but discussing the cards in your hand gives an unfair advantage to players vying to win the pot. For instance, if you had 3-2 as your hole cards, the flop comes 3-3-2, and you shout out you missed your full house because you mucked your hand, everyone will now know it’s even less likely someone will be holding 3’s or 2’s. This makes it that much harder for others to represent they have that hand by bluffing.
6. Don’t Show Your Cards To Anyone Until The Showdown
Once you fold, make sure your cards don’t get revealed when you throw them into the muck pile. Cards that get flipped or flashed by accident gives information to others around the table that may affect how the rest of the hands gets played. The only time you should expose your cards before the showdown is when you’re all-in and heads up.
7. Show One, Show All
Say you win a hand before the showdown and want to show your cards, don’t just reveal them to the players beside you. Turn them over so the entire table can see, it’s just common courtesy. Why should it just be the lucky ones beside you that get to see your pocket cards?
And remember don’t be rude or threaten other players. Leave the intimidation to aggressive raises and bold play. Threatening someone with physical harm and calling them names at a poker table is completely out of line. Even when tempers flare and you’ve just suffered a bad beat, it doesn’t mean you can curse and shout at others and be rude to the dealer. Such behavior will quickly lose you friends and pots.