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Poker Etiquette

Poker players can come in all shapes and sizes, with personalities as big as the rooms they fill. However there are rules that the majority of all players can agree on.  We will be focusing on the major taboos of the game of poker. New players will want to remember these to avoid awkward situations.

Rule #1: Don't play out of turn

Playing out of turn can ruin a hand by giving away information to players who would not have had it before acting. Players can make this mistake once or twice by accident, but more than that becomes a problem.


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Rule #2: Stop talking on your phone

Your wife can wait.  Talking on your phone during a game is a distraction to other players.  Some casinos have gone as far as ban phones (or any electronic device) from leaving your pocket.  The basic rule of thumb is that if you need to make a phone call you should at least 5 feet away from the game.


Rule #3: Splashing the pot

Splashing the pot is when a player will put the chips into the middle of a pot without verification of the amount.  You may claim you have put $100 in the pot, but no one knows when it gets mixed with the previous bets.  The best way to avoid this is to put your chips in a neat stack a few inches in front of you.


Rule #4: Be respectful of other players

Poker can be an emotional game with a lot of big swings. It is important that you are respectful of other players at the table.  Shouting at other players for any reason is considered a very bad form of behavior in any part of life, including at the poker table.  


Rule #5: Tipping the dealer

Tipping the dealer at a casino is much like tipping a waitress at a restaurant.  It can be any amount you want it to be for any reason you like. Mostly you tip dealers when you win a pot in a cash game or make the money in a tournament. Any other times you wish to tip (winning a bad beat jackpot or some other promotion) is up to you.

Note:  This rule only applies to certain countries.  In others, such as Macau, tipping is not customary.  


Rule #6 Leaving the table early ("Hit and Run")

When leaving the table at a poker game the best time to leave is before you have to post your big blind. Once you have posted your big and small blind, the next several hands are free to see.  In home games it is often polite to tell the other players you will be leaving soon and playing one more time around the table.  Stating this will avoid upset feeling should you win a big pot on your last hand and leave. Doing this is called "hitting and running" and will not earn you friends.

Rule #7 "Slow Rolling"

Slow rolling is waiting an excessive amount of time to show the winning hand.   Slow rolling is considered by some to be an egregious violation of poker etiquette, while others consider it an easy way to put the regs at the table on tile.  The best way to avoid slow rolling is to simply turn your hand face-up immediately when asked to show down.


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