Beginner - Etiquette
- Play in turn. This means you should not fold your hand or leave your seat until it is your turn to bet; this can give important information to players still in the hand.
- Don't expose your cards at any time, until the showdown. If you are folding, gently slide or toss your cards to the dealer, face down. If you expose them, this gives away important information that other players are not entitled to have, and can affect the outcome of a hand. Similarly, you should try to protect your cards so when you look at them, no one else can see them. This is in your own self-interest, but if one player at the table can see your cards when no one else can, that creates a special advantage for that player.
- Don't try to take chips off the table. Suppose you buy in for $300, and start winning heavily. Many players are tempted to take some of their chips off the table and place them in a pocket, to ensure that they walk away with at least some kind of win. This is not allowed. Once you buy in to a game, all the chips you have on the table must remain there until you leave that game. If you do leave a game, even if it is to move to another game at the same stake, you are allowed to start with as many chips as you like at that new game.
- Don't abuse the dealer. Throwing cards or cursing at the dealer only brands you as an immature, unsophisticated player. The dealer tries to shuffle the cards fairly and run the game impartially. He is not trying to give you good or bad cards...just random cards.
- Don't "splash the pot." Whenever you are making a bet, place your chips neatly in front of you, ideally in easily countable stacks within the dealer's reach, and let the dealer pull them into the pot. If you toss chips into the pot, the dealer and players have no way of knowing if you put the correct number of chips in, and may require you to put additional chips in.
- Verbal declarations are a good idea. Until you get comfortable handling stacks of chips and moving them properly, it's a good idea to say, "I raise" or "I call" when making a bet. That way there can be no confusion about what you intended to do.
- Don't try to assist other players or seek assistance. A fundamental poker axiom is "one player to a hand." Offering help or asking for advice from other players is considered bad form.
- Don't misdeclare your hand, and don't muck your cards until you have seen you are beaten. If you have a pair of sevens, don't joke around and say something like "I have a straight." Another player hearing you might assume you are telling the truth and throw his cards away, and once the cards are in the muck, they can't be retrieved. YOU might be willing to give him the pot, if you are the only two players in the hand, but if there is a third player involved, he is unlikely to give the pot to someone whose cards he hasn't seen. For similar reasons, don't throw your hand away until you have clearly seen that you are beaten.
- Don't "slow roll" other players. If you have a very strong hand, waiting a long time to show it at the end, after the other players have shown their hands, is consider bad form. They will assume that your delay means you have lost and are trying to figure out where you went wrong, and when you turn over four Kings and take a pot they were already figuring they had won, they will fume.
- If you are not sure what you have at the end of a hand, lay your cards on the table and let the dealer read your hand. Sometimes hands can be confusing, especially in Omaha. If you lay your cards on the table, the dealer can figure out what you have. Don't get accustomed to relying on the dealer, though: you are responsible for your own hand, and the dealer's help is only an emergency back-up plan.
- Don't make a mess. If you want to eat or drink at the table, keep your food and/or beverages on a side table if at all possible, and take care to wipe your hands before handling the cards.
- Don't be ashamed to ask questions. If you are not sure how much money to put into the pot for a blind or ante, or how much it costs to raise, or why something happened the way it did, ask the dealer. That's better than making a mistake the dealer has to correct, or slowing the game down by forcing the dealer to alert you to something, and you'll learn much more quickly than by guessing.
- Show one, show all. If you fold your hand, and are going to show your cards to another player who has also folded, you have a duty to show everyone else at the table what cards you folded. People can insist you do this if you don't do it voluntarily. You're better off not showing other players your cards, anyway. Although live card rooms usually do not have free games the way Internet card rooms do, it often can be possible for you to observe play from behind some sort of railing, to get the feel for etiquette, and the ebb and flow of the game. If you explain to a casino floorman that you would like to do this, he will show you a good position to take. Take care not to disturb the seated players...don't comment about their game, don't ask questions about their game, and don't stand so close that it will make them uncomfortable.
- Choose a nickname/user name that is not offensive.
- No offensive Language when using Chat features
- When using Chat Features use English Only
- Treat other Players the way you wish to be treated
- Do Not discuss a hand while it is being played
- If you have to leave the table, click the button that will fold your hand automatically
- If watching a game please respect player's wishes if they want you to quit chatting
- If you wish to chat to a player involved in the pot, wait until the pot is over.
- Do not abuse the "all in" feature.
- If playing at multiple tables, make sure you are familiar with the software and act in a timely manner. Slowing down the game makes it less enjoyable for everyone.
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