This is because most poker clients are built in a way to prevent this type of stuff from happening. Once you click the button, your action is accepted, and that’s it. On top of that, you have a number of valuable poker tools that can help you deal with other players.
However, there are still a couple of possible angle shoots, such as:
- Abusing disconnect protection. Some poker rooms will protect players from losing a hand due to connectivity problems. If you get disconnected in the middle of a hand, your hand will still go to a showdown, and you’ll get to play for your share of the pot. Angle shooters can use this and disconnect on purpose to get to a showdown without having to put in any more money.
- Using chat to give false information. You could type all sorts of stuff in the chat to try and get an advantage. Since there is no dealer or manager to stop this behavior immediately, angle shooters will use this to their advantage, talking about their hand, what they’re going to do when the action comes to them, etc. Since none of this is binding, simply disregard everything that’s written in a chat and act as if it doesn’t exist.
Dealing with Angle Shooting in Poker
Since most of these are technically not cheating, the poker room won’t be able to do anything about it. So, the players have to do their best to ensure there are as little angle shooting as possible going on in their games.
The first thing you should do when you see someone pulling something that looks like an angle is to warn them. Sometimes, it is just a genuine mistake, and they’ll apologize and make sure not to do it in the future.
When this is the case, there is no reason to make too much drama about it. After all, not everyone is an experienced player who knows all the ins and outs. Give people a chance to learn.
If they don’t understand why what they did was wrong, make sure to explain it to them. Again, for someone new to poker, it may seem perfectly fine to keep their chips all mixed up the way they maybe do in their home games.
Of course, some people are actual angle shooters, and they know what they’re doing is wrong. They just don’t care. In this case, you should:
- Make sure to warn other players at the table (i.e. this guy always hides his big chips or they will often miss-declare their hand at a showdown).
- Warn the dealer as well so that they pay extra attention.
- If the situation gets out of hand, ask for the floor and insist they do something. Even if someone is not technically breaking the rules, they can’t be allowed to behave in a way that causes other players to leave or even breaking the game.
Questionable Behaviors You Just Might Get Away With
A majority of this article focused on situations that constitute a clear poker angle shooting. However, some behaviors aren’t as clear cut. Some of these “strategies” can be and often are used by the player without much backlash. These are some examples.
- Berating your opponent. While you’re not allowed to be very rude or insulting, you’re usually allowed to berate other players to some extent. It is designed to make them feel uncomfortable and make mistakes against you, and most casinos and players will let you get away with it as long as you know where the line is.
- Cutting out calling chips. When you’re facing a river decision and are between calling and folding, it’s fine to cut out the call amount and play with your chips. As long as you don’t push any of the stacks forward, this is perfectly acceptable and can help you get some information if you pay attention, or your opponent isn’t too experienced.
- Showing your hand to gauge reaction. Some casinos will let you show your hand in a heads up pot if you’re the last to act on the river. In fact, in some casinos, you can show your hand whenever you like in cash games (never in tournaments, though). If you know you’re not raising, you can use this strategy to try and get a bit of extra information from your opponent’s reaction.
- Taking your time to act. While slowing the game down isn’t always in your best interest, this can be a viable strategy if there is a player at your table who’ll be annoyed by this and start to play recklessly. However, this will probably annoy everyone and could cause others to quit as well, so be careful with this one.
- Hollywooding. You’re allowed to act at a poker table. As long as you don’t break the rules, you can do whatever you feel is necessary to dupe your opponents, such as rolling your eyes, giving away fake tells, display your discontent with the community card, etc. This is especially true for heads up pots where you have a lot of freedom to do some quality acting and hope the other player doesn’t see right through it.
Conclusion: Do Not Be A Poker Angle Shooting Player
If you’ve been wondering what is angle shooting in poker and how it works, now you have your answers. You should also understand what the big deal about it is and why you should try to avoid it at all costs.
While utilizing angle poker shoot strategies described here can help you win a few more pots or get out of tough spots, it will earn you a bad reputation in your local community.
While you might think you don’t care about it, it’s just not worth it in the long run. You don’t want to be that angle shooting guy that no one wants in their games. So instead of trying to take an angle, improve your strategy, read a couple of good poker tips, and you will be good.
So, to summarize:
- Never angle shoot in poker on purpose
- If you do it by accident, apologize and try not to repeat it
- Warn others about their mistakes and explain things to them
- Warn the dealer and other players about known angle shooters
- Do your best to keep your game clean and fun for everyone