Knowing official poker rules is extremely important, but you should not miss poker etiquette as well because it plays a huge role in your table image in live games.
If you can be fair and friendly, players will be more sympathetic and potentially give away tells when chatting with you.
Thus, you should follow these simple poker etiquette tips, and it will be another step to improve your overall game and presence at the poker table.
Poker Etiquette in Online Games
Many players think that poker etiquette is something you only need to consider when playing live, but that is not entirely true.
Of course, there is much more you need to know when playing poker in Las Vegas or other live casinos, but even after joining top poker sites online, you need to follow common sense and etiquette rules.
When playing online, make sure to behave so that other players feel good at the table and keep donating their chips.
First and foremost, do not abuse the chat option at the tables:
- Never reveal your cards when you already folded. Even if you can be lying about it, this will create additional tension, and that does not serve any good for you.
- Never berate or insult other players. This goes without saying but letting your emotions fly on your keyboard after losing one of your best poker hands is not the best thing you can do. This will not only irritate other players but will likely influence your decisions as well.
- Don’t give advice when not asked. There is no point in wasting your time trying to explain something or teach others, so just concentrate on playing your best.
- Don’t write in capital letters. This is just annoying, so don’t do it.
Of course, you can use chat for normal reasons or can type something like GG WP after a big hand, but abusing the chat to make other players uncomfortable at the table is a big no-no.
Another thing that you want to avoid in online games is wasting time on purpose.
If you do not have a serious decision and know that you will be folding your hand, just do it. There is no need to take all the time in your timebank just because you have this option.
Taking too much time to make even straightforward decisions waste a lot of time for everyone, and as a result, you end up playing fewer hands and hurting your $/hour.
I am sure you understand why this is bad for you, for other players, and for poker in general.
If you have a serious decision and need to figure your strategy, you always can take as much time as you need, but never do it on purpose.
Poker Etiquette in Live Games
While there aren’t too many poker etiquette rules for online games, things change quite considerably when you start playing live.
If you want to be a fair and square player, you need to follow proper manners at the table.
To get you started in the right direction, here are some of the most important etiquette rules that you should follow all the time.
Do not slow-roll in poker
It is considered one of the worst poker etiquette missteps, and you should never do it.
When you deliberately act slowly when you know you have the winning hand and force your opponent to think otherwise, you are slow rolling.
Obviously, you can do that to disguise your holding when thinking about raising or trapping in the middle of the hand, but that is not called slow rolling in poker.
However, if you call your opponents all-in while holding the best possible combination and do not show your hand at once, letting him think that he won is considered terrible etiquette and should be avoided.
It can even happen preflop. Let us say your opponent moves all-in with KK, and you call with pocket AA. When he turns his hand faced up, you should do that as well without hesitation.
If you deliberately wait and tease him, you are just slow rolling. As I said before, it is always a bad idea to do that.
Always act in turn
Responding, in turn, is crucial in poker. If another player who sits before you is still thinking, you should never fold or announce any other action.
First of all, it gives additional information to your opponent and puts him in advantage while making the decisions, which is unfear to all other players.
Moreover, when you get to showdown, you need to show your hand in turn as well. If you were the aggressor, you would likely have to show first, so do not try to trick other players into acting before you.
If you are not sure whose turn is it, just ask the dealer, and he will say.
Put your most valuable chips in front
Hiding high-value chips behind the stacks of lower ones is considered angle shooting and is not tolerated.
If you are caught doing that, the dealer will ask to put those chips in front, and there is no room for the argument there, just do it.
Do not show your hand to other players
While you are in hand, you cannot show your holdings to anyone. Even if the player sitting next to you already folded, he can intentionally or unintentionally give away some signals or expose poker tells with his reaction about the strength of your hand.
Moreover, in no case, you can ask for advice from anyone and should play your hand alone.
So as you see, there is no point showing your hand to other players, and I highly recommend not doing that.
Do not talk to the player when not in the hand
Another example of a horrible poker etiquette is talking or saying something to the player who is playing the hand.
Obviously, if you are in hand with him as well, then talking is fine, but if you folded and he is up against someone else, you should not distract him or give away any information.
Keep your opinions about the hand to yourself
You should not discuss your holding, how you should have played the hand, or if the flop had helped you if you are not in hand.
You should also restrain from advising other players even if they ask.
If you want to comment on something, just wait until everyone finishes playing and talk, as you like. However, until the hand is completed, you should restrict yourself from making comments.
Do not string bet
You should also avoid making a string bet in poker games because the dealer might force you to take back some of the chips and ruin your plan for the hand.
So whenever you plan to bet or raise, either declare your action by saying the amount, or move all your chips with one motion to avoid any confusion.
Do not declare your hand when someone is all-in
If other players are all-in in any situation or playing a close race as a flip while one holds TT and another AQ, you should never say that what you folded even if you had an ace, a queen, or even a ten, for example.
No one wants to know that they have fewer outs, so keep that info to yourself and see who will win.
Pay attention to the action
You should always know when it is your time to act and what has happened in hand already.
Thus, you should not get carried away by chatting with someone or playing with your phone while still in hand and instead, concentrate on following the action.
It allows playing faster and results in playing more hands per hour. Apparently, everyone wants that if they are here to play.
Keep it quick
No one likes it when players deliberately take more time to make a decision than needed.
It is exceptionally rude and considered a bad poker etiquette when you take a lot of time to act preflop.
There is nothing more annoying than waiting for a player who thinks for a minute just to fold his hands preflop. Therefore, do not waste your and other player’s time.
Be friendly and do not berate
If someone makes a decision that you think is wrong, let it go. Even if your opponent hits two outers and takes down your money, you do not have any right to berate him.
Whatever happens, do not make fun of other players.
Remember that this is the game of possibilities and poker odds, so you always have a chance to lose, and it will eventually happen.
Moreover, do not discourage weaker players from playing in a way that is very profitable for you, and if they keep making mistakes, the money will come back.
The worst thing that could happen after you berate is a weak player leaving the game.
Poker Etiquette: SUMMING IT UP
Being polite and behaving well at the tables can be more beneficial than you think. It can make other players soft-play against you, which will put a lot of money n your pockets without having any downsides.
Follow these poker etiquette rules, and you will be good to go.
I covered the most important areas for this topic, but if you are completely new to this game, I highly recommend reading top poker tips for beginners or even taking a look at the best poker training sites if you want to take it one step further.