For many new players,
learning the unwritten rules of poker is as vital to your
early enjoyment of the game as your mastery of strategy
and actual gameplay. In poker, as in golf, playing the
game with the appropriate etiquette will earn you the
respect of your peers (think Arnold Palmer); not doing so
will earn you their disapproval (think Happy Gilmore :) To
assist in your enjoyment of the game, we humbly suggest
the following tips to ensure your next game of poker is
played in a manner enjoyable to both yourself and your
1. Play at a reasonable rate of
Let's face it - some hands require a good deal of careful
deliberation. No one will fault you for that. However,
consistently slow play by one player, especially when that
player is playing more than one table at a time, will earn
the ire of the rest of the players in the game. As much as
possible, keep things moving.
2. Be polite
Not only does exemplary sportsmanship make for an
enjoyable poker game, it can actually improve your game.
Poker is a game of concentration and emotional restraint.
Losing control can put you on tilt in a hurry and is a
sure sign to the other players at the table that you're
not playing well.
3. Play when it is your turn
Folding your hand or leaving your seat before it is your
turn to bet should be avoided as much as possible as it
reveals important information to players still in the
4. Don't reveal your cards before
Like playing out of turn, revealing your cards prematurely
may reveal important information to the other players and
can potentially affect the outcome of a hand. Keep your
cards hidden and you'll retain the air of mystery
essential for successful bluffing later on.
5. Don't remove chips from the table
Although it's tempting to pocket a big chunk of chips when
you're winning, proper poker etiquette obliges you to
leave all of your chips on the table until you leave the
game for good.
6. Stay quiet if you're not in the
In a strategic game like poker, outside commentary is not
appreciated. Your opinions, your suggestions, even your
body language can affect the decisions of the remaining
players considering their options. Watch and learn and
you're sure to pick up on a tell you can exploit in a
8. Do not
"splash the pot"
When you are making a bet, place your chips neatly in
front of you in easily countable stacks within the
dealer's reach and let the dealer pull them into the pot.
Players who toss chips into the middle run the risk of
having to put more in if the other players are unable to
tell how many chips were originally thrown into the pot.
9. Don't offer or ask for help from
Two or more players discussing a hand is a definite no-no
in poker. If you have questions, ask the dealer, and
never lie about your hand.
10. Do not "slow roll" your cards
Taking your time to reveal a winning hand so as to taunt
the other players at the table is the epitome of poor
sportsmanship. The poker table is no place for your end
zone dance ;)
12. Let the dealer read your hand if
If you're an inexperienced player confused by the hand you
have, it's acceptable to lay your cards on the table to
let the dealer figure out where your hand ranks. However,
this should only be done as a last resort and not on an
14. Showing all of your cards
If you win a pot uncontested and decide to show your cards
to another player, proper poker etiquette insists that you
must show everyone at the table the cards you folded.