Tadas “My Poker Coaching” Peckaitis
Learning poker strategy, improving skills and mastering advanced topics is always rewarding and beneficial. However, many players forget that they are not playing alone and leave their good manners at home.
It is becoming a problem in online casinos, but even more so in live games. Now, when the whole poker environment is struggling to build the traction it had before, it is more important than ever. That’s why it’s so vital to follow some etiquette rules, help new players feel welcome in the game and have some fun.
The following are some poker etiquette pointers to always consider.
Being friendly is especially crucial when encountering new players, who are likely just trying to have fun at the tables. It does not matter if they play badly, make random decisions, call your bluff when they should have folded or do anything else you do not like. You have no right to be rude or berate anyone just because they are inexperienced or play differently. To be honest, you should not do that in any case.
Firstly, you can scare them away or make them feel stupid and wind up discouraging them from playing poker at all. Obviously, this is a disastrous result for you and the entire poker community. It is enough that new players have a huge strategic disadvantage and lose their money at a fast pace; you should never make them feel bad about it.
Instead, try to be polite and open up conversations when you are playing. Have fun and make others feel good in your games.
Do not disturb other players
If you are not in the current hand, talking is almost forbidden. Obviously, you can speak with another player who is not in the hand as well, but that is just rude. You are undoubtedly disturbing players who are thinking about the hand and making their decisions harder. Would you like to hear someone sitting next to you chatting all the time when you’re trying to figure out what to do? Guess not, so do not do it to others!
Moreover, even if someone asks about the hand while it is still live, you should never say your opinion, how you would play it, or even worse, what you had. Saying any of these things while not playing can give away information to others and influence the outcome of the hand. Thus, whatever happens, do not comment on the hand while others are still playing it. If you want to say something, wait until the hand is over.
Pay attention and act in turn
Nothing is more annoying than someone consistently misreading the action and wasting valuable time at the table. If you are not able to see what is going on, or pay attention because you’re listening to music or browsing your phone, then stop doing that. No matter where you are in a hand, you should know what happened before and when it is your turn to act. Otherwise, everyone ends up playing fewer hands just because of you.
Another crucial point is acting in turn. Even if you have a trashy hand that you are ready to muck, never do it before it is your time. It can easily give an unfair advantage to the players who are sitting before you and is considered one of the worst things you can do at a poker table.
Never slow roll
Here we have it, the most unethical, rude and disrespectful action – slow rolling. If you take away just one thing from this article, I hope it will be this one – never do it.
If you have a winning hand at the showdown, just show it. You should never tease other players and let them think that you lost when it is not the case. Moreover, you should never say anything misleading, making your opponent believe he won when you have the nuts. Just be a gentleman and play in a straightforward and fair way.
Although it’s still done occasionally by some players, I cannot think of any situation where slow rolling is ok, so avoid it at all cost or this might happen to you.
Summing it up
Playing straightforward and in a good manner will help you build a good table image, and you can easily take advantage of that. All weaker players will be more willing to play a hand with you than with someone who is rude or unpleasant, and that is how you can drastically increase your win rate.
Always remember that you are not playing alone and if you can make other players feel welcomed in the game, you will have a chance to get the best out of it!