26 Feb

Casino Poker: Etiquette

This is aimed at people who are looking into getting started with low-limit casino poker, or are just getting started and want to get the most out of their experience. We’ll be looking at some basic etiquette here, and leave your knowledge of the game mechanics for another time. You can usually spend some time watching tables at play to get a basic feel for what kind of behavior is encouraged or acceptable. Use your observation of games in play and keep a few of these points in mind to help yourself make your game experience as smooth as possible.

Seating

Poker tends to not be like other games in the casino where you simply walk up and take an empty seat. There is a roster for people who would like to play, and that will either mean making an entry for yourself on a white board or contacting staff who will schedule you for a seat in an upcoming game.

House Rules

You can get a feel for the way poker is played at any place by observing the game before you sit down, but it can also be to your advantage to read posted house rules while you wait for your game. House rules vary from place to place, so it is always a good idea to know what flies where you intend to play.

Cards

The whole game revolves around the hands of players, so your cards are your business. Don’t discuss your hand while in play, play your cards. Don’t reveal your cards even after you fold. It is understandable that in tossing your cards for the dealer that one may flip over, but don’t blatantly throw your cards at the dealer. People that are playing poorly or having a bad streak may become inconsiderate and throw their cards around or reveal them, don’t sink to that level of drunks and half-wits.

The Pot

The pot: that’s where the money is, and that’s what you and your fellow players are all after. When placing bets, avoid tossing your chips into the pot (“splashing the pot”), place your bet on the table ahead of you and let the dealer draw the chips into the pot. Also, when you do win, avoid reaching across the table to collect the pot for yourself. The dealer will push your winnings to you, so exercise a little bit of restraint. A final consideration upon receiving your pot is to tip your dealer. They are not paid very well, and most of their income comes from tips. Of course, small pots might not leave room for tipping, but play it by ear and see how others are tipping the dealer for an idea of what is appropriate.