Saturday, July 12, 2008

Poker Table Etiquette 101

Because of the immense popularity of online poker, a large percentage of new poker players get their introduction to poker on the Internet. Although the Internet provides a great environment for learning about the game of the poker, there is one area of your poker education that the Internet is unable to provide: table etiquette.

Before you make the transition from your computer to a real table with other players sitting around it, it is important to understand how you are expected to act while you are sitting at a poker table. Not only will knowing how to act at a poker table ensure that you avoid making a fool of yourself or offending the other players at the table, but it will also maximize your enjoyment of the game since you will feel comfortable sitting among the other players. Here's what you need to know:

-While you probably swear at your computer when you lose a hand, you need to avoid using profanity to express your frustration when you are in the company of other players.

-If you knock another player out of a tournament, don't automatically shake their hand; it's up to them to initiate the hand shake.

-There is no reason to apologize when you win a hand. Even if it's pure luck, everyone is happy when they win a poker hand, and apologizing that you win is simply lying directly to someone's face.

-Don't ask to see a player's cards at the end of a hand. A player can choose to display their cards, but if they choose not to, it's rude to ask them to do otherwise.

-Avoid answering questions directed to other players. Just like any other social situation, it's rude to jump into the middle of a conversation (even if you know the answer to what is being asked).

At the end of the day, if you show respect for your fellow players, they will almost always do the same for you, and everyone will have a great time playing poker together.