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Texas Holdem Etiquette

Texas Holdem Etiquette
by K. Swope of

It comes in all forms, flamboyant and overbearing like Mike Matusow, critical and analytical like Phil Hellmuth, musical and playful like Marcel Luske, or quiet and reserved as Chris Ferguson and Phil Ivey. Whatever form of player you come across there are still guidelines and etiquette to playing the game with some class.

There is no real consistency or ground rules to what level of etiquette a casino expects from its players. Some casinos may tend to be a little more lenient then others while some dealers may be more straightforward and less likely to bend any rule of etiquette implemented by the house. Both cash games and tournaments alike at any level of monetary play the rules of etiquette share no boundaries.

Perhaps you’ve seen on television where some of the professional or more unique players of the game make camera time by their actions at the table. Do not be fooled by this. The way in which some of these people act is only permitted for the sake of “good television” and would not be tolerated very long in a less publicized game.

No matter what happens in a game it is always wise to take the high road or the “good Samaritan” approach and not encourage others or conduct yourself in rude behavior. Do not blame the dealer about the community cards dealt or for a player staying in a hand and catching cards, as in stud poker, which you may have needed. Try to contain any emotional outburst good or bad to a reasonable level. Do not yell or scream so that everyone on the floor can hear you. Unsophisticated players will insult those that from time to time get lucky or may they make unnecessary comments about beating a particular player in the game or busting them out of a tournament.

Always accept the ruling of a floor person or poker room manager. You may believe you know more about poker then they do, but these individuals must take classes and pass tests on running a proper game in order to hold the position they do in accordance with state and federal gaming laws.

It is never permissible to use foul or abusive language in a casino whether it was directed or undirected to others and most establishments will penalize players or remove them from playing if such actions are intentionally repeated.

Players may not at any time reveal their cards to another player during a hand, and it is asked that when a hand ends if you show one person at the table your cards you should show everyone. Other unacceptable demeanor while a hand is still in play is reacting sorely to community cards after you have folded your hand or making comments about what cards you have folded. This gives away information to other players and you will be reprimanded for doing such things.

Do not bet or fold out of turn always pay attention to the action at the table.

Do not splash the pot by deliberately throwing chips across the table. Some times the chips will bounce funny or roll on their own, but extending your arm and tossing chips is rude and holds up the action.

Exercise common courtesy if battling a cold, smoking tobacco, or eating and drinking at the table. If, choosing to drink alcoholic beverages please know your limits, intoxicated players make several mistakes of the rules and are more likely to criticize others.

Announce your moves clearly and loudly so that the dealer and surrounding players hear you. Lack of doing so could cost you money and cards.

Do not use cell phones when playing. Most casinos will not even permit you to stand by the table with a phone to your ear.

Headphones are allowed at most casinos, but keep them at a reasonable volume to hear the dealer or other players when they speak.

If re-buying into a game be patient the dealer will attend to you as promptly as possible.

Tip the dealer from time to time on nice size pots and back to back winning hands. If does not have to be much money, but they are providing a service to you.

Above all keep in mind that some people come to have fun and socialize, while others want to gamble or just try and make money, but whatever reason brings you to the game, do your best to be polite and courteous to all.

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