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How to Follow Proper Poker Etiquette

You've got to know when to hold 'em and know when to fold 'em, but there are other etiquette rules to follow during a poker game.


  • Step 1: Never reveal your hand Never reveal your cards, not even after you've folded. If you give away your cards on a good hand, it'll ruin your chances of winning. Plus, if other players know your cards, it can give them a better idea of what everyone else is holding.
  • TIP: Some casinos charge a penalty for revealing your cards, and sometimes it's considered a fold.
  • Step 2: Don't react Don't react to anything that has anything to do with the cards during a game. If you're playing Texas Hold 'Em and you hit a good hand on the flop, don't celebrate. It will tip other players and increase the chances they fold. Any reaction to the cards can indicate someone else's cards and possibly ruin the game.
  • Step 3: Be polite Be polite. Never rib the other players -- even if you're playing with friends. People take poker very seriously, and there's no room at the table for an obnoxious player. Getting caught in a verbal battle will break everyone's concentration, including yours.
  • TIP: Practice good netiquette when you play online -- don't bother other players with incessant chatting, and never chat in all capital letters, which is the equivalent of yelling.
  • Step 4: Never blame the dealer Never blame the dealer for your hand. Dealers have no control over the cards. Throwing cards at the dealer or doling out verbal abuse only makes you seem like an immature, unsophisticated player.
  • Step 5: Don't talk when you're not in the hand Don't talk when you're no longer in the hand. Commenting or guessing at other players' hands can affect the outcome of the game and change players' strategies, so keep quiet.
  • Step 6: Don't dawdle Play at a reasonable speed. It's understandable that, sometimes, you'll need to think for a minute before betting or folding. If you hem and haw over what to do every time it's your turn, you'll drag the game down for everyone else.
  • Step 7: Don't splash the pot Place your chips in neat stacks in front of the dealer and let the dealer slide them into the pot. Throwing your chips into the pot -- "splashing" the pot -- makes it virtually impossible for the other players to know how much you bet.
  • Step 8: Don't take chips off the table Never take chips off the table. Once you buy into a game, the chips stay on the table until you're done. Practice your poker face, enter a tournament, and win the jackpot -- politely.
  • FACT: The famous "Dogs Playing Poker" series of paintings was done in 1903 by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge.

You Will Need

  • Secrecy
  • Self-control
  • Restraint
  • Politeness

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