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Poker Etiquette

Learn how to follow proper poker etiquette from poker champion Nick "Nicky Numbers" Brancato in this Howcast video.


Hey, I'm professional poker player Nicky Numbers and I'm going to talk to you today about poker etiquette, most importantly, what not to do at the table. The first thing I'm going to talk about is how you bet, how you call, and how you raise. Let's say you have some chips in front of you; so you're at the table playing, you've got your nice stacks and you want to make a bet or you want to make a call or you want to make a raise, well how you put your chips into the pot is incredible important. What you don't want to do is this, where the chips that you put out have now gone right into the middle of the pot. This is called splashing the pot and it's terribly bad poker etiquette.

The reason it's such awful etiquette is because it completely confuses the game. I don't know how many chips you put out, if you were making a bet or a raise, we don't know how much it was, if you were making a call it's difficult to confirm that you called the correct amount. You're going to often force the dealer to have to recreate the entire hand just to see how many chips should be in the pot and how many chips are in the pot in order to figure out what chips went into the pot and which chips are suppose to be part of a bet, raise, or call. Rather than splash the pot, what you want to do is put your chips out in front of you where they can't hit any other player's chips or the pot itself. So, for example, if I was going to bet that same amount I could just put them in front of me like that or I could neatly stack them in front of me like this. Either way is fine, the key is that you don't want your chips to encounter any other obstacles at the table involving other chips.

The next thing I'm going to talk to you about has to do with showing the winning hand. Let's say I'm dealt two cards, we've had some betting go on, and now I'm all in. You call me and I wait, I don't show my hand right away, except that I have two Aces. I know for a fact that I have the best possible hand pre-flop, I know I have the winner, yet I paused and made you sweat. I made you sweat and potentially think that your hand might be good. I deliberately allowed you to believe that you were more likely to have a winning hand or the best hand at the moment than you actually were. That's called a slow roll and it doesn't only happen when I'm the person that bets or raise.

When you call a bet or raise, especially on the river, if you know that it's very likely that you have the winning hand just table it. If you or your opponent is all in and you know that you are likely to have the winning hand just table it. The only time you should wait for your opponent to show their cards first or to make them wait and sweat is when you're genuinely unsure whether or not you have the winning hand. Splashing the pot, slow rolling your opponents or reacting to or discussing a hand while it's still going on are three great examples of poor poker etiquette.

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