11 Short Poker Etiquette Tips w/Examples
Have you ever heard that while playing poker?
I have …and my name’s not Richard. It’s because I pulled a dick move. I did something that the other player(s) thought was bad form, or in poor taste. I did something that’s considered bad poker etiquette.
It’s not always my fault, though. Or yours. There are many etiquette rules you just don’t know until you break them. Others, though, are more or less common sense. Something your parents should’ve taught your when you were younger. But I also understand that players come from all different walks of life. One person’s dick move is another person’s friendly gesture.
(Ha, that’s sort of funny to think about.)
Anyway, I want to share a few rules of poker etiquette ALL players should know about. There are others, of course, but these are the MAJOR ones. If you can avoid breaking the following rules, you should do just fine at the poker tables.
1. Don’t talk trash in the chat box
There are a few reasons why (including some that affect you directly).
But first the logical reason.
Typing something like, FORGET YOU, YOU SUCK SO HARD, or any variation thereof, is a horrible thing to say.
It’s bad karma. Something that will come back to bite you later.
Here’s another way to think about it:
Would you stand up in the middle of a poker room, after a bad beat or whatever, and literally scream that at another player?
I sure hope not.
And most people wouldn’t. They’d be scared they’ll get beat up, or kicked out of the game or tournament.
Online it’s a little different because we have keyboard warriors that think they can get away with whatever they want.
And they can …sort of.
But it’s not nice. It’s not good etiquette. And you wouldn’t want your name associated with saying something like that. At least I wouldn’t.
One other thing –
Getting involved in the chat box is a distraction at best. When I used to play I turned the chat off altogether because it did nothing but distract me.
I suggest you do the same.
2. Don’t berate players or call them names
Again, this is for your benefit just as much as the other guy’s.
But along with the last tip, calling someone a name or telling them they played a hand poorly makes you look like an ass.
And if you lose, it makes you look like a bad loser. You don’t have to look any further than Phil Hellmuth to see an example of this.
This is a Phil Hellmuth ‘playlist’ where you see him talk trash about the other players and call them stupid.
Berating players also works against you because you win more by playing weaker players. Berating them is likely to encourage them to leave. Why would you want to do that?
3. Don’t slow roll
A slow roll is when you have the best hand at showdown…
…but you Hollywood it up
…act like you’re not sure what to do
…act like you’re in pain, as if this decision is life or death
…and then you say, I call, and proudly flip over the best hand.
It’s faking someone out, making them think they (might) have the best hand. It stalls the game. And it’s sort of like bragging.
All rolled into one major, massive dick move.
4. Act out of turn
This applies to live poker since online poker is run by software.
Acting out of turn is when there are people who are supposed to act before you, but you go ahead and act anyway. You make a bet, or you call out what you’re going to do.
This often happens by mistake. It’s (usually) not a big deal – it happens to all of us.
It becomes a bad move when you do it on purpose. When you do it to angle shoot another player (which is a workaround way of cheating that you can get away with).
By acting out of turn, and saying you fold or that you’re going to raise, you influence the play that happens in front of you – often in the way you want.
Not only that, but since you’re out of turn, usually you’re not committed to whatever it is you said you were going to do.
5. Talking about a hand in progress
Did you fold your hand, but would’ve hit the flop hard if you played it? Do you think you know what one of the other players have?
Sort of like the last dick move, it’s not proper etiquette to talk about the hand in progress. It can influence play, which affects everyone involved (some good, others bad).
It also gives out information, which all players may or may not hear. Again, it affects the hand in play.
This also means no helping other players. This is a dick move too – only one player per hand. Basically, just be quiet other than maybe having a quiet conversation between another player that has NOTHING to do with the hand currently in play.
6. Attacking other players
This should be obvious.
While it may be funny to pull a move out of Talladega Nights, and quote Texas Ranger with a, I’m gonna come at you like a spider monkey, you shouldn’t do it.
Don’t come at people like a spider monkey. Don’t hit them, either. Or kick or spit on them.
You know, don’t do the things we were taught in grade school are ‘naughty’.
7. Don’t over celebrate
When you’re at home, this means filling the chat box with things like…
It’s one thing to get excited or cheer when you get lucky on the river.
Obviously, if no one can see you, then do whatever you want. High five your dog, scream real loud, dance, whatever.
Live, though, you won’t get away with any of that. Fist pumping and saying YES! or clapping would be as far as I would go. Any further and you’re rubbing it in someone’s face.
Don’t do this:
A good rule of thumb: If it looks like a NFL touchdown celebration, you probably shouldn’t do it at the poker table.
8. Asking to see the other player’s hand
You shouldn’t ask to see another player’s mucked hand. Even if the table/casino rules say it’s okay.
If you or someone else shows a better hand, and the other player wants to muck his hand, he should be able to.
This rule is generally in place to prevent cheating (collusion).
Doing it to get information or to make someone look bad is simply you being a dick.
9. Don’t apologize or offer advice to players who lost a big pot
It may be an innocent and sincere gesture on your part, but when you see someone lose a large pot, or you beat someone for a large pot, they don’t like to be told they had a nice hand.
If it was so nice, they would’ve won.
People don’t like to be apologized to, either. I’m sorry you lost that hand, or, I’m sorry I got lucky and rivered a 4-outer.
You can’t be that sorry – you’re stacking the poor guy’s chips on top of yours with a grin on your face.
Worse yet, after someone loses a big pot, they don’t like being told how they should’ve played it differently.
The best thing to do is just leave the player alone. Maybe shake their hand if that hand busted them from the tournament.
10. Hit and run or short stacking
This is another one of those, it’s okay, but not really okay, type of things.
One thing people don’t like is when you sit down, win some money, maybe double up right away, then get up and leave, or cash out everything but your profits.
You can obviously do it, but it’s considered bad etiquette because you’re not giving anyone a chance to win their money back.
Short stacking is a similar tactic people don’t like. You buy in with a short stack where your options are limited to folding or shoving all in.
The game is pretty much reduced to gambling at that point. Even though some of us would like to play poker.
It’s a dick move because it ruins the game for a lot of us. We want to play poker, not coin flip for stacks.
11. Misrepresenting your hand or action
You shouldn’t say things like ‘raise’ when you meant to say ‘call’. And you shouldn’t push your chips out, only to bring them all back again.
The only reason you do that is to get a reaction. And while it may be okay to do in some places/games, nearly all people refer to that as cheating or angle shooting.
Want an example?
The poker community has agreed that this was one of the worst dick moves to be pulled by a poker player:
What’s gross about this is that Freitez used his lack of English as an excuse (despite him doing it multiple times in the same tournament).
The grossest part, though?
He won the tournament.
Poker etiquette is pretty simple.
Treat people like you want to be treated.
If you can do that, any mistakes or breaches of poker etiquette on your behalf will be labeled an honest mistake, then quickly cast aside and forgotten.
(Just make sure you ask what it is you did wrong so you don’t do it again.)
But if you pull a dick move, bro?
Then chances are it’ll live on forever in the minds of the poker community …and on YouTube.