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Live Poker Etiquette

Discussion in 'The Poker Room' started by j2k7, Oct 3, 2014.

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  1. j2k7

    j2k7 Tourist

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    I grew up playing poker online even playing "professionally" online for a year+.

    I have played a couple live poker games but never in a casino just some smaller home games. I will be playing live in a couple weeks and want to avoid pissing people off and doing some questionable things that are unintentional.

    Any tips or must knows in the live format to have good etiquette? I don't want to come off as an asshole unintentionally.

    Thanks
     
  2. Sinatraatthesands

    Sinatraatthesands Low-Roller

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    Don't make comments on a hand your not in. Don't bet out of turn. Don't celebrate. Don't waste peoples time, this isn't TV. Take your time if you need it otherwise just act. Sit with you cup holder lined up with the middle of your chest, don't sprawl out taking up 3 spots. Stack your chips in stacks of 20, 30 if you must but not stacks of 10. Keep your biggest denomination chips in front where people can see them if playing NL. Keep your cards in front of your chips so people can see you have them. Make sure you say raise if that's you intention, or you can just push the call + the raise across the betting line at the same time. Don't toss your chips in a way that they can come in contact with the pot, DEALERS HATE THIS!

    If you want my personal advice for your first time playing live cash or a bigger field tourney like Aria or Venetian I wouldn't talk at all and just watch and play, more for yourself than anyone else. If it's a smaller 2 or 3 table $60 tourney go ahead and talk all you want nobody's going be taking it seriously. Good luck
     
  3. Big Tip

    Big Tip VIP Whale

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    Verbal commands take precedence over physical actions. The first thing you say counts. Don't say, "I call you and raise you ..." Like you see on cowboy saloon scenes. You have now only called, the raise will not be allowed. But you don't have to talk. You can actually play live poker without ever speaking.
     
  4. elrohir44

    elrohir44 Low-Roller

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    -Pay attention. There is nothing more obnoxious than a person who has to be reminded every time that it is their turn to act, especially if it's because they are drunk or fiddling with their phone.

    -As was said before, act quickly. It's ok if you are making a tough decision in a NL game to take a little time, but act as quickly as you can. If you are playing limit nearly all decsisions should be instantaneous. You are not on TV and nobody will be impressed by your deep thinking ability.

    -Keep your chips organized. Ideally you should keep them in stacks of 20 so it is easy for both the other players and yourself to see how much money you have behind.

    -Don't play out of a chip rack. This is usually something people do in limit games. It slows down the game and is just generally annoying. Keep your chips stacked vertically on the table.

    -Don't be a jerk. If somebody makes a stupid play don't make them feel awkward about it. You don't want to make bad players want to leave the game. Also, don't celebrate a winning hand. Always remember that somebody had to lose that money in order for you to win it.

    -Don't try to be a teacher. Don't share poker strategy or tell people how they should have played their hand. It makes you look like a know-it-all asshole and also smartens up the fish.

    -Learn how to count chips quickly. You know how dealers can rapidly cut a stack of 20 chips into stacks of 5 to verify the count? You need to know how to do that just as well. Few things are as frustrating as someone who has to individually count out their chips when calling a bet- it slows down the game and makes it obvious you don't know what you are doing.

    -This should go without saying, but have good personal hygiene. Nobody wants to sit next to some weirdo with BO for several hours.

    -Don't pick your cards up off of the table surface. Look at your cards the way they do on TV- lift up the corner just enough to see the rank and suit and put it back down. Make sure to block your neighbor's view with your hands. Nothing says "newb" more than someone picking the cards up to look at them. It also makes it easy for your neighbors to see your cards and take advantage of you (which is completely within the rules).

    -Tip the dealer. It is customary to tip $1 on any pot where you win more than $8-10. Some people will tip on even tiny pots, but this will cost a lot of money. If there are 2-3 limpers and you take it down on the flop I usually will not tip but if a few extra bucks get thrown in by each player a tip is usually expected. To tip the dealer just toss a chip from the pot into the center of the table toward the dealer. They will know what it is for.

    -Once money is on the table, it can't be taken off the table unless you are leaving the game. This means you can't rat-hole your wins like you can online. Never take money off the table unless: You are done playing; or you are tipping the cocktail waitress with a chip from your stack.

    -Speaking of cocktail waitresses, it is also customary to tip at least $1 per drink. Don't ask them for change- you should have your tipping money ready before they arrive with your drink. The have enough on their hands without having to try to make change for you.

    -If you will be drinking, be aware of what type of drunk you are. If you can't handle your liquor and tend to become obnoxious/aggressive/noisy/rude, don't let yourself get drunk. Also, avoid knocking over a full Long Island on one of the Bellagio poker tables. Not that I'm speaking from experience or anything...

    -Be aware of the "Large Chip Rule." Let's say someone bet $45 and you want to raise to $100. If you just throw in a $100 chip without saying raise, this is treated as a call. You will be given $55 in change and your $45 will be treated as the call. If you throw out a single larger-denomination chip without declaring a raise, it is always treated as a call unless you are first to act after the flop. It is always best to declare your intentions before you make your move.

    -If you are going to raise, you need to either say the amount of the raise or push all of the chips out in one motion. If you are going to raise to $60 and you mistakenly only push out $55, you can't go back to your stack to grab the extra $5 chip unless you declared $60 before or during the bet. This is called a "string bet" and will not be allowed.

    Sorry for the long-winded response. This is everything I could think of for now. You will do something stupid your first few times at a live table. It happens to everyone. Hopefully this list will help you a bit. Have fun and good luck!
     
  5. Auggie

    Auggie Dovahkiin

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    Live poker in a casino versus playing with your buddies: the casino is a lot less forgiving.

    Don't play slow: everybody hates it when you get those guys who are like "my favorite TV player always takes 5 minutes to make any kind of move, that way nobody gets a read on him!" and then they play that same way.
    Thats not to say don't take some time if you need it, but guys who take forever on every decision are just annoying.

    Don't put your chips in the pot, just put your bets/calls/raises in front of you and let the dealer put them in the pot.

    Don't do any "moves" that while they may be totally legal you would consider "tricky" or "sneaky" - you don't want to be the angle shooting guy in the room.

    And on that note: rules can change from casino to casino. What might be a legal and fair move at one casino might not be allowed at another, IE: things like making an illegal bet or whether you can move chips over the line and pull them back if you didn't let go of them

    And then on that note: if you do get in to a dispute and the floor has to be called, whatever decision they make is the decision. You may not agree with the decision but acting like a big baby or shouting or insulting them isn't going to do anything once they've made a decision and moved on.
     
  6. dutchvelvet

    dutchvelvet VIP Whale

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    Okay, lots of good advice here. These are some things that help you win (I hope).

    1. Be aware that every one can see you. Don't try to act, just play your game. When in doubt, just keep your eyes locked on the pot, whether you would prefer to get a fold or a call.

    2. Until you get used to tracking everyone, observe the two players on your left closest. They are the most important to have a read on as they usually act after you. If you think you see a tendency or a tell...use it.

    3. I recommend clearly stating your raises. Your verbal will take precedence even if you suck at counting chips.

    4. I neatly place my bets right over the line. Splashing the pot is for jerks.

    5. Don't ever show your cards if you don't have to. Providing extra information to other players is not advisable.

    6. Don't pay slow, but take the time if you need it. If you're considering going all in during a tourney it's worth calculating the pot odds. Limit should be very fast.

    7. In a tourney ante goes in first, then blinds on the line.

    8. Be aware that pros will typically peg a newer player as loose and passive until shown otherwise. You can use that.
     
  7. elrohir44

    elrohir44 Low-Roller

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    One note on showing cards at the end of the hand:

    The general rule is that the last player to show aggression (betting or raising) shows his hand first while the player(s) who called the last bet show their hand after. The caller has the option to muck a losing hand without showing, which is usually the best way to go (unless you are drunk or otherwise really bad at reading the board. You may actually have the best hand).

    If you were the aggressor, you should typically just show your hand right away and not hem and haw about it. In home games there is often a situation where two players delay showing their cards for as long as possible to see who will show first. This is very annoying at a live table.

    Also, slow rolling is probably the ultimate in bad etiquette. If you have a very strong hand (nut flush/straight or better), never delay showing your hand, especially after another player has already shown their cards. There is nothing worse than thinking you may have won the pot with a mid-strength hand and then have some jerk slowly reveal that they had a monster the whole time after acting like they didn't have much. It's a good way to get everyone at the table to go after you, even physically. If you have a really strong hand, just show it.
     
  8. dutchvelvet

    dutchvelvet VIP Whale

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    That's a very good point elro. In a showdown the first player to show is whomever made the last bet on the river then clockwise from there. If no bets then first to act shows first.

    If you have the hand beat then show fast if you don't then muck fast. No reason at all to take time there and it is extremely annoying when people do.

    EDIT: And unless someone claims to win wrongly keep your mouth shut when you win a showdown. No need to tell them a flush beats three of a kind...they know. Don't apologize if you get lucky and win a bad beat either, it makes it worse.
     
  9. PayTriple

    PayTriple The Cucumber King

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    What if someone asks what you had after you muck?
     
  10. TRN

    TRN High-Roller

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    The answer is always "Aces." The other acceptable response is "I forget."
     
  11. dutchvelvet

    dutchvelvet VIP Whale

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    I say "I forgot", or I lie, occasionally I'll tell the truth.
     
  12. ruralhipster

    ruralhipster Low-Roller

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    I'll add as a personal pet peeve:

    keep the Rounders quotes to a minimum, no "Vegas Baby"s either please. (unless it's a lively table of drunk tourists then feel free to speak only in movie quotes and Kenny Rogers lyrics).
     
  13. fenway68

    fenway68 High-Roller

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    Board= J8452 rainbow

    Them: "Jacks, right??"

    You: "yep" I learned my lesson on this, just "yep" and move on and stack your chips...truth or not

    someone sum all this advice up and sticky it...wish I had this list when I was cutting my teeth on live poker 10 years ago...I made almost every one of those boob errors, and now know better, you guys hit the mark with your advice!
     
  14. booker

    booker High-Roller

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    I frequently reply, "Quads."
     
  15. johnvic

    johnvic VIP Whale

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    Don't abuse the "I want to see the hand" rule. Technically speaking if a player doesn't fold but mucks when they know they are beat another player can demand to see the hand. The rule was designed so that if collusion was suspected you can demand to see the hand and prove or disprove collusion. But some people use it to gain information. It's even worse when someone demands to see who was not in the hand, but that's covered under the previously mentioned, don't comment on hands you're not in.

    Basically don't ask to see the hand ever. If you think players are colluding then leave the game. If you accuse players of colluding, and you are wrong, then the vibe is gonna get bad.
     
    Super Bowl Weekend for a Bachelor Party!
  16. joshrocker

    joshrocker VIP Whale

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    This is the biggest one to me. Even if you're joking around whatever you say would be considered binding. I did this once myself and i've seen plenty of new players say it also. "i'm all in".

    Usually this happens in a checked pot with no action and the last player jokingly says all in. Technically this is a verbal bet and if a player wanted to force the issue you would be required to go all in. Thankfully for me no one forced the issue when I made the mistake (and come to find out a couple of players had flopped strong hands and were slow playing). There were a few awkward moments when the dealer quietly asked if anyone heard me say anything and gratefully everyone responded no (Of course everyone had heard and were just being nice).

    I've seen this several times over the years. Thankfully i've never seen anyone actually forced to go all in because the other players at the table were nice about it. You get that one jerk though......
     
  17. Sinatraatthesands

    Sinatraatthesands Low-Roller

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    Actually I'm not sure of the exact context of what your talking about but I've seen it enforced and the the guy it happened to both deserved it and was " the jerk"
     
  18. IvanBeausky

    IvanBeausky Low-Roller

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    When in Rome..... Watch other players. Not for tells, but for mannerisms. Most of them will be behaving a certain way. You'll pick it up in no time.

    Big one -- ALWAYS verbalize raises/all-ins. A fold, a check, and a call are simple, but you will be amazed at how often people screw this up. When the action gets to you (ALWAYS WAIT FOR YOUR TURN!), simply state "Raise". Then state the amount ..... "$35 total"

    Don't "go south". If you chip up, you can't take chips off table and put them in your pocket. Tipping the dealer and the cocktail waitress during the course of the session is encouraged (yes, you may do this from your stack), but stuffing 4 greens in you pocket to preserve a win is not. If you run well and have a good size stack and are not comfortable playing deep, stand up, rack up, cash out and leave. Come back later if you want and you can rebuy in for a standard amount.

    These are in a addition to what the others ahead have said as well.

    Finally, don't be "That Guy". There are several incarnations: That guy who will not STFU EVER. That guy who is a social retard. That guy who stiffs the dealers. That guy who has to be the table captain (you'll recognize this one right away...the guy who has a comment about every situation/question at the table). Simply put, be social, be friendly, and most of all, have some fun. If you aren't having fun, why bother?
     
  19. booker

    booker High-Roller

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    IvanBeausky ~ That is well put. And the subset of "the guy who has a comment about every situation…" is the guy who praises his own skills and decision making processes every time he rakes a pot. In my experience, this guy normally gets felted and rebuys numerous times as he can't believe someone beat him time-and-again with their "poor play."
     
  20. feeltheheat

    feeltheheat Low-Roller

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    BJ and craps player here.
    i have some online poker history, but never played a live game.
    3 simple questions:
    a.) how do i get to a table and get chips? (checking in and then?)
    b.) after i got my chips in front of me, can I wait until i'm in the BB?
    c.) how do i end the game. do i just stand up take my chips and leave?
     
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