Eight Poker Room Mistakes to Avoid

Man in Suit Throwing Poker Chips at a Table

Poker is one of the most popular types of card games in the world. From weekly poker nights among friends to the grand stage of the World Series of Poker, it’s a global sport. The easy access to cards means that most people have played a hand or two at some point.

The popularity of poker is undeniable. However, many players struggle with the transition from playing in their living room to playing in a poker room. There are many unwritten rules that come into play at casinos.

Learning the proper poker room etiquette can take time. Luckily for you, we have gathered eight tips for new poker players to help make the transition easier. The follow are some of the mistakes you want to avoid when playing poker.

Do Not Try to Influence a Hand You Are Not In

This is perhaps one of the biggest mistakes novice poker players can make. It is important that you do not, intentionally or not, influence the hand if you are not playing. This can include not telling other players what your cards were and not reacting to the action on the table.

Telling the other players what your cards were can ruin the hand for everyone else. If another player was waiting for a specific card, learning that you had the card could cause them to fold. That player may be grateful in the moment, but the other players certainly would not be. This is why it is important to keep your cards face down when you fold.

Another important thing to keep in mind is to not talk about the ongoing action. Talking in general is discouraged as it can be distracting to the players. Calling out the potential hands, such as a flush or a straight, can disrupt the action.

Do Not Engage in Angle Shooting

Angle shooting is another major mistake all poker players need to avoid. If you are unfamiliar with the term, angle shooting is when a person tries to take an unethical advantage. Some common examples of angle shooting include trying to look at an opponent’s cards and acting out of turn.

There are plenty of other examples of angle shooting and its impact on the game is obvious. Essentially, angle shooting is cheating and makes the game unfair. When there is money on the line, cheating other players is even worse.

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Bluffing is a natural part of poker. However, lying to try and trick your opponents is a different story. For example, saying “raise” but only putting enough chips in to call can create the illusion that you have a weak hand. Most dealers will make you put in the minimum bet to raise anyway. However, it can trick other players into calling the new amount.

Try to Avoid the “Hit and Run”

The classic “hit and run” is another mistake poker players need to avoid. As the name suggests, this situation occurs when a player wins a big pot and then “runs”. 

Poker is not like other forms of gambling. If you win the jackpot playing slots, no one can blame you for walking away. In poker however, you are winning money from other players.

Giving your fellow players a chance to win their money back is the polite thing to do. Aside from being bad poker etiquette, it also does not guarantee you will keep the money.

Many times, players that try this will just move to a new table. If you are going to continue betting anyway, you might as well stay at the same table.

Do Not Waste Time

It can take time to adjust to the pace of play when you are new to playing poker in casinos. Taking your time because you are new is not what this topic is about. Some players will intentionally try to waste time to gain an unfair advantage.

One of the biggest examples of this is what is called slow rolling. Taking a long time to make your bet when you know you have a winning hand is generally frowned upon. For one, it is a waste of time. Also, it can be seen as disrespectful to the other players.

Poker Table All In With Aces

Another tactic that poker players will employ is splashing the pot. Throwing your chips into the pot in a disorderly fashion is certainly bad poker etiquette. Also, it wastes time as the dealer has to organize and count the chips.

Avoid Showing Your Hand While You Are Still Playing

Like we talked about earlier, showing your cards to another player is a big no-no. That is especially true while you are still playing. Even if the people you are showing are already out, you should show them your cards. First and foremost, asking for advice is against the rules of poker.

Also, it could work against you if another player knows your cards. For example, the player you show your cards to might give away that you have a good hand. You may not have a tell, but they might. At a casino, the dealer could force you to fold or enforce another penalty. Ultimately, poker is an individual sport and should be treated as such.

Do Not Try to Teach Other Players How to Play

This piece of poker etiquette applies more to seasoned players. Every player has their own strategy for how to play winning poker. Sharing tips with new players may seem like the nice thing to do, but it is not. Often times, the advice can come off as condescending and annoying.

Exceptions to this rule can of course be made if the person has never played poker before. However, if that is the case, then the player should probably not be playing real money poker in the first place.

On top of being bad poker etiquette, it can also be viewed as cheating. Ultimately, aiding one player over another gives the player an unfair advantage. Also, it can end up costing you money in the end. Taking advantage of the other players shortcomings is a vital part of winning at poker. Giving away all of your tips can help other players beat you.

Avoid Disrespecting the Dealer and Other Players

We touched on this somewhat earlier in the section about not wasting time. However, there are plenty of other things you can do to avoid disrespecting the dealer and your fellow players. For the most part, these etiquette tips boil down to common courtesy.

In terms of respecting the dealer, it is important to remember that they are humans at work. Everyone makes mistakes, so if you notice one try to be polite when you point it out. Also, being a dealer is a tough job and yelling at them does not make it easier. Finally, remember that the dealer is not responsible for your bad hand.

Casino Dealer

Respecting your fellow players is also important. This can include many of the topics already discussed in this guide, such as not wasting time. Additional points include not complaining bad hands and just generally being polite.

Don’t Try to Hide Your Chip Count

Our last piece of poker etiquette advice is to not hide your chip count. Keeping your chips organized will only help you as a player know how much money you have. Also, a poorly organized stack could be seen as unethical by other players. An organized chip stack will also help you keep all your chips in your area.

It is important to remember not to try and block your chip stack with your hand or another object. However, you should not feel obligated to tell another player how many chips you do have as long as they are properly displayed.

Conclusion

Poker is one of the most popular gambling activities across the globe. If you are new to playing poker in casinos, it is important that you do your best to follow common poker etiquette to the best of your ability. For more on the world of poker, be sure to check out our other poker blogs.