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Poker Playing Etiquette

Poker Playing Etiquette

Dear Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee,

We go to Las Vegas once in awhile, but we don't gamble much. I have watched my husband play cards a few times and wondered about the behavior of some of the other players, especially when they were not doing well and mumbling and generally being rude to the dealer. Is that acceptable or is there proper behavior for playing poker?


Prefers polite poker playing

Dear Prefers polite poker playing,

Being rude to anyone is improper regardless of the situation. Yes, there is an unwritten code of conduct when playing poker. In brief below are 11 tips provided by

Poker Etiquette (

1. Play at a reasonable rate of speed

Consistently slow play by one player will earn the ire of the rest of the players in the game. As much as possible, keep things moving.

2. Be polite

Exemplary sportsmanship makes the poker game more enjoyable, and it can improve your game. Poker is a game of concentration and emotional restraint.

3. Play when it is your turn

Folding your hand or leaving your seat before it is your turn to bet should be avoided as it reveals important information to players still in the hand.

4. Don't reveal your cards before the showdown

Like playing out of turn, revealing your cards prematurely may reveal important information to the other players.

5. Don't remove chips from the table

Leave all of your chips on the table until you leave the game for good.

6. Stay quiet if you're not in the hand

Your opinions, suggestions, even body language can affect the decisions of the remaining players considering their options.

7. Do not "splash the pot"

Do not toss chips into the middle. When you are making a bet, place your chips neatly in front of you in easily countable stacks, and let the dealer pull them into the pot.

8. Don't offer or ask for help from other players

If you have questions, ask the dealer, and never lie about your hand.

9. Do not "slow roll" your cards

Taking your time to reveal a winning hand is poor sportsmanship. The poker table is no place for your end zone dance.

10. Let the dealer read your hand if you're unsure

It's acceptable to lay your cards on the table to let the dealer figure out where your hand ranks. However, this should only be done as a last resort and not on an ongoing basis.

11. Showing all of your cards

If you win a pot uncontested and decide to show your cards to another player, proper poker etiquette insists that you must show everyone at the table the cards you folded.

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