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Don’t Commit These 5 Poker Faux Pas’ At The Poker Table!

Poker Faux Pas give you away to your fellow players and won’t make you popular. Here’s five to avoid!

If you are new to a poker home game, it is easy to commit a silly Poker faux pas!

So you are making your debut in a poker home game. So the last thing you want to do is commit a terrible poker faux pas. 

The thing is, it is easy to do, especially if you are not conversant with playing a home game, or in a casino or similar. Especially if you are not an experienced player and are just starting out.

Playing online at sites such as bet365 Poker can give you a good insight into the game. However, some of the etiquette you need to follow can be hidden in the way online games work.

So they only come to the fore when you make a poker faux pas at the table with your friends and fellow players. Not an ideal situation for someone trying to make a solid impression as a poker player!

To avoid that, I have listed five of the most common poker faux pas made by novice players. Or at least those new to a home game, as opposed to playing online. 

Eradicate these from your game and you will be invited to a few more home games in future. Keep doing them, and those invites will likely start to tail off pretty quickly!

So let’s get the ball rolling with our first Poker Faux Pas and one that all of us have been guilty of doing at some time or another.

Poker Faux Pas

Poker Faux Pas 1 – Acting Out of Turn

There can be any number of reasons why a player at the table will act out of turn. They may assume that the betting has reached them, when it hasn’t. Or that a player has folded previously when they have not, or they may just accidentally make their play without realising it isn’t their turn to act.

Whatever the reason, it is not a good look and not just in terms of poker etiquette. 

Acting impulsively can also tip the rest of the table to the hand that you are holding. If you are desperately keen to get your chips into the middle because you hold a strong hand, then making that play out of position is a huge tell. It lets everyone know you are holding something very big (and the odds of you acting out of turn when making a bluff are much lower as it is a more calculated bet). 

Worse still, if you act out of turn and throw a heap of chips into the middle, that roll over the table, it can take an age to sort them out and get them back to you. You won’t win many dealer friends doing that too often. 

Acting out of turn when you are a novice is a forgivable sin, but not one you want to make too often. Otherwise, other players at the table are going to be able to guess what kind of hand you are holding before you get the chips into the middle at the right time.

Poker Faux Pas 2 – Throwing all your chips into the middle when going all in.

Personally speaking, this is without doubt the most aggravating thing a novice player will do when playing a home game. Many will have watched a film like Maverick or an old Western movie where the hero flings all his chips into the middle to call the bad guy. Then the dealer shows the card the hero needs to win. It’s a dramatic flourish, but one only for the movies.

You have to remember that if you go All In, then unless you are holding the fewest chips at the table, the dealer may need to split the pot to cover your All In bet, plus a side pot if other players remain in the hand too. 

Not only that, but if you call All In and shove your chips into the middle, it can be hard for other players to know exactly what you have bet so they can decide what their response will be to your bet.

As a dealer, there is nothing more annoying than a novice player shoving all their chips into the middle, making a huge mess of the neat and counted stacks that were there, so you are now not sure of how much was bet and by whom. 

So be a dealer’s friend and keep this move in the movies. Shoving is just a term used. Keep your chips in front of you when you go All-In, at least until the dealer is ready to deal with them. 

Poker Faux Pas 3 – Accidentally Revealing Your Card When Mucking a Hand

Second on my list of most aggravating things a newbie can do at the poker table is talking about a hand before it is completed. Sometimes, they don’t even have to talk about the hand. It is their reaction that is a dead giveaway. 

Other times a player will fold and rather than slide the cards to the dealer, will throw them. And sometimes when this happens a card, or both, can be revealed. Not a good look and if that card influences the rest of the hand, then you can be assured that the losing player is not going to be best pleased. 

Imagine you hold the nuts against a tight player who holds a strong hand but who needs one of two cards to improve it further. Now imagine a newbie player mucks their cards poorly and accidentally shows one of his pocket cards to be one of the cards that tight player needs. Do you think they are going to be willing to bet big knowing one of their chances has been removed from the pack? 

Similarly complaining “I don’t believe it! I just folded one of those!” when the flop comes out 10, 5, 5 is not going to help the player holding a strong hand against a player holding a hand with the other five in the pack. 

The golden rule of poker is never reveal any information about a hand you are no longer part of, until it is over. And even then, I’d be careful doing that as good players can pick up how you are strategizing if you tell them what you are playing and folding explicitly.

Poker Faux Pas 4 – Not Clearly Stating Your Bet.

Sometimes when a player acts out of turn, it is not entirely their fault. Many novice players think that simply moving chips, or sliding their hand in, is enough to indicate their intentions. 

That may be the case most of the time, but sometimes at the poker table, players are distracted and unless you state aloud your intention, it is easy for players to think you have acted.

This is especially the case when playing at a home game with lots of beginners. Often you’ll find players act out of turn simply because they think a player before them has made their decision, when they haven’t. 

The flip side of this is, a player makes a decision but doesn’t announce it and nobody notices so you sit there for a good while waiting for them to make a move, when they’ve already made it.

So, as a novice player, it’s good practice to state your choice of bet clearly every time.

Poker Faux Pas 5 – Being a Bad Loser, or an even Worse Winner!

Nobody likes a bad loser. Especially in poker. Nobody wants to hear about any of the following: –

  • Why you were so unlucky to lose because you played really well and the other players were just lucky.
  • How you didn’t have a good hand all night and when you did, you ran into a better one.
  • How other players are lucky, daft, naive or dumb because they didn’t do what you wanted in any given hand. 

However, worse still is a bad winner. Someone who gloats about their success and rubs it in the faces of the other players at the table. Claiming that their superior skills took them to the win and that they knew they’d win in the end because they know the game so much better than everyone else.

A little humbleness when you win and grace when you lose is always the best way to play poker, especially in a home game which is supposed to be fun!

A Poker Faux Pas Solution – Play Online at Bet365 Poker!

Of course, you can avoid all these issues one simple way and that is by playing your poker online at bet365 Poker! Sign up today and play a wide range of poker tournaments, cash tables, games and more besides.

It’s also a great way to brush up on your poker skills without committing any of the home game poker faux pas’ listed above!

Ian John

Working my way though the UK's top online poker sites (and some of the ones near the bottom as well) to bring you a first-hand take on the absolute best choices for online poker players from the UK.

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