The rules of Poker Table Etiquette

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Poker Table Etiquette

The proper etiquette at the poker table is different from most games you'll find in a casino because of the competitive element of the game itself.

Poker is the most popular casino game that has you playing against other people instead of playing against the house. As such, anything you say or do at the table will impact other players in some way that could make them play better or worse, so learning table etiquette is invaluable before you embark on any Poker tournament.  


Being Realistic

Some players think it's a good idea to make other players mad from a strategic standpoint. This will sometimes lead to irritating types of behavior at the table under the guise of being an intentional and purposeful way of trying to make the opponents play worse.

The reason for this is very simple: Just because someone is mad or irritated doesn't mean that they will play worse. They may decide to actually play much better and focus directly against you since you have put a target on your own back with this type of behavior, so it can easily backfire. 


The Gray Rock Theory

The opposite of turning yourself into a target is the gray rock theory. The idea here is that a gray rock is one of the last things you'd notice, and many people make the strategic decision to be like a gray rock at the table. This can make you unassuming, and it can lead to players taking you lightly or thinking that you're less likely to show aggression. It's actually easier to take advantage of having this type of image than it is to take advantage of the image of being difficult like what was described above, so it's the better choice for many players.


Simply Being Polite

Just being polite at the tables is a good way to go, and that means never slowrolling someone. A slowroll is when you have what's likely the winning hand at the end of a poker hand, but you take your time in showing your cards with the intention (or unintentionally) making the other player think they have to advantage.

It's generally considered to be a line that people do not cross at the table because it's considered a direct insult to the person you do it to. It's also an insult to the table as a whole and shows a lack of respect for the game because you're wasting time and holding up the progression of the next hand. This is probably the single most important piece of etiquette you can follow at the poker tables, and breaking it will never help you as much as it will hurt you in the long run.