So you’ve been invited to your first live poker night at a friend’s place, but you’ve only ever played online or you’ve never played at all! Now what? The first step to surviving your first poker night is to not tell every Tom, Dick and Harry that you’re an amateur or they’ll pounce on you like sharks with fresh chum in the water.
Post the Blind
The quickest way to get stuck into the action is by posting the equivalent of the big blind, or you can wait for the big blind to come to you. Doing the latter gives you a chance to acclimatize to the table and watch other players before getting stuck in.
Act When It’s Your Turn
There is nothing more embarrassing than being reprimanded for acting out of turn, so be sure to only take action when the dealer looks at you. Always keep track of what is happening at the table to ensure you play at the right time.
Hide Your Cards Well
You don’t want to be made at the best of times, but you especially do not want to be made when you’re sitting on a monster hand. It’s for this reason that it’s of utmost importance to protect your cards from prying eyes at all times. Use your hand to cover your cards or your chips to keep them face down.
Always Announce Your Intention
If you want to raise be sure to announce what you’re doing by saying ‘raise’ as you place your chips in front of you. If you do not announce a raise, the dealer will take this as a call. This is mostly to prevent string betting which is when a player only places some of their bet to gauge their opponent’s reactions.
Place Bets Clearly
When placing a bet, no matter how big or small, always place the chips directly in front of you, but behind the line. The dealer will move the chips into the pot for you, as it’s important for your opponents to differentiate between your bet and the total pot.
Don’t Be Shy
If you’re a fan of real money casino gambling then you’re most likely a social player, and if you aren’t playing for enjoyment (and a win) then what’s the point right? As such, if you’re unsure at any point about anything ask the dealer or a friend at the table.
Let’s the Dealer Control the Chips
If you’re fortunate enough to win a pot, it’s good etiquette to wait for the dealer to push the chips towards you. You might be excited, but that’s no reason to go against acceptable poker behaviour – even if it is your first live poker win!
Always Tip the Dealer
If you were going to a restaurant or bar you would tip your server, correct? Then we shouldn’t have to explain why you should tip the dealer.
Don’t Be Anti-Social
If there is a lull in the game, don’t whip out your mobile and start texting your crush. Chat to your opponents or just be patient and wait for the next round of play.
Take a Break If Necessary
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and upset over a loss, you can cash out from the table at any time and only come back once you’re feeling more settled.