If you've decided to move from online stud poker to playing in a land-based casino environment, or are tempted to try it out, you'll need to familiarise yourself with certain points of etiquette before approaching the table. To play like a professional, always bear the following in mind.
The player to the left of the dealer posts the small blind, the person to their left posts the big blind, and betting proceeds clockwise from there. Betting out of turn is a cardinal sin in poker and ruins the flow of the game. It can also affect players' strategies, and could be viewed as a deliberate attempt to do so.
It's fine to chat between games; some tables will even allow small talk and a limited amount of gamesmanship across the table during a game. But it needs to be kept clean and fair. Poker legend Daniel Negreanu was widely known for being friendly, and keeping light chatter going during a game. As a result, people begrudged him less than usual when they lost to him, and that's an excellent trait to cultivate. On the other hand, lying about cards or trying to offend or upset opponents in a lazy attempt to 'psych' them out is considered poor form.
Thinking about the next play or watching others to judge their moves is fine; delaying a game by ordering drinks, daydreaming or being overly indecisive is frowned upon.
In movies they might say, 'I see your $100...and raise you $200,' but in real life you either fold, call or raise. Calling and then raising is known as a string bet, and is actually illegal in poker.
Bending, marking, tearing, or spilling your drink on cards are all serious no-nos. Not only is it disrespectful, but it can also be considered cheating, since others could suspect that you're trying to spot a card in later deals.
Showing your cards doesn't just give away an advantage, it could also seem like a cheating tactic. And if you're playing Stud Poker, make sure you know which cards are dealt face up and which must be kept face down.
When folding and throwing your cards into the muck before a game is completed, be careful not to reveal them as this can affect the run of play for the remaining players.
The rules of poker say any player can ask to see a called hand, but it's very poor etiquette to do so. The rule is really only there to prevent cheating by collaboration, so if you ask to see someone's cards, you're essentially calling them a cheat.
Finally, it is never okay to show that you are excited about taking someone else's money, or to whine about them doing the same to you.
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