Poker rooms can be intimidating, especially when you first play poker, but they don’t have to be. And for the seasoned player, there are few things that can upset a game quicker than a newbie who doesn’t know acceptable poker etiquette. It would be sensible to verify the casino house rules prior to taking a seat, especially if you’re playing in the poker room for the first time or you’re new to the live game.

Practice Good Etiquette Even if You’re a Poker Loser

Never talk across to a player who is involved in a poker hand. Always treat the poker dealer with respect. Do not verbally abuse dealers or call them names; this includes speaking offensively about them to others at the poker table. A player should not use an excessive amount of time to make a play one knows will be made or in any other way intentionally stall the action of the game. Another point of poker etiquette is to learn gambling lingo so you can better understand and communicate with other players.

Even the best gambler needs to concentrate when he or she is playing, so keep conversations to a minimum and keep your cell phone turned off. Do not take calls at the table. Keep all of your chips ordered and on the table. Never try to touch another player’s pile; handle only your chips. The cards should also remain above the table, so you won’t be accused of cheating.

No discussion of etiquette and gambling lingo would be complete without a visit to the online poker room. When you play online, choose a table that reflects your level of skill in the game. You can use the chat feature to banter with other players, but avoid using vulgar language, hate words, and abusive outbursts. Like live poker, make your move on time, and avoid stalling the game.

If you discover that you’re a poker loser, tapping the table is equivalent to a check while tossing your cards to the dealer is considered a fold. Saying, “check” or knocking on the table is therefore a call. It is also okay to rest your chips on the table without saying anything, but it does obligate you to the value of the chips you set forth or to match the table maximum, whichever is fitting.