More Poker Manners

by , Dec 3, 2006 | 10:38 pm

Oops … while reading through some Robert’s Rules (you know, you gotta stay fresh when you haven’t been tournament directing for a while), I realized I have been regularly violating one of the tenets of basic etiquette:


The following actions are improper, and grounds for warning, suspending, or barring a violator:

Deliberately acting out of turn.

Deliberately splashing chips into the pot.

Agreeing to check a hand out when a third player is all-in.

Reading a hand for another player at the showdown before it has been placed faceup on the table.

Telling anyone to turn a hand faceup at the showdown .

Revealing the contents of a live hand in a multihanded pot before the betting is complete. Do not divulge the contents of a hand during a deal even to someone not in the pot, so you do not leave any possibility of the information being transmitted to an active player.

Needlessly stalling the action of a game.

Deliberately discarding hands away from the muck . Cards should be released in a low line of flight, at a moderate rate of speed (not at the dealer’s hands or chip-rack).

Stacking chips in a manner that interferes with dealing or viewing cards.

Making statements or taking action that could unfairly influence the course of play, whether or not the offender is involved in the pot.

Using a cell phone at the table.

As various home-gamers know (mostly the ones who do the flop one card at a time), I have been regularly berating people for a reluctance to turn up their hands when the rules say they should. My apologies. It may or may not happen again. But really — and maybe one of you recently unemployed poker-room managers can answer this question — if a player makes a bet and gets called … is it inappropriate for another player at the table to request to see the cards of the last bettor? Does it make a difference if they are already headed toward the muck?

2 Comments to “More Poker Manners”

  1. Doc John

    If I am the last to act, and I call the bettor, then I have “paid him off” so that I can see his hand. If he shows me his hand, and I choose to do so, I can muck my hand, indicating that I have lost. However, the question then arises about the possibility of collusion between me and the bettor, i.e. might I be dumping off chips to him? This is why in some games there is a rule that at the showdown everybody shows his hand. As I understand it this can vary from place to place. What I have noticed recently is how often people “slow roll” at the showdown, instead of just turning over their cards. The polite thing to do, in a game that is well run, is for players at the showdown to disclose their hands or muck them quickly so that the next hand can be dealt. If I have trips, and I say, “I call,” and the other guy turns up his straight, I’m fine with saying, “Good hand,” and tossing my cards without showing them. There are strategic reasons of course for concealing what one had. But the point about avoiding collusion is the reason I have seen cited most often for the right to see the showdown hands.

  2. FoolsRun

    I didn’t realize it was improper to demand the cards be turned but in a preflop all in, I actually expect it. I’ve never been in a situation that the other player wasn’t required to turn them up.

    That said, I’d never actually make the demand because that seems petty.