We received tons of emails all requesting an overview of the game of poker. It seems that many people lack basic info relating to the world of poker.
MINDING YOUR P’S AND Q’S (AND YOUR ACES AND KINGS)
A key to enjoying poker (besides winning money) is playing in a game that moves along and is not interrupted by disputes. Here are some tips to insure a smooth game:
KNOW THE RULES
It is important to learn the rankings of the hands. By constantly referring to a “cheat sheet,’ you slow down the game. More importantly, you are also essentially telling everyone what’s in your hand. For instance, let’s say you are playing seven-card stud, and it looks like someone might have a straight and that you may have a flush. If you have to check to see if a flush beats a straight, you might as well announce to your fellow players, “I have a flush; can you beat it?”
STATE YOUR INTENTIONS
If you are folding, don’t just physically fold your cards—declare it. As you see, call, or raise the bet, make sure that you tell the table what you are doing and the amount you are adding to the pot.
Whenever you fold, never, never show your cards. This gives away valuable information to the remaining players and can seriously affect the course of the hand.
YOU REMEMBER THIS ONE FROM KINDERGARTEN
Don’t gloat and don’t be a sore loser.
WAIT YOUR TURN
It’s bad poker etiquette to bet or fold before your turn. Making a move out of turn affects the decisions of the players betting before you. Likewise, if you are holding four Aces and bet out of turn you might be giving away your hand by appearing too eager. In short, hold tight and be patient!
It displays poor form to criticize or analyze a player’s move for the benefit of the table.
DON’T LOOK AT YOUR CARDS UNTIL THEY ARE ALL DEALT TO YOU
Though there is nothing technically wrong with looking at your cards as they come, in the poker world its considered uncouth.
DO THE CARDS SPEAK OR DO THE PLAYERS?
Occasionally, in games with wild cards or games with community cards, a player might misread his hand and actually have a better hand than he declares. For instance, in a seven-card stud game, if deuces are wild and a player is dealt a J, J, 2, 10, 9, 8, 3, he may look at his hand and say, “three Jacks,” when intact, he has a straight (8, 9, 10, J, Q (the 2 acts as a wild card)). So players should decide beforehand if the cards or the players speak.
“For a plaqer to become accepted in a game, knowing how to plag poker is not enough. There are accepted forms of behavior at a poker game, some pertaining to the cards and hand being dealt, other’s pertaining to general house etiquette. You don’t stand behind a gun and sa! J, ‘Wow! Three Ace5!”