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Poker Player’s Guide to Casino Etiquette

Sailun Tires

First time playing poker at a casino? It shouldn’t be intimidating – you just need to learn the rules. Suit up, play smart, and you might find you’ve got luck on your side.

How to dress
Unlike in the past, today’s casinos rarely enforce formal dress codes. Upon entering a casino or when taking part in a poker tournament, you’ll notice men sporting a whole range of casual outfits. Quite commonly, the modern casino man’s attire is nothing more than a pair of jeans, hoodie and concealing shades. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put in the extra effort, however. Dress to impress, and you’ll feel the respect from your opponents. Italian fashion fares well – as does the timeless bow tie. Don’t feel embarrassed to accessorize with a refined watch or cufflinks.

What to drink
Having a drink is the perfect way to cool your nerves, but moderation is vital. Most casinos will have a bar where you can order a classic casino drink such as whisky or brandy. A cocktail such as a Martini is also perfectly acceptable. In some casinos, you’ll even find that the drinks are complimentary for regular players, but know your limit. If you fancy coupling your drink with a cigar, ask the casino staff to show you the smoking area.

Where to go
For Texas Hold’Em and other poker variants, you’ll need to locate the card tables. Ask the guest service how to join a poker table, and choose one where the buy-in suits your night’s budget. You’ll receive chips and be allocated a table.

Game rules
Don’t make the mistake of entering a casino and expecting live casino gambling to be the same as playing online or in a casual home game. Live games at a casino will require you to place more value on reading your opponents. It’s also more important you stay focused on chip value, how much the blinds are, what the main bet (which can be calculated using this online betulator calculator) is and other numbers that need observing. Online, this is all done for you. Playing internet poker also allows you to make decisions based on pure statistics, whereas live games are much more about intuition. As opposed to casual home games with your friends, other players will get pretty annoyed if you don’t follow basic etiquette rules, continually make mistakes and don’t take the game seriously,

Before you sit
If the casino is popular, you might want to put your name on a waiting list to ensure you can play soon after arriving. This will also prevent you from strolling around and feeling tempted to place your buy-in on rigged house games. You should check-in with the guest service soon after entering the casino. Unless you’re given a pager, your name will be called out over a speaker phone. If you fail to hear it, the casino will take you off the waiting list and you’ll miss your opportunity to sit in on a game.

At the table
Calling out your action is polite and makes the game run much smoother. Don’t leave it to the dealer to call out – always say whether you’re checking, calling, raising a certain amount, or folding. You should also protect your cards by keeping them close, visible and with a chip on top. If the dealer takes your cards and throws it toward the muck then your hand is dead with no exceptions. It is therefore important you always make it clear when you’re still in the game. Arranging your chips in a logical order of neat stacks will also help you keep track of your count.


  • Be polite to the dealer and tip bartenders
  • Place money on the table or counter (dealers aren’t supposed to accept money straight from the hand of a player)
  • Leave the table on good terms with your opponents (wish them good luck or tell them you’ve enjoyed the game)
  • Take breaks (stay hydrated and relaxed)
  • Be prepared (learn the rules beforehand – this will save time and help avoid potential humiliation, and it only take a few minutes)


  • Try to distract or trick players
  • Act unpleasantly (no verbal assaults or slamming your first on the table after a bad beat)
  • Get too drunk (you’ll play worse and you risk getting thrown out of the casino)
  • Get distracted (there’s nothing more annoying than the player who never knows when it’s their turn)
  • Get too emotionally invested (it’s a game – don’t invest more than you’re willing to loose, and enjoy the ride!)



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