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It reads “Hold em Etiquette” on the tin, but you can take any of these tips to any poker game and they’ll keep you on the right path.

Before we get started, it may be worth checking out the best online poker rooms for their view on the topic of ‘hold em etiquette’. A few games of holdem, especially if you monitor the chat and look around at the informational materials, will give you a clear idea of what is expected from you as a poker player.

Sun Poker

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Sun Poker offers tables at all experience levels and limits for any and every player. Highly recommended A++

Mansion Poker

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Mansion poker offers great promotions and has an outstanding number of players. Highly recommended

Pacific Poker

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Pacific Poker is a fast and reliable online casino with prompt payouts. Highly recommended

Poker players tend to run the gamut of emotions, from despair to ecstasy, in a short space of time. Now that we’re getting more and more used to “reality” television poker tournaments that feature semi-celebrities and dubious experts, it can be difficult to avoid the conclusion that strategy is taking a back seat to drama, and that attention-seekers dominate the game.

Any real poker player will tell you that nothing could be further from the truth. While there are definitely real characters on the poker scene, attitude never tips the scale — only skill. In poker, just like with anything else, breaking the rules is less likely to impress anyone than it is to make you lose friends and opportunities. By now, you’re old enough to know that some rules are written, and some are unwritten. We’ve presented a nice mix of both here in our hold em etiquette guide:

  • Patience and Attentiveness. Don’t get distracted. Nothing worse than a player that has to be reminded to act, unless it’s one that acts out of turn.
  • Don’t take anything away from the table, whether it’s cards, chips, or your own butt.
  • Don’t show during the hand. You may think it doesn’t matter, but think about this: knowing what your cards are also lets everyone else know what everyone else’s cards aren’t.
  • Don’t even show your feelings. Especially when they could influence the hand that is going on. Whether you’re playing, or just watching. Frustrated moves are no-class moves.
  • Don’t even comment. Keep it neutral, keep it necessary, and keep it cool. No taunting, no flirting, no stare-downs. Don’t be a distraction.
  • Treat the dealer right. Tip regularly. They don’t make the cards, after all.
  • Be neat. Don’t splash. Don’t string raise. Mistakes with chips can hurt.
  • Slow rolling is about as cool as splashing the table. i.e., not at all unless you’re in a bad movie.

As you can see, some of these rules are specifically for “real” games, whether in a brick-and-mortar casino, a private home or establishment, or a public forum. Online, many will not directly apply…but don;t get me wrong, playing holdem online doesn;t automatically mean “all bets are off”. Respect and courtesy is still required, and just as likely to get you ignored when you forget it. You may be able to get away with a little bit more, but — unlike in the actual game of hold em poker — there’s just no reason to push your luck.

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