Essential Etiquette for Playing in-Person Poker Games

When you sit down at a poker table, whether it’s in a casino or at home with friends, it’s important to be aware of the etiquette of the game. Not only will following proper protocol make the game more enjoyable for everyone involved, but it will also prevent you from unintentionally breaking any rules and ruining the fun.

Here are a few basic things to keep in mind when playing poker:

1. Be respectful of other players. This means refraining from using offensive language, keeping your emotions in check, and not engaging in any behavior that could be considered harassment.

2. Follow the house rules. Every card room or casino has its own set of rules that must be followed. Familiarize yourself with them before sitting down to play.

3. Keep your hands to yourself. Don’t reach across the table to grab chips or cards, and don’t touch another player without their permission.

4. Protect your hand. If you need to leave the table for any reason, make sure to put your cards face down on the felt so that they can’t be accidentally exposed or mixed up with other players’ hands.

5. Be mindful of your chip denominations. When betting, always announce how much you are putting in (in terms of both the number of chips and their value) so that there is no confusion about what you are doing.

6. Don’t slow down the game. If you take too long to decide, other players will get impatient and the game will lose its momentum. 

7. Don’t talk too much. It’s fine to chat with the other players while you are playing, but don’t let it interfere with the game.

Pre-Game Etiquette

When playing in-person poker games, it is important to be aware of and adhere to basic etiquette. This includes being respectful to other players, being mindful of your personal hygiene, and avoiding any behavior that could be considered cheating.

Respect other players: Poker is a game of strategy and skill, so it is important to respect your opponents. This means not talking trash or engaging in any other disrespectful behavior. Remember, everyone is there to have fun and hopefully win some money.

Mind your personal hygiene: When sitting down at a poker table, you will be in close proximity to other players. It is important to be mindful of your personal hygiene in order to maintain a comfortable environment for everyone involved. This includes things like taking regular breaks to use the restroom, washing your hands frequently, and avoiding strong scents.

Avoid cheating: Cheating is not only unethical, but it can also get you kicked out of the game. There are many ways to cheat in poker, so it is important to be aware of what constitutes cheating and avoid doing anything that would give you an unfair advantage over other players. Some common examples of cheating include using marked cards, colluding with another player, or trying to see another player’s cards.

During the Game: Behaviour and Communication

In-person poker games can be a lot of fun, but there is a certain etiquette that should be followed in order to ensure that everyone has a good time. Here are some things to keep in mind while you’re playing:

– Be respectful of other players and the dealer at all times. This includes refraining from using obscene language or engaging in any other type of disruptive behavior.

– Follow the rules of the game and don’t try to cheat. Cheating is not only unfair, but it will also likely get you kicked out of the game.

– If you’re new to the game, take some time to learn the basics before jumping into a game. There’s nothing worse than slowing down the game for everyone else because you don’t know what you’re doing.

– Pay attention to the other players and try to read their tells. This will give you an advantage and help you make better decisions about your own hand.

Post-Game Etiquette

When the game is over, it’s important to know the proper etiquette for post-game socializing. First and foremost, it’s important to be a good sport whether you win or lose. If you’ve won, don’t rub it in your opponents’ faces; if you’ve lost, don’t be a poor sport. Secondly, it’s important to be gracious whether you win or lose. Thank your opponents for playing and invite them to play again next time. Finally, it’s important to be respectful of everyone’s time. Don’t linger too long after the game is over; say your goodbyes and head on out.

General Tips for All Games & Situations

Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned pro, there is always room for improvement when it comes to your poker etiquette. Here are some general tips that will help you in any game or situation:

1. Be respectful to everyone at the table. This includes the dealers, other players, and the staff.

2. Follow the rules of the game and respect the dealer’s decisions.

3. Don’t be a sore loser or winner. Poker is a game of ups and downs, so learn to take the good with the bad gracefully.

4. Keep your emotions in check. Getting too angry or excited can make you lose focus and make poor decisions.

5. Be patient and wait your turn. Rushing through your moves will only make things worse.

6. Pay attention to what is going on at the table and try to stay focused throughout the entire game.


Learning poker etiquette is a key part of being successful at the game. There are many ways to demonstrate good manners when playing in-person games, but these essentials should be enough to get you started on the right track. Following proper poker etiquette will help make sure everyone involved has an enjoyable experience and that your opponents respect your skills as a player. Keep practicing and using these tips, you’ll soon become the most sought-after player at every table!