If you have only ever played a poker game at home with friends, then you need to understand that playing at a casino is a whole different world. Unlike the lax games played at home, casinos have protocols one must follow at any poker table.
People who are new to playing at a casino shouldn’t feel the need to shy away from the tables, but a few techniques will help you look more like a pro.
1. Know the betting rules. Make sure you know the betting minimum and maximum, as well as any buy-in limits before you sit down at the poker table. Once you are playing, pay attention to the person’s bet in front of you. You will need to know the betting amount and if I raise was made.
2. Do not bet out of turn. Betting out of turn not only looks bad, it can hurt you in the long run. If you place your bet before your turn, you are giving an unfair advantage to the other players. They now know if you were going to raise or fold.
3. Protect your cards. Protecting your cards is the player’s responsibility and important for many reasons. Nothing looks more unprofessional then a player who is unaware that they are showing their cards to the table. If your cards were to get mixed up with another player’s cards then that hand would be considered invalid. If you had a good hand, you would loose the bet for that round.
4. Place your chips in the right spot. In casual home games it is common for a player to simply toss his or her chips in to the pot during the hand. At the poker table at the casino, the dealer is responsible for the chips. Do not simply toss your chips in to the pot. Calmly place your chips in front of you to signify how much you want to bet on that hand. The dealer will count them and place them in the pot.
5. Do not play every hand. Many rookies at the poker table feel they have to be in on the action and play every single hand. Take the time to learn the discipline of knowing when to play and when to fold. You will do better in the long run if you only play a round when you have a good starting hand.
Developing the right technique and following protocol not only makes you look better at the poker table, it will improve your game. Follow the pros and keep yourself in check.