Poker Etiquette

See poker betting for the basic rules of betting, raising and calling in poker.

Whether you’re playing in a casino or in a home game, certain basic rules of poker etiquette apply. For example, don’t simply toss chips to add them to the pot – rather stack them neatly and slide them to the centre of the table so that they don’t mingle with other chips. In a casino, push your chips forward and allow the dealer to draw them into the pot.

In a casino game, it’s not acceptable to add to your chips when play is underway. You can bet and raise only with the chips that are in front of you, although you’re free to buy more chips in between hands.

Bet, raise or call only when it’s your turn to act in a poker game. Aside from it’s being impolite to act out of turn, doing this is likely to give your opponents an advantage – they’ll have an earlier clue about the strength of your hand.

If you win the pot in a casino game, poker etiquette dictates that you tip – or "toke" – the dealer. Generally, a toke of $1 is acceptable.

String Raises

If you want to raise a bet in a casino poker game, it’s best to say "raise" and then count the right number of chips into the pot. You can choose just to place the right number of chips in the pot, but you’ll have to do this in one motion – or you may be accused of a string raise.

In any form of poker, it’s forbidden to call a bet and then reach back for more chips and call a raise. This is known as a string raise.

It’s illegal to do this in poker because it gives the person calling a bet the opportunity to gauge their opponents’ reactions before actually raising.

Keep your Cards on the Table

Avoid taking your cards off or below the table so that no accusation of cheating can occur. In games where only two cards are dealt initially, like Texas Hold ’em, it’s best to put them face down on the table with a chip on them after you’ve read them.

See casino poker for tips on how playing a casino differs from playing poker at home.