Common Courtesy in Live Poker

As more poker players enter casinos to play the game, there are a few common courtesies that need to be learned to make sure the game remains a friendly game, even if players are competing to win the money of others. Coming from a home game or online poker environment may seem awkward when a player first sits down at a table, but the truth is that all forms of poker are played in relatively the same way. At the same time, there are some standard courtesies that are part of the live casino game and exist across the board, no matter where the casino is located or which game is being played. Learning these common courtesies will keep the action going well and a positive environment at the poker table. At PokerStars there is well over a quarter million people playing at a certain time, so this would be a perfect place to practice your courtesy in poker games. Some of the best players in the world play in pokerstars, so you can get some great tips from playing higher levels.

When a player first sits down, they will need to buy chips from the dealer. Instead of just putting the money on the table, the player should wait until the current hand in progress is finished for the dealer to exchange chips from the buy-in. To make it easier on the dealer and to keep the hands coming as fast as possible, a player can use a chip runner to purchase their chips or simply buy them from the cage in the poker room. In both cases, the other players at the table will be appreciative of the player's willingness to help keep the game going and not slow down the action to buy chips. At each table, the minimum and maximum amount of the buy-in will be clearly listed and a player will need to make sure that their initial chips falls within this range.

For big bet games, or those that are played No Limit or Pot Limit, most casinos and poker rooms have a rule stating that the smallest chips are not in play. As many players keep these chips to provide tokes, or tips, to waitresses or dealers, these are considered separate from the actual table stakes. The only exception is if the smaller denomination chips are used to form one of the standard blind bets. An example would be a $1 chip in a No Limit game that has blinds of $1 and $2. Because the $1 chip is used in the blinds, then they are considered in play. In the same vein of thought, the $1 chips at a No Limit game with $5 and $10 blinds would not be considered part of a player's active total on the table and not subject to an all-in bet or call.

As a common courtesy from the dealer to the players, nearly every casino will require the dealer that is controlling the game to call the cards. This means that a player can overlook their hand, but as long as it is exposed during the showdown, then it is the dealer's responsibility to correctly interpret the value of the hand. Therefore, a player may think that they have only one pair when they have actually have a straight. Even though they may verbally state that they have one pair, the value of their exposed cards is what counts and the straight will be considered their highest possible five card hand. This rule is in place to prevent players from erroneously declaring their hands and causing other players to muck their hands thinking that they have lost.