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  • Live Poker Etiquette You Must Know

Live Poker Etiquette You Must Know

Posted By KKPoker | 2024-06-26

Live Poker Etiquette You Must Know


Are you new to live poker? KKPoker is sharing all the must-know poker etiquette!

Ensure you have a smooth and enjoyable live poker experience by reading our top tips on what to do and what not to do at the poker table.

Learn how to bet like a poker professional, avoid slow rolls and angle shooting, and whether you can use your phone at the poker table.

Essential reading for all poker players, whether you are planning to play live poker in your local casino, festival, or even Las Vegas! 


Online poker comes with the added advantage of prompts when it’s your turn to act, making it impossible to act out of turn.

When playing at a live poker table, giving the game your full attention is essential. This helps you avoid mistakes and avoid being suspected of angle shooting, such as acting out of turn, which could result in a penalty, such as being forced to sit out several hands.

Angle shooting: This poker term describes any act considered gamesmanship or bordering on cheating, such as purposely acting out of turn, speaking, revealing cards, or hiding larger chips behind smaller chip stacks.

Acting out of turn: Making an action such as checking, betting, or folding before it is your turn to act. 

Acting out of turn effectively changes the game's action. Therefore, the tournament director (TD) may be forced to penalize a player if they flout the rules on several occasions. But don't worry, mistakes happen, and acting out of turn occasionally will generally be accepted.


You are not allowed to talk about the action if you are not in the hand. Talking could distract another player and change the action or even their mind. Again, speaking out of turn in a hand could result in a penalty.

If you are in a hand with multiple players (more than 2 active players in the hand), it is against the rules to discuss the hand, as it could affect the action.

Talking in heads-up pots is generally allowed, but you should refrain from speaking when an opponent thinks during their action turn.


Pre-flop: If you place a single chip over the betting line, it will count as a call to the previous bet.

For example, if the big blind is 100 and you place a 500 chip over the betting line from the under-the-gun position, it will count as a call. You must announce a raise if you intend to raise to 500 using a single chip.

Post-flop: As the first player to act, if you place a single chip over the betting line, the bet will be the chip's value. The same rule applies if you are calling a bet.

String betting is not allowed. An easy tip to remember is to place the bet all at one time, even if you are using multiple chips.

If you want to bet 600 using a 500 chip and a 100 chip, you must do so in one single movement.

Placing a 500 chip over the betting line, followed by the 100 chip in a second movement, is a string bet and will not be valid. Only the first action counts; therefore, the bet is 500.

However, if you announce your bet before placing the chips over the line, you may place the chips over the line in multiple movements.

For example: “Bet 600,” announced, followed by placing the 500 chip over the line, and then the 100 chip.

This is allowed because you have verbally announced the bet amount to the dealer before moving your chips over the betting line.


Everyone needs time to think in poker. But there are also situations when thinking is not needed for long.

For example, in the pre-flop round, you only need to call, raise, fold, or check (if in the Big Blind position). You should act promptly so as not to hold up the game.

If you seemingly take too long on decisions, your opponents may ask the dealer to call a 'clock', resulting in a limited period to act before your hand is declared dead and mucked.

Additionally, perceived time-wasting could result in a penalty from the TD.


Although typically a ‘slow roll’ is never listed as an official rule, this act can create unnecessary tension and conflict at the poker table.

A 'slow roll' is when the player with the winning hand takes an extended time to call a bet or reveal their winning hand at showdown. This is often done to irritate their opponent, maybe due to a previous confrontation.

NLH example: You hold Ah Kh  

Board: 5h 6h 10h 2c 3c.

Your hand is the Nut Flush and cannot be beaten.

Your opponent moves all in on the river; you have them covered but do not call instantly, and instead, take time to pause. This is deemed a slow roll because you hold an unbeatable hand and know you are winning but elect to pause before calling.

Furthermore, if you did call instantly but did not immediately show your hand, knowing it is the Nuts, this is also described as a slow roll.


Always cover your cards while you check them to protect them from being viewed by other players. Always keep your cards on the table, and do not lift them in the air until required at showdown.

TOP TIP: Do not wear mirrored sunglasses!


Make sure all your chips are visible to all players. Putting your largest chip amounts at the front of your stack will help. Chips should be organized and not mixed, known as a 'dirty' stack.

When in the middle and later stages of the tournament, most players will display their chips in stacks of 20 to help all players, including yourself, know the approximate value of your chip stack at all times.


Using your mobile phone while in a hand will most likely be against the house rules and could cause your hand to be dead.

After folding, you may use your phone when you are not in the hand.

Using poker training tools while in an active hand is not allowed. Using poker training tools while seated at the table, but not in an active hand, may not be against the rules but is not recommended in the spirit of the game.


Be clear and decisive with your verbal declarations. When you say “raise,” “call,” or “fold,” make sure it’s loud enough for the dealer and other players to hear.

This will avoid unnecessary disputes if the dealer or an opponent questions what you said or how you acted.


You may only leave the table once you have waited for your turn to act and folded. Even if you intend to fold, you must wait to act before leaving the table.


Poker can be an emotional game, but managing your reactions is important. Avoid celebrating excessively when you win a hand or showing frustration when you lose. Keeping your emotions in check helps maintain a positive atmosphere at the table and shows respect for other players.


Aim to be respectful in all ways, such as communication with other players and the dealer and adhering to dress and hygiene codes.


While eating and drinking at the table is completely acceptable, please be respectful. Everyday table manners apply!


Each casino or card room may have its own specific rules and guidelines. Make sure to familiarize yourself with these rules before you start playing. This includes rules about buy-ins, rebuys, blinds structure, and any specific etiquette the house expects, such as dress code. Adhering to these rules helps ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for everyone.



Learn more important poker information such as Bankroll Management tips, Mystery Bounty poker tournament strategy, top tips for poker beginners, and online poker satellite strategy.

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