Whether you are playing online, with friends or in a casino, it is important to know what correct poker etiquette is. Every game and sport has its own etiquette that guides players on how to behave during gameplay. The guiding rules of poker revolve around action during gameplay, the cards of a player and his chips or his cash. Without these rules, the game would not hold the pedigree and respect it currently commands, which is substantial.
When play is in effect, every player is expected to follow his betting actions. Although often players forget how much to call, doing this too often is discouraged since it slows the game down. The responsibility of keeping track with the bet amount, however, falls on the dealer. From this amount, each player subtracts his contribution.
There is a method of tracking how much each player has bet. This is done by stacking the current round bet amount before them. Once the pot is good, meaning a round of betting is over, the dealer gathers all stacks into the pot. Players often cause confusion either by splashing the pot or by placing chips to call first then placing chips to raise on top of the latter.
Correct etiquette in poker also discourages playing or action out of turn. Any action, whether it is a call, a raise or a fold, is considered okay to do only when it is the turn of a player to do so. There are several reasons for this. The first reason is that the player that acts out of turn gives the player in turn vital information that he would otherwise not have. This places the players that have already acted at a disadvantage. In addition, players that act out of turn assume that all players that were to act before would not exceed the amount they want to act upon.
As a general rule, players are prohibited from revealing the cards they hold. The only time a player reveals the contents of his cards is during a period known as the showdown. In public card rooms and casinos, it is required that a player protects his cards either by placing a chip on them if they are on the table or by using his hands to cover them.
When a player wants to make change out of the pot, he must state his intentions first. A player has the options of either changing a large chip for its corresponding value in the pot or placing the chip and removing the change. All actions by the player must be announced to prevent controversy and confusion.
If possible, players are encouraged to make change between hands. Most professional betting centers have banks that make change for their clients. By doing so, they prevent frequent stoppages during a game.
In some formats of the game, players are allowed to just place cash on the table instead of using chips. It is not safe to do this, however, and it is often discouraged. It is also considered a serious breach of protocol to touch the chips of another player, and it often leads to arrests in casinos.