20-40-60 Etiquette Extra! Polite Poker?
YOU ASK! WE ANSWER! YOU DECIDE!
EDITOR’S NOTE: In this week’s 20-40-60 etiquette extra, the men answer a bonus question about poker etiquette. In light of recent years’ popularity of the game, online, on TV and among friends, it’s fitting that 20-40-60 etiquette would address proper card-playing etiquette of the game.
It’s not the Wild West, so typically people don’t play the game with pistols by their sides like they do in the movies, but there still is a proper decorum to follow. Callie, Lillie-Beth and Helen answer too!
QUESTION: Is there such a thing as poker etiquette? I was playing in a friendly family game of poker and my cousin played out of turn. Her dad strictly told her to wait her turn to bet and to totally pay attention because money was involved. I thought it was just a game.
20s: Nick Tanskersley: I can imagine that the father’s rebuff was a little harsh, but many people take poker very seriously, and that’s what makes it fun for them. I can’t stand playing a card game just “for fun”, I like the competitive nature of it, and that’s why I engage in it in the first place. There are plenty of ways to pass the time, but this is a completive game with an end goal and because of that, the rules should be followed.
There is an etiquette to almost every card game, but especially one where there is money involved. Many casinos set up very strict rules about table behavior, and going out of turn in those situations would almost surely get you a warning with an ejection waiting at the next mistake.
At a home game it may be a little more lax but the turn-based system of a poker game is essential to the overall strategy of the players. Perhaps one player is playing another’s bluff or is working for a bigger pot; if someone bets out of turn it could really derail that entire strategy as it adds extra money and factors to that round that should not be there.
It’s one thing to have fun while playing a game and it’s another to be annoying and think that rules don’t apply because it is only a game. Most games have rules for a reason, and without those rules all you really have is a bunch of people throwing cards at each other. It’s the same as when you were a kid and playing tag or some other game and someone would just start making up their own rules.
There is a universal set of rules for any game, and to break those rules means you’ll at least be admonished. If you are looking at playing a game where you are allowed to make up what you want to do as you go along, try some solitaire.
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