Novice Player Etiquette: How to Share Space at a Poker Table

In both live and online poker, there is basic etiquette that helps to keep the game running smoothly. Novice players may not realize that there’s etiquette involved in sharing space at the poker table. This can make the difference between a pleasant game and one where the atmosphere is unnecessarily tense and hostile.

Know the seating arrangements

Some poker rooms have tables with nine players and others with ten. Space around the tables can be tight. If players are fighting for elbow room it can create an unpleasant environment. In a game with nine players, the player in seat number five should be sitting directly in front of the dealer.

Seats one and nine are on the left and right sides of the dealer. The other three seats are equitably divided in the remaining space. In a game with ten players, the space between seats five and six is directly in front of the dealer.

When playing online poker, it is possible to play at multiple tables at the same time. It’s good etiquette when using an online gambling application to act quickly when it’s time to make a move. Paying close attention to the game is important to avoid spending too much time making decisions while the clock is running.

Ask the dealer to “square up the table”

As players enter a game, the chairs are often displaced. One half of the table may end up being crowded while the other half has more space. The dealer will usually notice and fix this. If this isn’t the case, you can ask him to do so. Do this between hands. The phrase you should use is to “square up the table”. This is the recognized phrase to make sure the space is evenly divided. Don’t try to direct the process yourself or you could appear controlling.

The space under the table

The feet of poker players at the table need somewhere to go. Some players can be very inconsiderate and take up more legroom than others. This won’t be apparent to anyone other than the two players close to them. It can be hard to deal with and put players off their game when another player is taking up too much legroom.

Many sports games also have player etiquette just like poker. It’s all about having respect for other players. Players who practice good etiquette are often regarded more highly than others.

Use cup holders at the table

Players may think they aren’t clumsy enough to knock over a beverage on a poker table. There’s a reason the etiquette says they should never have an open drink on the table without a coaster.

Other players could move their hands in sudden ways for various reasons. The table could tilt when someone sits down or stands up. When drinks spill, they can make a huge mess at the poker table. The cards and chips can get wet and the whole game may have to shut down.

Ask permission for onlookers

Players may want to have onlookers, but they should ask the dealer for permission. The dealer can arrange for them to watch without encroaching on the players’ space. Even the little etiquette rules matter in a game of poker. Players are responsible for the conduct of their guests. They shouldn’t try to peek at players’ hands or do anything that hurts their chances. Guests should understand in advance what’s expected of them.