Pandemic restrictions are down to a minimum and everyone is getting ready to have some game-time fun. People are breaking out backyard barbecues and gearing up for conventions. Fans are getting cosplay costumes ready for photography, card tables out and dusted, and menus prepped for entertaining. There’s just one little problem — most of us are out of practice with socializing and interacting with others!
Before your plans get too far along, make sure you get a little practice before going public. Take a test run of that next costume or play a few hands at an online casino Joker. And when it comes to poker, avoid these infamous faux pas as you get back to gaming.
Remember Personal Hygiene
Gone are the days when you could sit behind a computer screen with mussed hair and food-stained pajamas. Removing masks means removing your shield from bad breath. Before you sit down at a poker table, take a shower and grab some clean clothes. Avoid heavy perfume and cigarette smoke if you’re in a non-smoking environment.
In addition to keeping your popularity with other players, you may even help your own game. That nose-twitching tell you thought your opponent had may not have been a flush on the river, but instead an almost-sneeze from bad cologne.
Read the Room
Players at a poker forum describe the moments when they’ve witnessed, or been the perpetrator of, some rather terrible choices at humor. Just because you can read the cards doesn’t always mean you can read social cues. While jesting and friendly banter is encouraged, it helps to make sure your jokes are socially appropriate. Avoid taking jabs that are racially or gender-motivated. It’s best to avoid sexually explicit jokes too and simply remember that an adult poker table isn’t necessarily an x-rated poker table.
And when it comes to bragging about your natural skill or luck? You better be able to back up those claims or instead of going home with that bucket of chips you’ll be walking out of the occasion as the brunt of all the player’s jokes instead.
Mind your Mucked Business
A huge faux pas in poker is to ask to see another’s “mucked” hand. Mucked refers to a player choosing to fold a hand after withdrawing from play and simply handing the unknown cards back to the dealer. As a user on poker’s Stack Exchange shares, “If they wanted you to see it or didn’t care if you saw it they would table it.”
It’s not your business to know why someone chooses not to share their folded hand. In fact, the only time it’s even slightly appropriate to ask to see this is if you are teaching someone the game. Teaching, however, comes with its own faux pas — don’t provide strangers with unsolicited advice.
Don’t Angle Cheap Shots
Veteran poker players can sometimes be accused of taking advantage of newbies using a technique called angle shooting. Angle shooting is intentionally misleading or taking advantage of inexperience, not simply playing your hand. If a new player folds on a royal flush — obviously it’s ok to bet and win accordingly.
If instead, however, a veteran player misspeak on a call, misleads on a chip count, or tries to peak at a poorly-held hand — this is both unfair and frowned upon. Any veteran poker player with reasonable skill should be able to take advantage of a newer players inexperience in a fair way. Misleading a new player intentionally is more like cheating and it won’t make you any friends at the table.
It’s been a while since many people played poker and other social games in person. Get game-ready before you go. Find the perfect outfit and get cleaned up for an evening on the town. Practice your skills online before you meet up in person. Remember your social (and gaming) etiquette before you settle in for the night.
Playing poker is as much about socialization as it is about the cards when you attend events in person. Take measures to ensure you create an even and inclusive playing field for everyone. That win will be all the sweeter for knowing you won a fair fight.