Poker Etiquette

Paul ZimblerPaul ‘The Marbella Kid’ Zimbler / {MODIF_TIME:d M Y}

Poker is a game of a few things, but the reality is that there are highs and lows as in most things. In poker these come at crucial times and are out of anyone’s control. Poker is a mathematical game. Deal with it.

I have been travelling now for 10 years, and over the last few years since poker has become big on the TV screens one thing is apparent. At the poker table the etiquette is getting worse.

I know and understand that new players have seen this on TV watching players like, Phil THE BRAT Helmouth, Mike THE MOUTH Matusow, Tony G and many other great players.

One has to remember that these players are a small percentage of the poker players out there today, but have made a name for themselves using this technique.

Right or wrong?

I say wrong!

One can claim that they are only like this while playing to make the opponent uneasy and afraid, but this is like being a bully. No need. We don’t tolerate bullies anywhere else so why should we at the poker table?

If you’re as good as you think you are you should be able to sit there and play your game and win anyway. All that has happened is that new players see this and copy it (mainly in the USA). When playing in a comp the worst thing any player wants to have is his massive hand, say AA cracked by an underdog say 77. What is worse though is when the player who has won the pot jumps up and down and screams and then gives the other player the rub down.

Poker is a game of survival. To win any competition you must be not only good but lucky, this is where the saying comes from ‘I’d rather be lucky than good’. You must win several 50/50’s and suck out on players with a better hand and have your hands hold up. As long as the ones you lose are smaller than the ones you win and you win more then you progress through the tournament.

At every competition I play I witness bad manners at the table and also terrible language between players. Why?

If a player plays a hand bad, which many do, they do not need to be told. This can be said for many reasons but the most important is that this is their game, this is how they play. Poker is a great game because everybody plays different. What is the aim of telling a player you don’t know what he did wrong?


If a player doesn’t learn then that is his loss and the remaining players gain. Also he maybe thinks he did nothing wrong or doesn’t want to be reminded.

One thing in life that is not only easy but also free is a SMILE. We are all there for the same reason and that is to win. Talk to the player next to you if you want about the player or the bad play but don’t use bad etiquette at the table there is really no need. The only person who looks bad at the end of it all is YOU.

I hope I am not alone in my thoughts on the way that some players behave at the table, so please think before you speak. Remember in poker it is very easy for the roles to reverse and very quickly.

So be good, be lucky and be polite. Remember it is better to tap the table and say nice hand. Or well played!