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You know, let’s start by explaining why casino poker is different than playing at home. Okay, well, they are actually quite different from each other. For starters, playing in a casino is certainly more complicated just because there’s so many other factors -that come into play. – Okay. Like what?

Well, when you’re playing at home, there might not be rules beyond the actual gameplay. But playing live in a casino requires some additional knowledge of how players should act at the table… the “etiquette”, so to speak… how they bet, and how they play their cards. While some of these rules may seem a little bit over the top, they’re in place so that gameplay can follow a standard and fair approach for everyone.

All right, now that sounds great. You know, the first question that a lot of players have is if there are rules around table etiquette. I know for me, personally, I sometimes get a little intimidated when I’m around the poker table, not sure if I am doing the right thing – or the wrong thing. – Right, and that is very common, but with a little know-how, you’ll be just fine. So here’s a few helpful tips about table etiquette that’ll build your confidence and help you play without looking like a newbie. First, do not, under any circumstance, reveal your cards to anyone on or off the table.

Keep them face down on the table in front of you and only bend them up just enough to be able to see your hand. Right, so you don’t want anyone to see them. Oh, of course. Not only is it not allowed, it could give players a huge advantage over you. Another tip is watch your “tells”. – Ooh, tells?

– Yes. Now, tells are a change in your behaviour or demeanour that could indicate what your hand is. Most people, even the most experienced players, do it without even noticing. Paying attention to tells isn’t a requirement for playing, but it can help inform your play strategy.

So try to control your body and behaviour ; a change in eye contact, getting excited, acting distracted, trembling hands, or even facial expressions like the rise of an eyebrow may reveal more about your hand than you intend. You know what, that is good to know, very good to know. Thank you. You know, are there tips around poker chips too? For sure, how you treat your chips is very important.

So keep your chips stacked and out in front of you, so that every player can see what you have. Don’t take them off the table. Not only is it not allowed, it’s also strategic for all players to compare what they have versus others. Okay, great.

Now, another question that comes up a lot is, “Is there a proper way to bet?” Absolutely, and we’re not talking about “how much”, but rather, “how to”. In other words, how to bet so that there is no confusion around your actions. Hmm, okay, can you give us an example? Well, for instance, when making a bet, you could either say it verbally or you can put down your bet without saying anything.

Now, I recommend verbally communicating your bet because it makes things clearer. Keep in mind that verbal bets are binding, even over actions on the table. So, if you were to say, “I raise you $20,” but mistakenly only put down, say, 10, it’s the words that will be what the dealer goes by. – Okay, I never knew that. – It’s true.

You know, and a lot of people don’t. Now, keep in mind, voicing your bet is up to you, but there are other aspects of betting that aren’t allowed as a rule. For example, if you’re raising, you have to put in the full amount all at once. You can’t put some chips down and then reach back to your stack to bet more.

When a player does this, it’s a version of what’s called a “string bet”. Now, you might be able to get away with a string bet at a home game, but not a casino. The first amount you put into the pot counts as your bet, period. Unless, of course, you verbally communicated differently. Now, another tip, and this is very common, is you can’t say, “I call your bet and raise you X,” like they do in the movies.

– Movies, of course. – Right? We’ve all seen it. But these are two distinct plays. You can either call or you can raise, not both. Ah, okay, so you’re trying to say that I wasn’t as cool as I thought all those times.

No, no, no, don’t worry, a lot of people do not know this, but it’s a key part to playing poker at the online casino. String bets and unclear bets create confusion and slow down the pace of the game for everyone. Okay, well, thank you, Jason! – Thank you. – We appreciate you.

You know those are some great answers to some popular poker questions. That’s it for this episode, but there are a lot more questions to answer out there, so stay tuned for more PlaySmart’s Get Your Game On: Ask an Expert Editions, helping you play smart and play with confidence.