Although I probably should have mentioned this in part one, the purpose of this series on etiquette is to ensure you’re having a fun, light-hearted game. This is important because hey, you’re not making life-changing money here, so remember to have fun. Secondly, when people are having fun, they do stay longer, and lose more money!
When people play cards, especially for a long period of time, they snack. When you’re considering what you want to eat, you must remember that you’re not the only person there. There’s an old tradition that you don’t eat peanuts at a poker table (I know, I hadn’t heard of it either), but it makes sense! Peanuts, chips, and such foods are greasy and can cause damage to the chips and cards you’re playing with. Shells leave a mess everywhere, and no matter how thorough you are, some will get away, not to mention potentially fatal allergies!
You also need to be aware of yourself. I play in a lot of tournaments around my town. We have a semi-regular tourney where teams of 8 players from numerous cities come to play. I would say that I know or have at least played a few times with about 75% of these people, however, that leaves 25% I haven’t. During the first such tourney, I won my first match (a SNG) for my team, and, I’ll admit, I got excited and shouted out a cheer for my team (okay, and maybe got up on my table mimicking Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels as well). Nobody said anything to me, and anyone who knew me knew I was just trying to get some energy into the day. Unfortunately, the next day, there was a post on a poker forum I frequent regarding my antics. The poster chastised me for being over the top, and in people’s faces. I can’t say that I felt I was in anyone’s “face”, but I can see his point. He also observed that whenever an exploitive comment was made, it was from my team – which was likely me again. Now, again, most people know me, and I wasn’t embarrassed, however, it does cause me to reflect now that I need to be more aware of this behaviour.
Now onto the three deadliest sins: the third worst thing you can do to ruin a game however is to stick strictly to EVERY rule in poker as if they were playing the WSOP final table, and not a low limit home game. If someone says something about a hand during it, sure, remind them, but don’t go over the top. If a suckout happens, don’t go crazy and berate a guy. These are fun remember? The next most important thing to do is to remember is when it’s your turn to act, and to do so promptly. Nothing makes a fun home game more unbearable than someone slowing down the fun, either from ignorance or inebriation. The paradox however of course is that if someone else is doing it, you can’t break the previous rule about being stickler by calling the clock or screaming at the guy, total buzz kill!
The third and ultimate sin deserves its own posting, can you guess what that is?
To be concluded…