View Full Version : Poker Rules/Etiquette?

03-10-2002, 11:10 AM
I also posted this under "Other Topics", as I wasn't sure where it belonged. Sorry for the cross-posting...

Hello, I was playing 1-5 stud in a B+M casino the other night, and would like some opinions on an incident that took place during a hand.

We were playing three-handed, and were dealt the river card. I was second to act. The first player to act bet, and I raised (after picking up a straight on the river). The third player was pondering his decision when another player, not involved in the hand said, "Isn't it obvious, he has a straight", or something to that extent. I said, "Please, sir, only one player to a hand." He said , "It is obvious that you have a straight" (A statement that I disagree with). I said that it does not matter, and that he should not be discussing the hand while it is being played. He again blew off my comments, so I asked the dealer to please tell him not to comment on my hand while it is being played. The dealer gave similar comments and did not seem to care. I then called a floor person over, and made sure to clarify the rules. I asked whether players are allowed to discuss a hand while it is still being played. She said no, so I proceeded to ask her to tell the dealer to tell the player not to discuss my hands in the future, because they seem to think this is acceptable. At this point the dealer and the player began to make a scene and yell at me. The dealer was yelling about how he never said that it was acceptable (which he, in fact, did), and the player began to yell profanities. The player called me a piece of sh*&, and a f*&%ing @sshole, and the dealer, who was sitting next to me (about a foot away), was raising his fist at me as if ready to strangle me or punch me, which frankly scared me, as the dealer was a rather large man. All I wanted was for proper procedure to be followed, and the player, and worse yet, the dealer, blew up and caused a scene. I never once raised my voice (which was difficult with one person pumping his fist at me while another was calling me every name under the sun), and they turned it into a big incident. I was trying to follow a good procedure by first asking the player to stop, then asking the dealer to ask the player to stop, then asking the floor person to inform the dealer of the rules.

I feel like I have to face this kind of garbage (well, not to this extent) every time I step foot in a B+M casino. The players are always rude, and always feel the need to comment on my style of play. I play 1-5 stud, and I often raise to $10 after a player to my right bets $5. Typically, I do this when I want to get heads up with the other player, when I feel I have a hand that plays better heads up. The players always jump on me and have said things like, "Why did you raise there? You are going to cost people money," to which I think, "I sure as hell hope so." They often mutter things under their breath, shake their head, etc. They seem to want me to be passive, just as they all are. It seems that at these low limits, the procedure goes: bring-in for $1, everyone calls (never raise). Then from 4th to 7th streets, a player bets a buck or two, and players either call or fold. Again, they never raise. No one EVER raises, and no one ever bets the max (of which I do both)...

Anyhow, back to my main concern, which has to do with the rules/etiquette involved in poker. My questions are as follows:

1) Was I correct in asking the player not to comment on my hand?

2) Was the procedure I followed correct, asking the player, then the dealer, then the floorperson?

3) Should other players at the table have said anything on my behalf upon my being yelled at by these people, or even upon my initial request for the man to keep his feelings about my hand to himself?

4) Do you think I caused this scene to take place due to any of my actions?

5) Should be dealer be reprimanded/fired? I am not refering to his decision not to tell the player to keep his opinions to himself, but rather due to his "threatening" me.

6) Should I stop playing poker? Most of the people I have met while playing poker are a'holes, mostly crotchety old men (not to generalize, but this has been the case with me), who give me no respect as a person/fellow poker player. I attribute a lot of this to my style of play, as well as to my age (I am in my early 20's) and their general bitterness towards life.

I think this whole scene was probably hillarious to all observers, as two people, one twice my age, and another 3 times it, were yelling and threatening me, while I, practically a teenager, did not once raise my voice or react to the comments. I would think it would be the other way around. I would think that by this age people would have learned to control their emotions, and to deal with people diplomatically. I would think...well, anyhow:

I would appreciate comments on any of my ramblings, and please feel free to add any other comments you feel are necessary.

-- Thanks, Homer J.

03-10-2002, 04:11 PM
Well, I took a look at the situation and it sounds like you were totally in the right. The dealer's actions were totally out of line. He should have asked the player to stay out from the beginning. Even after you said something to him, he should have firmly told the player to stop. The dealer should at least be talked to by management.

Don't stop playing poker. I'm also in my early twenties. I ran into an incident 2 weekends ago where one player totally ripped into me and started screaming at me simply because I checkraised him heads-up. It probably didn't help that I laughed at him at first though. But some people just are extremely competitive and they have to use profanity and other means to help disrupt the game. If you can find another casino, go ahead. If not, talk to management and ask them why they allow such things to occur in the casino. Worst case, don't respond to things that people say to you.

03-10-2002, 05:51 PM

in an ideal poker world the dealer would have said something to the interferring player without you having said a word. as it is, this kind of behavior from a dealer is beyond the pale. it seems to me he should lose his job over something like that.

don't give up poker. i've played lot's of $1-5 with older people(i'm 29), have played aggressively, and usually get nothing but respect for doing so. (except the occasional old lady griping about me making the rake go up.) /images/smile.gif

try and play at the times of day when the cardroom isn't full of old-timers and tight-passives trying to coast along for a few hours on their $20 stack. hit the tables when the younger, looser crowd comes out.

it's been my experience that for every ***hole player or dealer there are two or three poker people that you will end up being glad that you met. don't give up just yet.

03-11-2002, 06:56 AM
im 23, and 2 years ago, when i was legal, i started going to to the casinos to play poker. the one i would go to had 1$-5$ stud as its lowest limit game, then all hold em games from 5-10 and up. i figured the lowest limit would be the best for my bankroll (which was directly defined by my paycheck minus living expenses). i had similar experiences, but blew them off. after 2 years of playing my fair share in casinos here in illinois, indiana, and california, and reading this website for the past year, i can tell you a couple things:

1-5 stud is where you are going to find the highest percentage of older, more conservative, passive players, GENERALLY... i don't exactly know why, but perhaps its because stud is an older game, because the exposed cards help beginners in reading hands, because you can often see 4th street for only a buck, or because their SS checks only allow them to play that low. that being said, too bad for them when you're in the game. if your motivated by profit in these games, then who cares what they think/say about you/your style of play? bust em all out if you can. take every last dime. if the money's in play, its yours for the taking, and if you can follow the rules of the game and earn more money, screw 'em!!

as far as the incident you described, here's my thoughts: if you explained it accurately, (which i believe you did, as you probably were thinking about exactly how to handle the problem from the beginning), then you were clearly right. one player to a hand is there for a reason. good for you for speaking up. what did the floor say?

also, im unclear if the person making comments was another player at the table or just somebody watching. if it was a player, now he's on tilt, so take advantage of that. if its just an observer, ask that he not be allowed to stand near the table. i don't know wha they'll do, but try.

once, when i was playing in L.A., an asian woman at the opposite end of the table was speaking in a language i didn't know or recognize to the person behind her, showing her cards, etc. and the person was responding. i asked the dealer to enforce the one player to a hand rule and the player got really mad, saying she wasn't talking about the hand, etc. the floor came over and ruled her hand dead. she didn't do it anymore, and she left a short while later (she was probably the next best player at the table, so i was happy to see her go. she was cranky too...)

anyways, you were right. don't quit playing poker because of that. learn to play hold'em and play higher limits when you can, and you'll enjoy the game much more, and find nicer players. i don't know why it is.

03-11-2002, 11:55 AM
The floorperson was standing right there when the dealer and player blew up at me. She kind of soaked in the situation and didn't really say anything. I waited until another dealer came in, and then called her over again. I asked her how to file a complaint, and she told me how. She also indicated that he was going to get a talking to during his break. I don't know if this was just to appease me or if it was the truth, but she seemed genuine enough and seemed to take my side. She apologized and said his actions were incorrect. I never did file a complaint, because frankly I was pissed and didn't want to escalate the situation any further.

The person who made the initial comment was a player at the table. Unfortunately, I went on tilt instead of him. I was playing the best I have ever played (I am fairly new, and had just finished reading Theory of Poker and 7CSFAP for the first time the week before) until this situation came up. I think I was up around $80-90 in about 3 hrs. From that point on I lost all my profits plus a bit more, simply because I didn't care any more. I play in the hopes of someday being able to pull a consistent profit (right now I lose more than I win, I'll admit it), but moreso because I genuinely enjoy playing the game. When I get pissed off, the money means nothing to me. I just want to throw my chips at the other people, and say, "Here, is this what you want? Take it you money-grubbing bastards!"

I have never shown anything but respect for the other players. I don't care what their style of play is, that's none of my business. It's their money, and they can play however they wish. Yet, somehow, they think they have the right to tell me how to play the game and how to best use MY money. I truly hope I have just had a streak of bad luck with these other players. However, it really seems to be a growing trend.

Why do you say that I should play hold 'em instead of stud? Do you find that they players are more cordial? If so, maybe it has something to do with the general nature of the two games. It seems to me that in hold 'em there is a fairly set standard of opening hands and style of play. Stud seems to be a bit more dynamic, since you must base your initial play on exposed cards in addition to your own cards. Also, I suppose when you play hold 'em, it is not a spread limit game as I play in stud, which in my mind eliminates a lot of bitching. When I play stud, people will bet anywhere from the $1 min to the $5 max (well, only I do that). This alone causes a lot of quiet mutterings...

Anyhoo, I guess I won't give up yet, but I am really close to saying the hell with it and playing only home games and paradise.

-- Homer J.

03-11-2002, 03:41 PM

I agree you were totally within your rights and handled yourself courteously and professionally. Just a hint for the next time it happens to you, and happen it will. If the commenting player is correct acknowledge it to be so and recommend that the player still in the hand fold as you have him beat and he has no outs. This is a 90% guarantee to get a call. The other upside is noone is upset with you, you win an extra bet,plus you get one free lie at the table that they will all believe so you win another pot.

Good Luck,


03-11-2002, 03:45 PM

03-12-2002, 10:51 AM
glad to hear that you're not throwing in the towel yet.

i say play hold'em because its a more popular game and there are more loose players in my experience playing holdem. you expressed disdain for all the TAOR's (tight-A$$-old-rocks) in the 1-5 stud game, so i thought that id sugget a way to get away from them. i find more rocks in LL stud games than in ANY hold'em game ive seen. not that you won't find them, but this has been my experience. also, get away from the 1-5. depending on the rake, its a tough game to beat, and the higher limits are going to be more profitable to you, when you can afford it and when you can beat those players. also, the holdem games tend to be looser, especially at the lower limits, and this helps to overcome what could otherwise be a very tough rake percentage-wise.

just a few thoughts.

also, you won't be able to completely avoid a$$holes at the table, but next time they are getting all hot and bothered, take time to calm yourself down and know that this could be a perfect time to get this guy on tilt, and take advantage of it. even if you're not comfortable with actively provoking the guy, you can still try to take advantage of his temporary tilt.

03-13-2002, 07:20 AM
Generally speaking you will find know-it-all's who want to show how great they are (by saying junk like you describe) in low limit games.They are part of the landscape so learn to deal with them.

Generally they are wrong much more than they are right so they do not cause much actual harm.They are pretty irritating though.

You didn't mention WHERE all of this took place,but I would have to say that the sort of blow up described is pretty rare in my experience.Poker is a stressful game so shit will hit the fan at some point in any game you play in.

Unfortunately another feature of the low-limit experience (unless it is a really small place) is that you will only see dealers who are either just breaking in/inexperienced or just hopelessly bad!!!Learning how to put up with them can be harder than learning how to beat the game so that alone is enough to make it worth your while to move up to a bigger limit.

A piece of advice though, do not try to educate a dealer at your table! It is not your job and they will only feel like you are showing them up and will only get worse.Leave it to the floorperson,but if they aren't doing their job then by all means advise the shift supervisor of whatever the problem is.

Finally keep in mind that a winning player needs an exceptionally thick skin.So if they get under yours then it is time to lobby or quit for the day.