How to Play Poker in a Casino

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Poker is played in many places – from casual home games for pennies to professional tournaments for thousands of dollars. But when you play in a casino, the rules and etiquette are different. The following tips will help you make the most of your time at a poker table in a casino or card room.

One of the most important rules is never to touch your cards once they’re dealt. If you reach for your cards, the dealer may accidentally mix them with the discards (the “muck”) and you’ll be ineligible to win the pot. Instead, place a chip on your cards to show that they’re still live and protected. The dealer is obligated by rule to honor that request.

Another essential tip is to act promptly when it’s your turn. Taking an extended amount of time to make a decision can cause frustration among other players who are waiting for their turn. In addition, excessive celebration after winning a hand is not appropriate in a casino setting and can be seen as unsportsmanlike or disrespectful.

While it is acceptable to verbally declare a dollar amount that you wish to bet in a home game, most casino poker tables have a betting line across which all bets must be made. This ensures that the dealer can easily track all bets and prevents players from “shorting” the pot by placing fewer chips than they’re supposed to. Also, be sure to stack your chips so that other players can easily see how much you have in the pot.

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