Like any other game, poker has a number of rules which you should be familiar with before you sit at a casino table. But, besides the rules of different varieties of poker, there are also rules of conduct which the players need to abide while in the casino, and throughout the game.
These rules are commonly known as “house rules”, and each gambling establishment is likely to have its own, unique set of rules. When setting foot in a casino for the first time, you should always consult the house rules, because you don’t want to unintentionally break any. If you do, you risk anything from a warning to actually being kicked out of the casino – a most humiliating outcome. The rules can be found posted online, or at the reception – where you can also request a printed copy.
Most casinos have, however, similar general rules. For instance, all of them will ban weapons inside the premises, and most of them will have areas where smoking is not allowed. Profane language is also banned throughout the casino. Vulgar, abusive or obscene language will lead to being penalized or removed from the casino. This rule applies to foreign languages as well. A casino is not the best place to show off your knowledge of exotic languages. Always use English or the official language of the country in which you are playing. It’s a sign of respect, and you also avoid misunderstandings.
Other common rules refer to the table itself. Generally, poker players are not allowed to leave the table while playing a hand nor speak on the phone, in order to prevent attempts of cheating. In most casinos, you will only be allowed to place your cards, chips and drink on the table, which prevents clutter and gives everyone unobstructed view of the game.
House rules also regard your cards and chips. You shouldn’t dent or bend the cards, as no one should be able to distinguish between them. You are also expected to keep your cards and chips on the table, throughout the game. You are only allowed to touch your own cards and chips. Don’t touch those of other players, as you could be suspected of cheating or theft. Also important, even in the heat of the game, don’t throw chips into the pot. While dramatic, it will annoy the other players and make counting difficult. Place the bet in front of you and the dealer will rake it into the pot.
House rules are set by casinos in order to offer players a welcoming environment and a pleasant gaming experience. These are just some of the most common house rules, but in the end it comes down to just one basic principle: respect others and you shall be respected in turn.