Live Poker Games

Playing live poker in a casino or licensed card room is the big move for many home poker players. Playing in a casino can be exciting and rewarding, but it also can be stressful, noisy, smoky and ultimately disappointing if you can’t keep your cool and lose all your chips.

When playing poker games in a casino, remember that all the rules of home playing can apply, with two differences:

* There’s a casino staff to help you get your bearings;

* There are strict house rules that can get you ejected if you don’t abide by them.

Here are some of the ways to make the most of your time in casino card rooms.

Ask the staff. Don’t be shy about it, either. The biggest names in poker were newbies at one time. And don’t overlook the dealer. Tell him or her that it’s your first time in a casino game and ask them to help you do things the right way. Show the dealer the proper respect and it’s surprising how well your first games can go.

Sign up to play. Most poker rooms are set up with sign-in sheets for games. Just ask a staff member or a dealer how to get in the game.

Tip the dealer when you win.
Like servers, most dealers make their money from tips. It doesn’t have to be big, especially in low-limit games, but it’s a courtesy to the dealer, especially if he or she has done a good job, or has been helping you as a newcomer.

Wait for your turn. Don’t bet before the betting comes around to you, because it’s both rude and can affect how a hand is played. If you get excited and act too soon, expect lots complaints from other players.

Keep your cards in plain sight. Most casinos have strict rules about this to reduce the chances of cheating. If you want to put them on table but you aren’t mucking (folding), put a chip on top of them. This signals the dealer that you’re still in the game.

Don’t grab the pot. When you win, let the dealer push the pot to you, but don’t surrender your cards until you get the pot.

Let the dealer decide.
If you can’t tell whether yours is the best hand, turn the cards face up and allow the dealer to read off your hand. This way you’re assured you have a chance at the pot.

Don’t splash the pot. Stack your bet in front of you and let the dealer rake the chips into the pot.