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General Poker Discussion >> Brick and Mortar

JBB
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B&M Card Room Newbie Guide v. 4
      07/14/05 06:29 PM

There are some things that are constantly getting asked on this forum that need to be posted in this FAQ page. Mostly these have to do with how to behave in a live cardroom, and are usually asked by internet players going to a live cardroom for the first time.


When you arrive in the cardroom, go to the brush (person who seats players) or the front desk and ask to be either seated, or put onto the list for the game(s) you are interested in playing. If a seat isnít available immediately, they will call you when your seat is ready. This is standard procedure, so donít be offended if you get put onto a waiting list.

Pay attention! Gawk at the waitress BETWEEN hands, not while everyone is waiting for you to act.

Play fast and learn the mechanics of live cardroom play before you sit down (and possibly irritate the dealer and other players in the game). If you have to sign up for "lessons" then do it. Lee Jones book does have some good advice on cardroom ettiquette. Read it if you aren't sure.

Don't count out your chips one at a time out of your rack (which of course most new players insist on keeping on the table). Take the chips out of your rack and cut them like you know what you are doing. Stack your bets neatly, donít splash them into an uncountable pile. Six chips are stacked 3 and 3, eight chips are stacked 4 and 4, ten chips are stacked 5 and 5, etc. Stacks of seven or nine or eleven or seventeen are completely useless, and the dealer will break them down anyway, thus wasting time counting chips you could have already properly stacked in the first place. And don't spash the pot!

Stacks of chips on the table are in stacks of twenty. It's much easier to verify stacks for change/color up if you keep them this way. If you are all-in in a no limit game, having your chips already stacked in a convenient manner will speed up the game immensely. Remember, the dealer MUST count your chips when you go all-in, so make it EASY for them.

Use basic courtesy and common sense when dealing and speaking to others involved in the game, including the dealer. If you piss off the fish you may wind up in a game full of rocks.

Let the DEALER run the game. Listen to them and follow their commands/prompts. While some dealers these days are inept and incompetent, most can run the game efficiently enough. They are ALL much better if you don't make their job difficult.

Tip the dealers when you win a pot. An extremely large tip is not required, but don't be a stiff either. $1 per pot is somewhat standard, although plenty tip more, especially in larger pots. Stealing the blinds does not require a tip. Tip your waitress for your drinks, and give the chip runner a buck when they bring you your chips! Live cardrooms require tipping!

Protect your hand! This is more important than what beats what! Cup your hands around your cards and lift up the corners, peeking in the little "window" to see what you have. Don't remove your cards from the felt! They should never leave the table! Keep a chip on your cards while waiting your turn. This lets the dealer know "I have a hand, please don't take it yet!" At the showdown - Don't let go of your cards until A) they have killed all the losing hands and are pushing the chips your direction, or B) you are certain your hand is a loser. Once your cards touch the muck pile, THEY ARE COMPLETELY AND FOREVER DEAD AND YOU HAVE NO FURTHER RIGHT TO THE POT REGARDLESS OF WHAT YOU HAD.

FLOORMAN'S DECISION IS FINAL. Don't argue with the floorman! {Some larger places have a supervisor you can ask for if the floor appears wrong. - RR}

If you want to raise, say "RAISE" loudly and clearly. Then you may count the chips out at your leisure. If you try to raise (without saying it out loud) and make multiple motions towards your chips, you have made a "string bet" and it won't be allowed to stand. Multiple motions for bets or raises are just not kosher in a live cardroom. Just say it out loud - RAISE - and you'll be fine. If you are playing no limit, you might say "raise to fifty" or "make it $110." Then you can count them out as you wish without fear of being guilty of a string raise (which a dealer won't allow to stand, and correctly so).

Oversized chip rule: If you are going to call with an oversized chip, just tossing it in the pot indicates a CALL. Say the bb is $2 and you wish to make it $5. Well, if you just toss in a red chip and don't say anything, YOU HAVE CALLED. If you say "RAISE" and toss in a red chip, now the bet is legitimately $5. Another way to deal with this is to just use five $1 chips instead of a $5 chip.

When you fold, push your cards to where the dealer doesn't have to do the limbo stretch across the table to retrieve them. Same thing for when you place a bet.

In general, do everything you can to get that game going fast and to make the fish feel comfortable! Live play is slower than internet play, but it can still be pretty fast if everyone cooperates. You need to do everything in the world that you can to act quickly and efficiently.

Underage players and fake ID: Basically, don't do it. Although casinos don't card young players that often, they might, and you're much better off with NO ID than with a fake one. If you have NO ID, you'll probably be immediately asked to leave, and won't be allowed back until you can produce ID. They'll be checking it closely next time you show up, that's for sure. However, if you produce a false ID and get caught, you could be in for a world of trouble. The exact laws vary from place to place, but rest assured that no place is going to be very nice about this situation. All places will confiscate your ID, and you could suffer anything from being banned to being taken downtown in a squad car facing hefty charges.

A couple other thoughts:

1 - Keep your cards visible at all times. A lot of internet-newbies forget to do this. If they can't see your cards then they don't know you are in the hand and they will skip past you.

2 - Chopping the blinds - If it gets folded around to the blinds many players like to 'chop' which is just pulling back your own blind and NOT playing the hand out. You are not supposed to look at your hole-cards and then decide whether or not you want to chop based on what you have. You either chop with that opponent or you don't.
I've seen some internet-players look at their hole-cards and decide that they don't want to chop for that specific hand because they are holding AA. This is a horrible breach of the etiquette and you will not be looked upon favorably.

3 - If you suspect you have the winning hand at show-down then go ahead and show it. To 'stall' is called slow-rolling and is considered exceptionally bad form. I've seen internet-newbies to the B&M world do this because they wanted to see the other players' cards. They didn't know that what they were doing was inappropriate. Slow-rolling the winning hand is NOT good. Don't do it....

4 - A little more about acting quickly might be helpful. I'm not just talking about the day-dreamy "I didn't know it was my turn" lack of acting quickly. I'm referring to the giant stare-downs at the 4/8 tables. Call, raise or fold...make up your mind and do it. Don't take all freaking day. This ainít the WPT, it's a 4/8 game, and there are 8 other players who just want to get to the next hand who are getting really annoyed by your 'stare into his soul' tactics.

I am adding here about a coomon error, a prematurely dealt card. Every few days someone will post saying the dealer dealt a card before the action was complete. What will will happen is the dealer will call the floor. The floor will tell the players that card is coming back and to complete the action on the current round. If te premature card was the turn the dealer will put the card aside and burn and put up what would have been the river on the turn. After the betting on the new river they will shuffle the card back into the stub so it has a chance to come out on the river and they will put up a card without burning. If the prematurely dealt card was the river they will do directly to shuffling it back into the stub and putting up a new river.


Edited by *TT* (03/08/07 10:35 AM)

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