Following the rules is mandatory, but winning at poker requires something more. The best players develop a unique style that seems unguarded to opponents yet is ultimately inscrutable. The key is being comfortable within yourself. Here are a few tips that will help you develop a relaxed demeanor and put others off guard.
Wait your turn . Folding, calling, or taking any action out of turn is rude. It creates an unfair advantage or disadvantage for other players, and it focuses attention on you in a negative was. Don’t do it.
Don’t be bullied into making a quick decision . If you need time to think, then ask for it by saying “time.” This is especially important in loose games when players are eager to interpret your silence as a check. And don’t tap or rap the table while you’re thinking. This action is interpreted as a nonverbal check.
Don’t hesitate when it’s time for a showdown . Show your cards. If all players check in the last round, they should reveal their cards together. Some people are rude and want you to go first. It doesn’t matter; show your cards.
Don’t appear too smart at the table . The less people think of your ability, the more they will underestimate you. Let them believe you’re half-witted or on tilt. Just be sure you’re not.
Take a break when you’re tired or hungry . It’s no big deal. Just ask the dealer how long you can be away from the table. Twenty or thirty minutes is usually allowed. Count your chips and leave them there. It’s the dealer’s job to be sure they are untouched until you return.
Poker’s price for fun and money management
The house rake is obviously only a part of poker’s price for fun. The rest depends on who is playing. Are you better than everyone else at the table? If the answer is yes, then the price for fun will usually be zero or less. Poker will pay you money.