Ok so you have never played poker before. Or if you have it has only been at someones home game and you have only done it once or twice. You have been invited to come play in a tournament. Maybe it's for a charity or maybe you just want to give an official tournament a try. So it might be your first time at a casino or a poker club and you might be a little bit nervous because you don't know all the rules to the game. First of all never fear, because the dealer will always be ready to help you when you need it. That said, if you want a few tips to help you get off to a good start so you can enjoy the game a bit more, here are some that should do the trick.
Tip #1: When In Doubt, Just Say What You Want To Do
The one thing about poker that is really nice is that there is one universal rule across any game, club, or casino. Verbal is binding. If you say what you want to do, that is what is going to happen. It doesn't matter if you aren't sure what you want to do is legal or if you accidentally do some action that goes against what you said. As long as you say what you want to do, the dealer will help you accomplish what you want. Even if it's not allowed in the rules, the dealer can help you figure out the spirit of your action and get you a solution as close as they can to it. And don't worry about the other players, they know when someone is new and learning and they will show a lot of patience towards you.
Tip #2: Keep Your Cards On The Table
This is a common trope that is seen among new players. They will often pick up their cards off the table to see them. Even worse sometimes they will take them off the table completely and pull them towards their body. Always make sure your cards are visible and remain on the table. This is important for a couple of reasons. One you don't want your opponents to see what your hand is. If they can see it then they can beat you every single time. Second, you don't want to have your hand accidentally killed. In some clubs and casinos, if you take your cards off the table they can declare your hand dead. Meaning you will lose whatever you have put in the pot so far. That's never fun. Leave your hand on the table, and protect it at all times. If you have a card protector even better. Or you can just leave your cards on the table with a chip on top. It's the easiest way to protect your hand.
Tip #3: Always Show Your Hand At The End
If you are in a hand with someone and you get to the very end, you will sometimes hear the dealer say "show down" or "show'em" something along those lines. This means the dealer wants to see which is the winning hand. You should always table your hand when the time comes to do so. This is because if you are a new player you may sometimes not even realize that you may have the winning hand and some players will try to exploit this. In poker, the cards speak. That means the moment you show your hand, it doesn't matter if you didn't know you had a good hand or not. The dealer will look at the hands and award the pot to the best hand. If it's yours, congrats you win! And if it's not, no big deal. As long as you have chips it's on to the next hand. Don't worry if you see other players not turning over their hands and folding them when it comes time to show. Thee are more experienced players who are trying to hide information and understand the rules to do so. Since you are a new player, there is no need to think on that level right now. You just want to play and have a good time. So if the dealer calls for a show down, it's best to just turn your hand over and show what you got.
Tip #4: Don't Worry If There Are Players More Serious Than You
If you go play in a casino or club, you're going to run into more serious players. That's ok. They want to play serious, so let them. If you want to have a good time, have a good time. As long as you keep a decent pace of play, the serious players aren't going to pay you any mind at all. If any of them offer advice to you or try to explain a rule you might not know, take it with appreciation and thank them for helping you out. If any of them though start to get hostile with you and try to berate you, you do not have to tolerate that. If it gets really bad, you can always call for a floor and let the floor manager make a decision on what needs to happen. Other than that, if you find there are some other players at the table that are as laid back as you, connect with those players and enjoy.
Where Can I Play A Tournament?
If you are in the Cincinnati area, Hamilton county, Butler county you can come try out our club anytime we're open. We have tournaments running almost every night and even have some special ones every once in a while. We're in the West Chester area at 4844 Union Center Pavilion Drive. You can also email us or reach out on Facebook with any questions you have for us.