Home Game Poker Etiquette

by on February 2nd, 2011
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Playing in a home game, just like a casino, or on line you should have some class about yourself. If you think you will be invited back to someones game after acting like a jerk on your first visit, you probably mistaken. Unless your a really bad player with lots of cash, if that is the case, you will be invited back till your money runs out, then cast out like an old shoe. If you going to play in a home game, there is some etiquette you should follow. I will try to outline these things for your, not all will fit all games, but most are universal if you want to become part of a game on a regular basis.

1. Greet and thank the host/tournament director. Introduce yourself, tell them who invited you, and offer to help. Never invite someone to a game without first asking the host if it is okay. If you do bring a guest, you should introduce them to the host, and the other players. Understand you are responsible for your invitee, don’t leave before they do. Make sure they don’t over indulge in adult beverages, if they do, neither of you may be invited back.

2. Be on time, give yourself time to get there. Maybe even some extra time in case you get lost. Have your buy in money ready, have the correct bills. This is a home game, not a bank or ATM.

3. Remember you are a guest in someones home. Don’t act the ass. Don’t cuss loudly, children or women may be in the next room. Even if everyone else is talking like a sailor, don’t, have some class. Once your part of the group, you can ease into the guy behavior, get invited back first.

4. If you smoke, do it away from the house. Take some gum, and use it. Your host or the other players who have been around along time may not smoke, may not care for the smell, and may not like you for smoking. Remember your trying to get your foot in the door. That is hard to do if you smell like a cigarette butt. Put your butts in a trash can, beer can, soda can, or something. Don’t just throw them down. A non smoker or ex smoker will not like picking them up for you the next day.

5. Don’t go to someones game expecting to be waited on. This is a home game, nobody is getting paid. You are there because someone is nice enough to let the group have the game at their house. Don’t make yourself at home either, no one likes to be taken for granted. Maybe the first time you go , take a bottle of wine for the host or his misses. Goodwill always pays off and never hurts. If you spill or make a mess, be the first to react, after all it is your mess.

6. Ask for the house rules before you start, after something happens is a bad time to find out something. Just simply ask whomever invited you if there are any house rules you need to know about. Check with the host also if you get the chance.

7. Ask whomever invited you, who the more serious players are, the cut ups, the hot heads. The more you know in advance, the more fun you will have, and the more the others will enjoy your company. It is about the company you know, if your playing to get rich, home games are not where you should be.

8. Win or lose with grace and class. You have no ideal who you are talking too, about or with. That idiot, your bad mouthing may be the host best friend, brother, or son. The last thing you want to do is leave mouthing off about someone or someones play.

9. Offer to help when the game is over. Pick up, put up, clean up, these things will get you invited back. Nothing is worse than someone coming to your game, and just leave without at least offering to help clean up.

10. I left this for last, it is the most important in my opinion. Turn your phone off. Unless your wife is expecting any minute, whatever it is, can wait. If your wife is expecting any minute, you ought not be here anyway. Looking at it realistically, if your so important you cannot do without the phone for a few hours, and you have to answer it. Excuse yourself and walk away from the table.

Doing these things, or at least keeping them in mind will help get you invited back. As someone who has hosted hundreds of home games, trust me. People do not like it when you come into their home, act the ass, and expect to come back. Make adjustments in your game and attitude to fit in, other wise you still be looking for a game the next time you want to play.


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