Month: February 2019
Poker has long had that mystique of being a game for the well-heeled, respectable men (and women) of society: many people would go as far as to say that it’s a “Gentleman’s game”. However, there are a lot of players out there who fail to live up to the game’s mystique: loud, rude, foul-mouthed, and exemplars of conduct unbecoming of a true gentleman. They turn off dealers and players alike, and they tend to kill the good buzz around a table. If you’re into poker and play it with passion; you really don’t want to be that guy. There are certain standards that you need to uphold; and there are certain behaviors that you absolutely need to avoid when you play poker; whether at a casino, a private event, or even at a friend’s house. Here are some things you need to remember when you go and play at a table:
Watch your language – one of the most annoying things at a poker table is excessive swearing. If you think that you look and sound cool dropping F-bombs here and there, think again: foul language doesn’t show off your best side. Try to be respectful to everyone at the table, especially the dealer. If you can’t say anything nice, it’s best to just keep quiet. And no, murmuring and whispering your swears isn’t acceptable either.
Observe proper decorum – Poker is meant to be a very social game: lots of light banter and conversation. When you engage in social interaction, keep your interactions friendly and pleasant. Avoid being “overly friendly”: don’t start hitting on women at the table. Also, avoid talking about your bad beats and complaining about your luck or lack thereof. Avoid polarizing conversations like politics and religion (who talks about politics or religion at a poker table? You’d be surprised.). Avoid being sarcastic and bad-mouthing other players and the dealer. Avoid hassling and fighting with the other players. Look and act professional and be polite at all times, especially when playing with strangers.
Avoid playing out of turn – When you’re playing at a table; wait for your turn before taking any action. Acting out of turn causes unnecessary distractions that may disrupt the flow of the game in progress. Use this time to gather information so that you’ll be able to make the most of your next turn. Don’t interrupt the active player with distracting banter and actions such as chip stacking and counting.
Don’t stall the game – even worse than acting out of turn is taking too long of a turn. Avoid spending too much time when your turn’s up. More importantly, avoid being distracted by anything else when it’s your turn: your phone and your non-playing friends can wait. Focus on the game at hand, and if you must make or take a call; then politely excuse yourself and take your call away from the table.
Don’t mark or mutilate the cards – not only is mutilating your cards obviously rude; it is also obviously unfair to the other players. Casino rules dictate that all damaged cards need to be replaced; creating unnecessary slowdowns and stalling the game. Treat the cards with care, and avoid card tapping, folding, and creasing.
Maintain proper hygiene – Poker players are usually seated right next to each other; which means that people will be able to smell if you haven’t showered and tidied up. Make sure you clean yourself up before hitting the tables; or the person they’ll be smelling (and talking about) is you.
Try not to Slowroll, Table Talk, or Rabbit Hole – “Slowrolling” is when you take too long to reveal your winning hand. “Table Talk” is when you make speculations and talk about the active hand. Asking for a “Rabbit Hole” is asking what the next card in the deck would have been. These behaviors annoy the heck out of most players because they stall the game and provide unnecessary distractions.
Avoid excessive displays of emotion – People hate the guy who throws a tantrum when they lose. They also hate the guy who jumps around and raises their fists with loud shouting when they win. You don’t want to be that guy. Keep your emotional displays restrained: this is not the World Series of Poker (is it?). Win and lose gracefully so that you don’t become the object of scorn.
Poker is a game of skill, wits, patience, and control. It’s a sport. It’s a form of gambling. But most of all, it can be a fun way to spend a few hours and some cash with friends (and total strangers) as you all try to beat the odds. Play like a gentleman and odds are; you’ll be welcome at every table you play.
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Whether you play Blackjack, Baccarat, Poker, or Roulette; you will always have a dealer to help keep your game going. Dealers serve an important purpose during table game play: they are the game’s facilitators and adjudicators. Dealers are tasked with (as their name suggests) dealing cards, playing the house’s hands, exchanging money for chips, declaring and deciding upon the winner, solving any game disputes that may arise, and catching instances of cheating during games. And yet, the dealer’s countenance is not one of sternness, but one of friendliness and helpful assistance. They are always smiling, cheerful, and super-ready to lend a helping hand to all of the players.
However, because of their genial nature; many dealers are subject to a lot of player abuse and are sometimes the brunt of verbal and behavioral hostility from ill-mannered gamblers. This; of course, is uncalled for as House Rules and common decency dictate that you treat all casino employees (especially table game dealers) with courtesy and respect. We here at Aces Up know exactly what dealers have to put up with from terrible players, and we would like to remind you that you need to be nice to your dealer so that everyone at the table can enjoy a great gaming experience. Here are some ways to do just that:
Avoid excessive drinking while gambling – Having a drink or two is par for the course when visiting a casino: after all, there are free cocktails. However; drinking too much makes for a bad idea, as you may not have full control of your faculties while inebriated, so you might become rude, boisterous and rowdy. Also, your mental processes are impaired, and you may tend to make a lot of mistakes and bonehead plays while drunk: mistakes mean money down the drain. Worse yet, you might spill your drink on the table; disrupting the current game and getting players (and the dealer) mad at you. Dealers are not especially fond of rowdy, boisterous players who fumble their drinks and cause interruptions. Suffice it to say, a player who’s drunk is just plain annoying to everyone at the table. It won’t do wonders for your game, either.
Avoid being “The Blame Guy” – When you’re having a bad beat; or maybe a string of losses; the worst thing you could do is to blame the dealer. Dealers aren’t allowed to be combative with players, so all they can do is take it, or risk losing their jobs. Gambling in general and every table game in particular always favors the house, so the odds are mostly in the house’s favor. Don’t heap verbal abuse on the dealer just because you’re not winning. That’s just being rude (or a jerk, or both).
Avoid being “Mr. Negativity” – Beating the odds at a table is all about having a positive attitude. Don’t be the whiny, irritating guy who complains about everything and constantly nags the cocktail waitress for a drink. It just sucks the fun out of a table. Avoid making negative remarks and avoid negative behavior. If you’re not having fun anymore; simply walk away. Dealers (and players) hate grumpy grouches.
Avoid stiffing the Dealer – Lastly, if you’re going to tip the dealer when you get lucky with the cards or dice, do it immediately. Never; NEVER promise to tip the dealer at the end of your gambling session; only to leave a measly dollar tip (or less) when you’re done. Be a little generous: Dealers live on tips. Try to tip the dealer every time; regardless of whether you’re winning or losing the game.
Dealers work hard to ensure that everyone at their table has a good time. They don’t need to waste that time babysitting or hand-holding players who feel entitled to special treatment or are simply troublemakers. So the next time you go gambling, please remember to treat your table game dealer right. After all, dealers are people too.
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If you’ve been to a casino lately, then I’m sure you’ve played one of the standard casino go-to games: Poker, Blackjack, Craps, Roulette…but have you ever played Pai Gow Poker? Yes, it’s another one of those Poker variants: a slow-paced but fun card game for experienced casino players. It is loosely based on an ancient Chinese gambling game known as Pai Gow, or Pinyin (as it is called in the Cantonese dialect): a game which uses domino-like tiles with 21 unique patterns. It is played by having 7 tiles dealt to each of the players, and they would then bet on who gets the better set of tiles.
It would take the efforts of American casino owner Sam Torosian, who owned the Bell Card Club in Los Angeles, to combine elements of Chinese Pai Gow with a Filipino card game called Pusoy, and of course Poker to come up with his very own game; which he called Pai Gow Poker in 1985. His game used 2 hands of cards arranged as one 5-card hand and one 2-card hand. The game wasn’t too hard for players to learn; so it quickly became a popular addition to the gambling games being played on the Las Vegas Strip in the latter part of the 80s, and its popularity soon spread worldwide. Although he wanted to file a patent for his game; the two people he consulted gave him bad legal advice and told him that card games were not eligible for patents. Because of this; he never got any credit as the game’s creator, and he never received any royalties from the other casinos who used his game.
At its core, the goal of Pai Gow Poker is simple: create two poker hands consisting of 5 cards and 2 cards. Arrange your hands so that the 5-card hand outranks the 2-card hand. If your two hands beat the dealer’s two hands, then you win. If only one of your hands wins, then it’s a “push”, and if both your hands lose; then you lose your bet. The game’s odds are in favor of the “one-hand per deal” win, so expect to push quite a lot. It’s a game that encourages a lot of camaraderie as each of the players is playing against the banker (sometimes played by the dealer), so they usually either win together or they lose together. You can even ask the dealer for help in arranging your hands. It’s a great game to play at a leisurely, relaxed pace: it’s not as high-risk as most of the other card games out there and it’s easy to learn for people who play poker. So the next time you’re at the casino, why not give Pai Gow Poker a try?
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