Poker Tournament Tips From Bill Burton – Some Etiquette Advice And Tips

Poker Tournament Tips Part 1


A few weeks ago I was hired to organize and run a poker tournament for a corporate sales event. The company thought it would be a great way for their employees to bond while enjoying a different form of entertainment. Some of the attendees had never played in a live tournament before so they asked me to speak with the group and give them a few tips before the tournament started. I thought I would share them with you here. I started my talk with the ten basic etiquette tips for playing live poker and then gave them ten strategy tips. This month I will pass along the strategy tips in case some readers have not played in a poker room before. It is always easy to spot the online player or the newbie by they way act at the tables.


Playing in a Casino Poker Tournament

Playing casino poker is quite different from playing in an online or home game. There are certain procedures and protocols you will need to understand before you sit down to play.


DonÂ’t throw your chips into the pot. Place them in a stack in front of your cards. This allows the dealer to make sure the bet is correct and other players can see exactly how much you are betting. The dealer will scoop the chips into the main pot before dealing the next round.

If you are going to raise you should announce "raise" when it is your turn. If you donÂ’t announce a raise, you must put the bet and the raise in at the same time. If you put in the bet and then go back to your stack for the raise, you will be called for a "string bet," which is not allowed, and your raise will not be honored.

Make it a habit to look at your hole cards once and memorize them. This will allow you to act smoothly and keep the game going. It will also prevent you from giving away any tells that may occur by looking at your cards.

It is up to the players to protect their cards at all times. Place your hands or a chip on top of your cards. If another playerÂ’s cards mix with yours when they throw in their cards your hand will be declared dead. Put a chip or some other toke on top of you hole cards.

DonÂ’t act out of turn. Doing so can give the other players an unfair advantage. Make sure to wait until it is your turn to act. Even if you plan to fold you have to wait until it is your turn.

DonÂ’t talk about the cards you through away while a hand is being played out by the other players. If you were to mention that you threw away a card that an active player may need on the draw this will give them an unfair advantage.

Never berate or try to educate another player at the table. A bad beat in poker is when you have a good hand that is a favorite to win beaten by a player who caught a miracle draw with a hand that should not have been played to begin with. If you suffer a bad beat just say "nice hand" and move on. If you berate a bad player you may drive them out of the game. If you educate them they may play better next time.

DonÂ’t tell "Bad Beat" stories! Bad beats are like the weather. Everyone talks about it but nobody can do anything to change it. It's a really boring subject and so are bad beats. Everyone has suffered bad beats and by constantly talking about them you just make yourself look like as a loser.

Until next time, remember:

"Luck comes and goes...Knowledge Stays Forever!"


About the writer.

Bill Burton is the Casino Gambling Guide and columnist for the Internet portal located at: He is the author of "1000 Best Casino Gambling Secrets" and "Get the Edge at Low Limit Texas Hold'em" available online at He an instructor for Golden Touch Craps: