Etiquette And Miscellany
When first coming to a table, if you bring cash, don't
hand it to the dealer. Put it on the layout, and he'll
pick it up and give it to the boxman.
-- If you want to make a quick bet while getting your
cash converted to casino chips, tell the dealer the
bet you want placed. He'll tell you you're on-it's
the only call bet most casinos will permit. The dealer
will make the bet for you, then deduct that sum from
your cashed chips.
-- You must make all line and come bets by yourself,
placing the chips down in the appropriate area of
the layout. After a point is established, you must
make your own odds bets on line bets.
-- After a come bet is established, you can put down
additional chips for odds wagers. Place them in the
come box, but don't hand them to the dealer. Don't
hand anything to the dealer, because the rules of
most casinos forbid actual touching or exchanging
of chips hand to hand with casino personnel.
-- If you want to make place bets, put the chips down
on the layout within easy reach of the dealer and
tell him what numbers you want covered and in what
amounts. He'll make them for you.
-- When the dealer pays you off, he'll put chips down
on the layout as your payoff. It's your responsibility
to pick them up before the next roll of the dice,
or they may be deemed a bet you didn't want to make.
-- If you're betting systematically, making two come
bets with odds after a line bet, after a while you
don't have to tell a competent dealer what to do.
He'll automatically be placing the chips in the correct
betting areas for you, accepting the odds bets, and
putting them in the right places.
-- After you make a bet, pick your hands up. Keep
your hands off the table when the dice are rolling.
-- When you roll the dice, make sure you hit the far
wall of the table; otherwise you'll infuriate the
-- If you smoke, make sure that you don't drop ashes
on the layout. The dealers and boxmen will get very
annoyed by this. • Keep your eyes on your rails,
watching and protecting your chips at all times. They're
-- Also keep an eye on all your bets and make sure
the dealer has made the proper ones for you. If he
didn't, you'll bear the loss, should you not catch
the mistake in time.
-- You can yell and scream all you want at a craps
table. No one cares, not even the dice, which may
or may not heed your calls.
-- The casino will provide free drinks while at the
table, but don't drink alcohol if it dulls your senses
or loosens your inhibitions. You're expected to toke
the cocktail waitress who brings the drink.
-- If no cocktail waitress is around, ask the dealer
to have one sent over. He'll immediately accommodate
your request. • Treat the dealers like human
beings. They're generally doing their best. Toke them
whether you win or lose, if they've been helpful and
story has been told so many times that some consider
it apocryphal, but even if it is, it's worth remembering.
A player's mother accompanied him to a casino for
a small hold'em tournament. She wanted to play, but
had never played poker before. She had played blackjack,
though, so the player told her, "Only play if
you have blackjack (A-K, A-Q, A-J, or A-10), or a
pair of tens or higher. Fold everything else, but
raise whenever you get these hands." Mom allegedly
won the tournament! Whether the tale is true or not,
it demonstrates the value of playing only quality
starting hands and of playing aggressively with them.
In the starting hand chart section, you see each starting
hand that you should be willing to play. If a hand
isn't on that chart, you shouldn't be playing it at
this stage of your hold'em career.
The listed hands aren't all playable at all times;
if they were, there wouldn't be many reasons to break
then down into eight subgroups. The hands in groups
one, two, and three are always playable in limit games
from any position. All of the other hands are at least
a little position-sensitive and sometimes very position-sensitive.