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The Poker Ten -- The Most Annoying Player Habits At The Table

A Look At Those Pet Peeves That Bother Poker Players


Last week, we asked over 50,000 of our Facebook and Twitter followers what they thought were the most annoying habits they’ve experienced at the poker table. These pet peeves ranged anywhere from a breach of table etiquette to blatant rule breaking.

Here’s a look at our ranking of the top ten responses. Let us know what we missed in the comments below.

10. Players who always chop in the blinds, unless they have a big pocket pair.

The player reserves the right to decide whether or not they want to chop every time the action folds around to the blinds preflop. That being said, you can’t change your mind just because you’ve been dealt aces. If you “always” chop, then you “always” chop. Not just when you don’t like your hand.

This Man Has No Idea The Action Is On Him9. People who wear headphones at the table and can’t follow the action.

There’s nothing wrong with listening to some music at the table to pass the time, but when it affects the flow of the game, perhaps you should consider turning it down or freeing up an ear to keep tabs on the action. If we can hear your music from across the table, then you certainly can’t hear the dealer telling you how much more it is to you.

8. People who act like dealers, to the detriment of the game.

It is the dealer’s responsibility to split pots, take rake and bring in the bets, not yours. Also, believe it or not, most dealers don’t like it when you move the button, especially when you don’t tell them you are doing it. They follow a specific process for each and every hand and messing with that process only slows down the game.

7. Players who intervene when they aren’t involved in the hand.

When someone asks for another player’s count, let that player answer and stay out of the situation. Sometimes, it’s not the actual chip count we are looking for, but rather the way our opponent answers the question. The one-player-to-a-hand rule applies in many situations, including decision making, showdowns and potential deals.

Not Quite In This Order, But Close6. Beginners who don’t understand how the blinds work or when it is their turn.

This may fly in the face of our no. 1 pet peeve, but most poker players would agree that while we enjoy amateurs at the table, we wish they at least understood how the game was structured. After a few orbits, even first timers should get that there are two blinds to the left of the button — one small, one big.

5. Players with poor personal hygiene.

We understand that eight-hour sessions can quickly turn into 16-hour sessions, especially when you are stuck, but for the good of the game, please take a break to freshen up and pop a breath mint. Also, don’t forget to wash your hands after visiting the restroom or eating. We all have to touch those cards and chips at some point.

Not So Bad In Tournaments4. Cash game players who leave the table for big chunks of time.

Most casinos allow a player to be absent for two and a half dealer rotations before before their stack is picked up. That’s one hour and 15 minutes in most rooms. Players who leave the table to play the slots or pit games, or even have dinner, are being inconsiderate to the others who now have to play short handed. To combat this, most card rooms have a third-man walking rule, but it does little to prevent most roaming players.

3. Players who consistently act out of turn.

It’s fine if you do it once, or maybe even twice, but if you are consistently acting out of turn, or even telegraphing your intentions before it is your turn, you are hurting the game. It isn’t fair to the others in the hand to give away information. This problem is bigger later in the hand, when one player is attempting to apply some pressure against two opponents, but one has made it clear he has no intent to continue.

2. People who Hollywood and take forever to make simple decisions.

Back in 2003 when everyone was representing a premium hand, it made sense to “Hollywood” in order to protect your tight, aggressive image. These days, it’s just a waste of everybody’s time. We all know you are raising with garbage and now that you’ve been caught, dump your hand and quit slowing down the game.

You'll Scare The Fish1. Players who tap on the glass.

If you are a poker player, do us all a favor and don’t tap on the glass. That is, don’t scare away the fish. This may be hard for some of us to remember, but the first time you sit down at the poker table can be a pretty scary experience. Don’t make it worse for the beginners by telling them how to play the game “properly” or even worse, berating them for playing “badly.” The games are hard enough and we need all of the fish we can get.



6 years ago

I don't quite understand the "tap the glass" metaphor. I understand the point being conveyed by No. 1, but not the "tap the glass" part...


6 years ago

If you tap on the glass of a fish tank, the fish get scared and swim away = if you berate a player for making a bad play, they get turned off and leave the table.


6 years ago

In regards to #8, maybe it's just where I play, but most dealers want you to help them move the button, usually because they can't reach it from where they are sitting.


6 years ago

My #1 has always been players that shuffle their chips. A lot of people do it, even pro's. It's annoying to listen to and just seems like a nervous habit to me. Besides the obvious fact that they are disgustingly dirty...


6 years ago

Stop with the chinese, salsa, hero sandwiches @ the table