The Poker Floorman

A Floorman's perspective of the poker world

State your intentions clearly and precisely

Bet, Call, Raise or Fold

These are the only four words that you really need to ever say in order to play poker.  Yet it seems that many poker players feel the need to use more colorful language to say what they want to do, or they just take shortcuts, use slang,  try to look cool, etc. which is all fine until there’s  confusion on what a players actual intentions are.

When you’re playing poker, it’s always best to state your intentions (bet, call, raise, fold) clearly and precisely so everyone knows exactly what you intended action is.  Saying ambiguous statements can get you into trouble at the poker table in many ways.

Let’s say Jim is in a hand and he’s heads up.  Jim is facing a $100 bet from his opponent and he’s thinking about whether he should call, raise or fold.  Jim is counting his chips and after a few moments he says, “OK…”  Then Jim’s opponent turns his hand face up and states “I have the nuts!  Ship it!”  But Jim really wasn’t calling, he was just thinking…OUT LOUD.  Maybe he was thinking “OK…I gotta fold”.  Jim protests that  he didn’t intend to call, but the whole table heard him say “OK” and they saw that he had chips in his hand.  Jim’s opponent doesn’t buy it and thinks that Jim is angle shooting.  This leaves a Floorman with a decision to make:  either Jim puts in his $100 or he’s allowed to muck. Either way, somebody’s pissed off:  Jim or his opponent.

This whole thing could have been avoided if Jim would have not made an ambiguous statement that any poker might have considered a call.  Players say “OK” then toss in their chips into the pot all the time.  So why not this time?

How about making the statement “You win” at a showdown?  If a poker player says this to you, protect yourself by either waiting for him to muck his hand or just table your cards face up on the felt to see who wins.  Believing that your opponent is mucking can be a big mistake.  Say you do believe him and you muck your cards, thinking that the dealer is going to push you the pot.  But wait…he still has his cards, so he tables them and technically wins.  The Floorman may decide this one way or another but it is in YOUR best interest to protect yourself and be sure that others are really doing what they are saying and not misleading you.  Frankly, someone saying “You win” at a showdown doesn’t mean that you win.  If your opponent shows a better hand, he wins.  (cards speak, remember? :))

The bottom line here is that you should be careful about what you say and be careful that you truly understand what your opponent is saying during a hand of poker.  If it’s unclear what your opponent is doing, just ask.  “Are you folding?”, “Are you all-in?”, etc., are all perfectly acceptable things to ask a poker player when you’re playing.

 

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March 8, 2011 - Posted by | For Beginner Poker Players, Going from Online to B&M Poker, Poker Rules | , , , , , , , , ,

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