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Tommy Angelo Presents: The Live Poker Rulebook

Tommy Angelo Presents: The Live Poker Rulebook
  • @TheTommyAngelo's 36 live poker rules to follow regarding game play, table talk, strategy and more.

  • Play live poker? For live players, @TheTommyAngelo presents "The Live Poker Rulebook."


Rule #1: Do not move the button.

Rule #2: Post your blinds when you should.

Rule #3: When you have a live hand, place your phone face-down on the table or rail.

Rule #4: Your cards should be visible to everyone always.

Rule #5: Do not impede the dealer with your chip stack.

Rule #6: Protect your cards with your hands or a chip.

Rule #7: Do not hunch down to look at your cards, and keep your thumbs low.

Rule #8: Do not reveal your betting intentions until it is your turn.

Rule #9: Put your bets and your folded cards where the dealer can easily reach them.

Rule #10: Do not bury your large denomination chips.

Rule #11: When you change seats, cause as little disruption as possible.

Rule #12: Do not use cash to rebuy or add-on. Keep large-denomination chips on hand for that purpose. It's efficient for you, and the house, and it looks good.

Rule #13: Sit up. Ready yourself for the cards. Look strong, feel strong.


Rule #14: Behave like a guest, even if you play every day.

Rule #15: When you join a table, make your posting intentions known to the dealer.

Rule #16: Do not speak to an opponent who has a live hand unless you have a live hand.

Rule #17: When you are out of a hand, and you are talking to someone else who has folded, be courteous to those who are still in the hand, even if that means becoming suddenly silent until the betting is finished.

Rule #18: Do not gossip.

Rule #19: Do not agitate.

Rule #20: Do not talk about betting strategy.

Rule #21: When a dispute does not involve you, do not get involved.

Rule #22: When you bust out and quit, say, "Seat open."

Rule #23: Do not distract or abuse the dealer because (1) They are working, and (2) Dealers are people, too.

Money Makers

Rule #24: Before every hand, consciously inhale and exhale.

Rule #25: Watch every betting action of every hand.

Rule #26: Scan the stacks frequently...

  1. To know who has swung which way and how far,
  2. To not be surprised by all-ins, and
  3. To refocus on the game.

Rule #27: To see the future, observe your left-hand opponents when it is not their turn.

Mental Health

Rule #28: Do not play for more than two hours without taking a break.

Rule #29: Do not fill your gut before you play or during.

Rule #30: When you are too tired to play, don't.

At the Showdown

Rule #31: When you show your hand, do it silently, in turn, in tempo.

Rule #32: When you muck your hand, do it silently, in turn, in tempo.

Rule #33: Do not slowroll. (Slowroll: To delay showing a hand in order to intentionally make someone think they have the winner when you know they don't.)

Rule #34: Do not slowcall. (Slowcall: To delay calling in order to intentionally make someone think they might have the winner when you know they probably don't.)

Rule #35: Do not show uncalled hands, especially bluffs.

Rule #36: Do not show pain or joy, especially when mucking.

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Tommy Angelo Presents: The Live Poker Rulebook 101

World-class coach and author, Tommy Angelo is considered a modern master of poker's mental game, and has helped pros and rec players alike achieve less tilt and more focus. Called "the seminal poker text of the 21st century" by The London Times, Angelo's Elements of Poker has revolutionized how serious players approach the game. His latest book, Painless Poker, already a bestseller, can be found on Connect with Tommy on Twitter @TheTommyAngelo, and visit his website:

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