All The Aces Daily Poker Column

Your Poker Rights

Why you should defend yourself at all times!

If you are seated next to a drunk or an elderly person at a live poker game and you happen to see their hole cards because of their own carelessness, you are perfectly within your rights to exploit that fact during the game. It's a but like the famous mantra instilled in all boxers during prize fights: defend yourself at all times.


Fans of "Rounders" will recall the famous showdown scene where Teddy KGB "splashes the pot"! This is a term which describes a player tossing handfuls of chips onto the pot without counting them out and making it very difficult for their opponents to ascertain what value of bet they are facing. It is an intimidating gesture and entirely illegal. You have the right to insist the chips are stacked and counted into the pot correctly. One of the great benefits of the modern, high tech online game is that these rights are never needed and only apply to social poker. Another good example of how cyberspace poker is cleaning up the game.

Of course the counter argument does apply to "tells". Playing online I do occasionally miss my favourite physical tells and if you are new to live social poker do look out for them. Here are my favourite simple giveaways. If a player leans back in his chair after placing a bet it's usually a tell that he has a good hand. An even bigger favourite is the guy with the slight shake to his hand as he places his chips in the pot. Be very careful when you spot this happening. It's more common than you'd think, especially among new players.

The classic is an opponent who looks away to your left or right when he or she makes a bet. A bluffer will amost always look directly at you or engage in some way.


'Clean up' at:



Q: What is a straddle-raise?