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Winning poker is an amazing experience to have because of the praise and lump sum of money you can get. With this in mind, some players will use all their power to gain the highest hand while some will contemplate if they will let instinct or intellect rule the game. This means different strategies, such as bluffing and defending big blinds, are at play.
While poker is a game of wits, some people would become unethical players just to win the pot. They would use angle shooting in poker just to throw others out of their gaming mindset. Find out what it is, its reasons for being unethical and how you can spot them while playing when you continue to read this article.
Angle shooting in poker is the act of misleading other players just to get the upper hand in the game. This has similarities to bluffing in poker, but an angle shoot uses questionable or unethical methods, which lies close to the borderline of cheating since both are looked down upon.
Cheating in poker is a big no-no in the game because a player behaves outside the set of rules just to get an illegal advantage. Aside from that, you can easily get caught cheating in poker whereas you can get away with angle shooting. This is because the latter skirts around the casino poker rules and etiquette. If you happen to wonder why angle shooting in poker is bad, read the next section to find out.
While angle shooting is not considered cheating, it is best to stay away from using it as much as possible since you can create unwanted conflict while playing poker. Here are other reasons why angle shooting in poker is bad:
A toxic environment is a place you should avoid because it will ruin your mood for anything. Unfortunately, this also applies to poker because of angle shooting. When someone uses this as a strategy, they are violating a set of unspoken rules that are agreed upon in the game. This makes other players uncomfortable and allows the one who did it to get away with it. In turn, poker players try to avoid angle shooters as much as possible, but sometimes, they are inevitable.
When you know that someone skirts around the rules, would you feel a bit cheated? If your answer is yes, then that is what other poker players feel when someone angle shoots. As a result, poker players would not be thrilled to play again since they know that someone is being unethical during the game.
Aside from that, angle shooters prevent you from getting the best of a poker game since there is no fun to it anymore. When these players are involved, it would seem as if they already know what is going to happen in the game. This, in turn, removes any unpredictability and excitement that can be discouraging for some players.
Another reason why angle shooting is frowned upon is that casino houses cannot do anything about it. These establishments can only act when they find a player who violates the house rules and etiquette. Since angle shooting in poker is technically legal, the casino managers do not have the power to remove the player from the table. This, in turn, frustrates other players and discourages them from playing again.
Given the list of reasons why angle shooting is bad, you can easily assume that poker players are not happy about it. With that in mind, you should know what angle shooting in poker looks like, so you would avoid receiving any backlash from the table. Here are some examples of angle shooting to give you an idea:
The simplest form of angle shooting in poker is taking a peek at the cards of other players. Sometimes, it is tempting to check each hand of a poker player, especially when they fail to conceal their cards. Peeking at other hole cards without the player’s consent is against the rules of poker. However, in this case, you are viewing the cards using peripheral vision instead of directly viewing them. That is why this action is considered angle shooting since you are skirting around the rules of the game.
When someone gets caught peeking at other players’ cards, they can mask it as an innocent mistake. In return, the angle shooter will get a warning, but his strategies are now set to getting a higher hand than the player he peeked at.
In poker, you can either say your action out loud or use hand gestures to indicate your move. Some players take advantage of this by keeping their hands constantly moving. Once it is their turn to act, angle shooters would pretend that they are thinking by tapping their fingers on the table. The dealer would take this that the player checks, which leaves the next player blindsided and unprepared.
This is unfair for players since the person who does an ambiguous check acts quietly and sneakily. Aside from that, angle shooters stir confusion on the table and make other players anxious about what will happen. To avoid this kind of situation, you should always confirm with the dealer if the previous player made an action. Doing so can at least prepare you for your next action.
Angle shooters will do anything to make things work in their favour and this involves using casino house rules. If the establishment allows gestures to signal actions in poker, you may opt to not announce your next move to the table. An example of this is when you call a raise, which requires you to place chips that are double your original bet.
While casino gestures are convenient, angle shooters use the false raise strategy to trick others into folding. In this case, these deviant players would purposely place a stack of chips to indicate that they are raising and make other players fold. To avoid this from happening, make sure to wait for the dealer to count the chips and announce the value. This will prevent you from folding in an instant.
Another poker gesture you should be wary of is folding, which can also be considered angle shooting. When a player holds their cards and flicks their wrist down, other players can see this as a fold and cause them to do so too. Afterwards, the angle shooter will call a raise and stir confusion among the players. To prevent this, make sure to confirm this action to the dealer or ask the person themselves if they are folding.
Angle shooters would do anything just to make you think otherwise, and an example of this would be hiding big poker chips. At the start of poker, the dealer will provide stacks of chips based on your bankroll. When players have settled down, the angle shooter will hide their big chips behind the smaller ones. This will fool other players and go all-in with their bets.
Angle shooting is considered a big no-no in casino poker etiquette. Almost all casino establishments ensure that this code of conduct is followed. This is so that every player will have a fun and comfortable poker gaming experience. To give you an idea, here are some examples of casino etiquette:
Always remember that a poker game involves a lot of people aside from you. Taking too long in deciding on your next action will make other players annoyed or irritated. Additionally, being distracted by the different elements inside a casino house can appear rude or disrespectful to other players. That is why you should keep track of how long it takes for you to make an action at the table to avoid any conflict.
Respect at the poker table appears as letting people decide and act on their own time. Therefore, it is rude to act out of turn or make an action before your time. If you happen to do this, everyone on the table will disapprove of your actions and possibly label you as a target shooter. To avoid doing so, make sure to pay close attention to what happens in the game. This means lessening the time using your phone and chatting with other players.
A poker table is a place for concentration. Creating too much noise or movements can be distracting for other players, which can cause them to lose focus. To avoid this, make sure to keep your conversations in hushed tones and avoid taking any phone calls while playing. On top of that, never start unresolvable arguments on the table because that will only create discomfort among the players.
Whether you win or lose, make sure to keep your pride in check and let your humility take over. Rubbing your win on the faces of other players can be offensive and cause trouble. On the other hand, being a sore loser and getting a poker tilt will repel anyone to play with you in the future.
All poker players do not want any angle shooters on the table because it creates a toxic environment. On top of that, everyone will be discouraged from playing again due to the unfairness that occurs in the game of poker.
In poker, you are not allowed to leave the table after winning a lump sum of money from another player. This will come across as rude or disrespectful to other players because you do not have the courtesy to end the game properly.
Now that you know what angle shooting is and how it can affect a game of poker, you should prevent this from happening during the game. Doing so will save other players from having a bad experience and you’ll be aware when it’s happening to you. With that said, here are some ways how you can prevent angle shooting from happening in poker:
The best thing to prevent angle shooting is to call out the person doing it. This will show you that some people are not aware that they are already performing angle shooting. Calling out players will help them become aware of their actions and prevent them from happening again.
Some angle shooters would use non-verbal tactics to mess with other players’ chances of winning. To prevent that from happening, always ask the dealer to confirm the action of an angle shooter to make sure your speculations are right. Doing so will prevent you from folding too early and calling a high raise.
If the angle shooting constantly occurs, it is best to inform other players about it. Looking out for the people on the poker table can protect the fun and spirit of the game. On top of that, the angle shooter will be branded as a bad player, which will cause other players to avoid them.
At the end of the day, being mindful of angle shooting will help protect poker's thrilling and unpredictable gameplay. The best way to do that is to spot angle shooting in poker. If you want to learn more about tips and tricks, Bitcasino has a lot of wisdom to offer you! Here, you will find out what makes a winning hand in poker and which games pay out the most. On top of that, a wide variety of amazing casino games are yours to enjoy!
Words by: Leira Lacuata