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Understanding “Angle Shoot” in Poker: A Comprehensive Guide

Posted on 24.07.2023 Posted Under: Resources


In the intricate world of poker, there are numerous strategies and tactics used by players to gain an edge over their competitors. One such controversial method is the act of angle shooting. Although not explicitly against the rules, angle shooting is often seen as an unethical attempt to exploit the ambiguities of poker rules to gain an undue advantage. This detailed guide delves into the understanding of angle shooting, highlighting common examples and explaining how to handle such situations effectively.

Defining Angle Shooting in Poker

Angle shooting in poker refers to the use of questionable tactics that straddle the line between fair play and outright cheating. Not deemed illegal, these strategies exploit vague poker rules and seek to mislead opponents about the strength or intentions of a player’s hand. However, this practice is viewed negatively by the poker community and can lead to severe damage to a player’s reputation.

Unpacking Common Angle Shoot Techniques

1. Concealing High-Denomination Chips

The act of hiding high-value chips behind lower-value stacks is a typical example of angle shooting. This tactic is employed to misrepresent the size of a player’s stack to the table, thereby misleading opponents into making sub-optimal decisions.

Picture this scenario: you think your opponent has a stack of $200, and you confidently go all-in with $1,000, not overly concerned about the potential loss. But your opponent, who cunningly hid their high-denomination chips, also has a stack of $1,000. You lose the pot worth $2,000, deceived by your opponent’s angle shoot.

The Alec Torelli case in 2017 stands as a stark reminder of the severe consequences of this form of angle shooting. His reputation took a significant hit after he was found guilty of hiding his high-denomination chips during “Poker Night in America.”

2. Misrepresentation of Hand at Showdown

Angle shooters may misrepresent the contents of their hand at showdown, announcing they have a stronger hand than they do. This ploy aims to induce an opponent to muck their cards prematurely. Although not technically illegal in most poker rooms, this form of angle shooting is universally frowned upon for its unsportsmanlike conduct.

Remember, a dead hand can’t win at poker. Once your cards are in the muck, you’re out of the game, regardless of whether your opponent’s announced hand was a bluff.

3. The Pump Fake Bet

A more sophisticated angle shoot involves a pump fake bet. Here, the player appears to push their chips forward, implying a bet without actually making one. The angle shooter seeks to glean information about an opponent’s hand based on their reaction to this fake bet.

If an opponent reacts hastily or flinches, the angle shooter gains insights into their hand’s strength, influencing their subsequent decision. Although this move is legal unless a verbal bet is declared beforehand, it is perceived negatively due to its manipulative nature.

Frequently Asked Questions about Angle Shooting in Poker

1. What is an Angle Shoot in Poker?

Angle shooting involves several methods, with the most common being fake folding, ambiguous checking, false raising, and string betting. The objective is to manipulate an opponent’s decision-making process using underhand tactics that straddle the boundary of the rules.

2. Is Angle Shooting in Poker Detrimental?

Yes, angle shooting in poker is widely regarded as negative behavior. It’s a form of deception that harms the game’s integrity and often breaches poker etiquette. Some angle shoots might even be against the specific rules of certain poker rooms, adding to the controversy.

3. Is Angle Shooting Illegal in Poker?

While some angle shoots, such as verbal misdeclaration, can be deemed illegal, many others are merely against specific poker room rules. This discrepancy can make it challenging for dealers to handle angle shooting unless a player directly breaches the table’s rules.

4. Does Angle Shooting Occur in Online Poker?

Angle shooting primarily occurs in live poker games at physical venues. Online poker rooms are designed to prevent such underhand tactics. However, some players may exploit features like chat functions or disconnection protection policies for dishonest gains.

5. How to Counter Angle Shooting in Poker?

If you suspect angle shooting, consider bringing it up with the player involved. If the player continues with their tactics, notify the dealer or call over the floor manager. Remember, the key is to maintain the integrity of the game.


Though angle shooting falls within a gray area of the poker rules, it undermines the game’s integrity and often results in damaging consequences for the perpetrators. This comprehensive guide provides a deep understanding of angle shooting, making it easier for players to spot such tactics and handle them effectively. While poker is a game of strategy and deception, maintaining fair play is crucial to the spirit of the game.