HomeBlogUnderstanding Angle Shooting in Poker: An In-Depth Analysis

Understanding Angle Shooting in Poker: An In-Depth Analysis

Posted on 24.07.2023 Posted Under: Resources

In the game of poker, strategy and skill are often the determinants of a victorious match. However, there are certain underhanded tactics that, although frowned upon in poker circles, can also lead to a triumphant hand. These tactics fall under a category known as angle shooting. The angle shoot, despite its controversial nature, is an aspect of poker that everyone engaged in the game must familiarize themselves with, whether to utilize them or to defend against them.

Defining an Angle Shoot in Poker

Angle shooting is a poker maneuver that, while not technically against the rules, resides in the grey area of poker ethics. It is often considered a violation of poker decorum and can result in negative consequences for the player involved. While an angle shoot might not be categorized as cheating in a legal sense, it can unfairly tilt the game in the angle shooter’s favor.

The multitude of angle shooting strategies and the reactions they evoke from the poker community are diverse. Many players find the practice distasteful, viewing it as a form of deception that threatens the integrity of the game. Regardless, it is beneficial for every poker player to comprehend the various forms of angle shooting.

The Many Facets of Angle Shooting

1. Concealing Chips

One of the widespread methods of angle shooting is concealing chips. This involves hiding higher denomination chips behind stacks of lower denomination chips, hence camouflaging the true size of one’s stack. The motivation behind this tactic is simple: it serves to mislead opponents about the player’s financial standing in the game.

Suppose, for instance, a player hides a large sum behind a stack of small chips, making it appear as though they’re low on funds. This could coax an opponent into making a bold move, such as going all-in, under the impression that they have little to lose. The angle shooter can then reveal their concealed wealth, drastically altering the dynamics of the game.

A notorious instance of chip hiding occurred during the 2017 “Poker Night in America,” where Alec Torelli was accused of this form of angle shooting. It led to an immense backlash from the poker community, effectively tarnishing Torelli’s reputation. This incident underscores the potential repercussions of such tactics on a player’s standing in the poker world.

2. Misrepresenting Hand Contents

Another form of angle shooting is the misrepresentation of hand contents. In this scenario, a player could falsely declare they possess a superior hand at showdown, hoping to induce their adversary into mucking their cards prematurely. Although many poker rooms do not explicitly prohibit this practice, it’s widely regarded as a breach of poker etiquette.

It’s crucial for poker players to remain vigilant during showdowns to protect against this form of angle shooting. Waiting for an opponent to reveal their hand before making any decisions is a smart move to prevent falling prey to such tactics.

3. Pump Fake Betting

Pump fake betting is another common angle shoot. Here, a player simulates the act of betting without actually placing any chips into the pot. The objective of this deceptive move is to extract information about an opponent’s hand based on their reaction to the feigned bet.

For instance, if an opponent quickly throws in their chips in response to a pump fake, it’s a clear indication of a strong hand, which allows the angle shooter to withhold their actual bet. Conversely, if an opponent doesn’t react, the angle shooter might proceed with a genuine bet, assuming their adversary is likely to fold.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Angle Shooting in Poker

What Constitutes an Angle Shoot in Poker?

Angle shoots in poker can take multiple forms. Some common examples include fake folding, where players pretend to fold their hands to gauge reactions, ambiguous checks, and false raises. It’s essential to be aware of these tactics to either guard against them or recognize when they are being used.

Are Angle Shoots in Poker Unfavorable?

Yes, angle shoots in poker are generally perceived negatively. While they straddle the line between strategic play and outright cheating, they undoubtedly involve an element of deception. Some tactics, such as verbal misdeclarations, might even contravene casino rules. Therefore, resorting to angle shoots is generally discouraged.

Can Angle Shoots Occur in Online Poker?

Primarily, angle shoots occur in live poker games. However, some players might employ underhand tactics in online poker as well, such as misusing chat features to distribute false information or abusing disconnection protection policies.

How to Handle Angle Shooting in Poker?

In case of suspected angle shooting, it’s advisable to address the issue directly with the player involved. If their actions persist, bringing it to the dealer’s attention or requesting the intervention of the floor manager is the recommended course of action.


While poker is primarily a game of skill and strategy, the controversial practice of angle shooting introduces an element of deception that can significantly alter the outcome of the game. Understanding this tactic, both for defense and for potential usage, is an essential part of a well-rounded poker skillset. However, given the negative perception of angle shooting and the potential repercussions on a player’s reputation, it is a strategy that should be used sparingly and with great caution.