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In a live poker tournament, the opponent asks how many chips I have left to. Do I have to count my chips and answer his question? Is it poker etiquette to answer the question? Is it OK to just show the chips and not count?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

You do not ever have to count or tell you opponent your stack size. You will have to move your hands/arms out of the way so that your opponent can see your stack size, though.

It's the dealer's job to tell your opponent how many chips you have if your opponent asks.

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Thanks. In the tournament I played, it was free to enter, and there is no dealer. The players take turns in dealing the cards. Do you still think I don't have to tell? – Mew Dec 6 '12 at 7:11
@Chris Yes. If the players are taking turns as dealer then I'd say the responsibility is theirs to count chips, but in all seriousness, it's good etiquette, and there really is no advantage/disadvantage to letting players know. If there is, it's minuscule. – Toby Booth Dec 6 '12 at 15:37
To add to what Toby said, if the game is more friendly I think you should definitely just tell your opponent. – Silversana Dec 6 '12 at 23:04
Also it is custom (and in most tournaments a rule) that you have to stack your chips in a way, that the highest value chips are visible and not hidden underneath or behind other chips. – RoToRa Jun 17 '13 at 11:20
This may be subject to local rules, but nobody's chips are required to be broken down and counted unless the player has bet them. You must clear your stack (have them all visible in clean stacks) if another player asks but the player is not obligated to count them nor is the dealer supposed to count them unless the chips are bet. – Jon Mar 18 '15 at 11:15

Your opponent is entitled to know your stack size. You have a responsibility not to deceptively stack your chips, obscure them, or otherwise interfere with your opponent's ability to judge your stack. You do not, however, have to help him count. If he asks the dealer for a count, the dealer can and should count your chips, and you may not interfere (though you can offer to count yourself if you wish).

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+1 to this, although, something to think about: occasionally I hear people talking about asking for a count just as a tactic. The theory is that if you're tanking and want a few extra seconds to think, you can distract everyone else by making them focus on determining the size of your opponent's stack. I don't really personally buy into this, but if you do, it'd be a reason to offer a quick answer. – Pops Mar 19 '15 at 15:21
I have a feeling Lee Daniel Crocker is an experienced poker dealer (or player). – yaki moto Apr 13 '15 at 18:12
Both, and floorman. – Lee Daniel Crocker Apr 13 '15 at 18:19

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