Etiquette for A Pokemon Tournament.

by Pikkdogs ~ July 19th, 2011.

Hey all you OHKOers out there, this is Pikkdogs here.  Today’s article is about etiquette at a Pokemon tournament.  We get a lot of new players here at and tournament etiquette is one thing that isn’t easy to pick up.  Some players are rude without even trying to be, so I wrote this article to help you be more freindly at your next tournament.

Before we get to the article, this is just a heads up that my 100th post celebration contest is still going on.  Just write an email and send it to me at, and tell me what you like or don’t like about the site.  If you do that, you will be entered in a contest to win 1 t-shirt.  There will be 2 winners, so make sure to register by the 25th of July.  Now back to the article, here are some polite things to do at a tourney.

Etiquette is a french word for a small card or sign.  It comes from when the French Monarchy threw big parties at the palace of Versailles.  The palace guests would do rude things like run on the lawn and go into private rooms.  To prevent these things, the palace staff would put out little signs that said, “hey you, don’t run on the grass.”  Consider this article an etiquette, or a small sign, to tell beginning players how to act at a tournament.  Following these rules will help you make more Pokemon friends and will make sure you don’t offend people.

0.  What to do Before the Game?

When you get paired up, head straight to the table and find a seat. When your opponent shows up I usually introduce myself to them if I don’t already know them.  Just say something like, “Hey I’m Enrique, how’s it going?”  When you are about to flip over your basic and begin the game, offer your hand for a handshake and say “Good Luck.”

1.  Shuffling Etiquette.

Before each game starts, each player should randomize their decks.  If you have done it prior to this game, make sure to do a couple of extra shuffles while your opponent is watching, just so he/she has no reason to complain.

After you are done shuffling, place the deck in front of your opponent or on his/her playmat, and say something like “would you like to cut?”  Do this until you get a basic, and then start to play the game.

When you need to shuffle your deck, shuffle it and then place it between where your deck normally goes and your opponent, and say something like “you may cut if you like.”  If they cut/shuffle the deck, place it back where it normally goes and continue the game.

One last shuffle etiquette has to do with you shuffling your opponent’s deck.  You can cut or shuffle your opponent’s deck after they have shuffled, if you wish, but make sure you okay the shuffling method with your opponent.  For example, I always use the fan shuffling method, but some people may think that this method may damage their cards.  So be sure to let your opponent know what kind of shuffling you will do, if you are going to do a shuffle technique that may bend a card.  Its not in any rule book, but bending cards will not make you any friends.

2.  In Game Talk

For the most part, I try to stay silent during my games.  Most people don’t like to be bothered during their turn, so don’t do anything that will bug other people.  But, in some cases other people like talking during games.  If you want to talk, start talking while you are waiting for the game to start, and wait for a cue from your opponent.  If he/she talks back, than maybe you can talk a little during the game, but if he/she keeps to him/herself, then don’t bug them.  For the most part, most people don’t talk that much during games, they just try to keep their mind on the game, however, games with people I know can be a little chattier.

3. Endgame Conversation.

The sixth prize has been taken and the game is over.  No matter if you win or lose, you need to say something like, “thanks for the game, good luck the rest of the day.”  If you say anything else about the game, be very careful.  It is probably best to just say good luck and then move on. 

If you lost, don’t try to make up excuses.  Nobody likes to play against the guy who keeps saying, “Man I woulda killed ya if I coulda flipped heads.”  If you say anything about your luck just say something like, “Good game, too bad I had some bad luck that game, congrats on the win, see ya later.”  Don’t make a big deal about your loss, the game is over, just move on.

If you won, don’t gloat or make your opponent feel bad.  Running all around the building saying, “I win, I win” probably is not very nice.  Also, make sure that you don’t talk about their bad luck too much, this could end up making them feel worse.  If you say anything, just say something like, “good game, I just got a really good start, have a good day the rest of the tournament.”

4. Don’t be Too Shy or Too Obnoxious

When the games are not going on, it is important not to draw extra attention to yourself.  Nobody likes the grumpy guy who sits in the corner.  Conversely, nobody likes the guy who yells or is running all around the building.

While you are waiting for a game, start some small talk with some other players, or try to do a couple trades with other players.  Try to blend in with other people, and leave all the running and yelling to the Juniors (they are really good at it).

That’s all for this article, if you have any more etiquette tips for new players please leave them in the comment box.

So long and thanks for all the fish.

Category: Tourney Report | Tags: