Bad table manners upset the other players and, in certain circumstances, can get you kicked out of the game. More importantly, if you do not follow these unspoken rules, your opponents will label you as a rookie and start attacking you at every turn.
While the great game of poker can be a way of making money, its main purpose is to provide players with a pleasurable experience - to be fun. And it can't be fun if even one of the people you are playing with is rude, offensive, insulting or defiant of either set of rules, of the game and of politeness.
Of course, newcomers might not always know what these rules are, so here is a list, primarily for them. But, even if you are a regular player or hardened pro, please read them: it may be that you may find your own behavior listed as obnoxious. And you might even decide to change it:
Always be polite - you are among friends and potential friends.
Apologise when you act out of turn or make any other mistake (everyone stumbles at some time or another, just try to keep it to a minimum, and say sorry when you do).
Be alert, watch the game, know when it's your turn. Playing out of turn is a clear signal to your opponents that your mind is somewhere else, not on the game, and they will take advantage of that.
Check out the minimum buy-in - players sitting down without it are the cause of too many disputes.
Listen to your IPod or whatever, if you must, but make sure you can hear everything being said a the table and give the game your absolute priority.
Play as quickly as you can - you're going to have to make up your mind sooner or later, and sooner is better.
Remember that silence is always preferable to comment, jokes, chatter, song, or any other diversion.
Speak up if an error is being made in decisions or pots. Far from being nosey, it's your duty (but be sure of your facts!).
Boast or moan during a hand - it can often be helpful to one or more of those still playing (it's better not to do so after the hand, either).
Comment on the hand while it is still in progress. Be particularly careful not to point out possible (or actual) straights and flushes on the board.
Give advice or expect it from others. "One player to a hand" is the rule.
Incite a player to call, raise or fold, whether you are in the hand or not; it's the height of bad manners.
Indulge in post-mortems and bad beat stories - Nobody wants to know, even if they pretend to, out of politeness.
Swear - It's always offensive to someone.
Tell a loser how they should have played - Not only is it arrogant, it is silly to educate someone who might make the mistake again, to your profit.
Don't ask for email addresses or offer yours. That can get you barred.
Don't complain about slow players - The delay could well be in a poor connection.
Don't collude, like raising a friend (or yourself on another computer) to a dizzy amount in order to force out a third player; website detectives are watching.
Don't create extra accounts - It can get all your accounts frozen.
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