Poker often has an air of naughtiness, grit, or mischief about it, particularly if money is involved. However, that should not be taken to mean that poker players are expected to be rude, or that there is no general code of behavior players are relied upon to abide by. If you are a new player, people might be more willing to accept some inappropriate behavior, especially if it is quite clear that you are just making honest mistakes. However, if you are a new—or even a more experienced PartyPoker player who wishes to brush up on his or her poker etiquette, here are a few important reminders.
To begin with, if you are playing with chips, do not “splash the pot.” Splashing the pot is poker lingo for throwing your chips or otherwise depositing them messily into the pot when you place your bet. Firstly, this is rude because it can create a mess on the table—quite an issue if the tables are small and crowded already. It can also confuse the other players, because it is hard to tell the amount you have wagered if you lay your chips down in such a manner. Stack and slide your chips neatly into the pot area instead.
Secondly, be fair if, after the hand is played out, people ask to see your cards. Do not show them to some people, and refuse to show them to others. If you like, just turn them out or lay them on the table for everyone to see. Otherwise, you would be making an etiquette mistake somewhat akin to inviting a person to a party in the presence of another person who is not invited.
Talking at the poker table is another big issue. This time, however, it is hard to lay down some strict rules. You might want to observe the common practice at a particular poker room to see how much talking—and what kind of talking—is acceptable. If you do not talk at all, for instance, you might be considered rude. Then again, if you go overboard and talk too much, you might annoy and distract people. This sort of chatter is called “coffeehouse” in poker lingo. Of course, the line between cordial socializing and irritating coffeehouse chatter is very subjective.
Finally, do make sure that you pay attention to player sequencing, even if you are thinking hard about what to do with your cards. You should know when it is your turn without people always having to remind you.