There are rules and there is etiquette. While the former are enforced, the latter is optional. And having good table etiquette makes for a more enjoyable game for you and for others around you. In some cases, these maybe enforced by the house, but usually, they are implicitly understood. Here, we list down what we think are the DOs and the DO NOTs of the game:
- Keep big chips in front - The bigger denomination chips should always be in front of your stacks. This ensures that other players have complete information before they take any action, because often, decisions change depending upon a player's stack.
- Show the winning hand voluntarily - If there's a bet and a call on the river, the rule says that the bettor has to turn over his cards first. But, if you are the caller, and your opponent says, "You are good", feel free to turn over your cards first. After all, no one likes to show their big bluff.
- Keep your cards on the table - Some people have a tendency to keep the cards in their hands. This causes confusion and sometimes other players might not notice that you are involved in a hand too. So keep them on the table.
- Protect your hand - Once a hand goes into muck, even mistakenly (say the dealer mucks your hand by mistake), it cannot be taken out. So, ensure you protect your cards with a chip on top.
- Hit and run - Don't be that guy who wins a big pot and leaves the table immediately.
- Act out of turn - Make sure to look to your right to see if the player before you has acted or not.
- Talk when others are in hand - Imagine being in a tough spot in a big hand and having to listen to incessant chatter on the table. Give others the space to think clearly and make their decisions.
- Discuss what hands you or the players currently active in the hand can have - This follows from the point above. Don't ever disclose information about your hand whether you are in it or not.
- Tank on every decision - It is OK to think for some time in tough spots. But, don't take forever in trivial decisions. It slows the game and makes it less fun for everyone.
- Splash the pot - When putting in your chips, don't throw them into the pot. Place them appropriately in front of your stack. It makes it easier for the dealer to count them.
- String bet - If you want to bet a certain amount, put in all the chips together. Don't do this: putting one chip, going back to your stack and then putting in more chips.
- Don't slow roll - This is one of the worst things you can do. When you have the nuts, and after all the action is over, you wait for a long time, pretending that you have a weak hand, and then slowly turn it over. It is heavily frowned upon.