The main reason we play poker is to have fun. Some players argue that money is the actual motivation. I disagree because most people don't actually make money playing poker. Most people lose money. There are also other ways to make money, so why did we choose a risky game like poker to earn it? The answer is because poker is an enjoyable game.
Most of the time.
Every once in a while someone does something ignorant in a game that makes you want to pull your hair out. For instance, one of my pet peeves is when players don't put their highest-denomination chips in the front of their pile. Even worse though is when the guy to my right whispers, You know what I had that last hand and actually folded? Surprisingly, I still don't care after all the times it's been said. I used to think that was useful insight into a players pre-flop hand selection, but now I just cringe whenever a flop has a pair of twos and that guy shoots me that quick look of anticipation to let me know that he wants to tell me something after the hand is over. You had a two, huh? And folded it? Wow.
Here's the Poker Etiquette checklist. Please, everyone memorise it.
TOP FIVE NO-NO's
Do not reveal your cards while a hand is going on. While it's not against the rules (some places may give a penalty), it is at least a horrible breach of etiquette. If you were not folding, your hand will be ruled dead. The problem is that it can give one player an advantage over another and potentially ruin a pot for someone. Even if it is an accident, you should be apologising your ass off.
If you folded and your cards would have made a great hand on the flop, don't reel back in your chair or bang your hand off of the table or let your stupid jaw hang open, letting everyone know that you would have hit that flop. In fact, don't react to the cards on the board at all. Again, it can potentially ruin a pot by giving some players an advantage.
Don't be a douchebag. You can become one by criticising an opponent's play, being verbally abusive to another player, or by being cocky about how good you are (or think you are). On the flip side, if someone has met those qualifications by talking directly to you, the best thing to do is just smile and agree. Ja, I got lucky there, I can see how I might've played that wrong, and Oh ja, I've heard of you before, I was told to look out are all acceptable comments that will hopefully end the discussion. Don't let the sarcasm show though.
Don't blame the dealer. Also, don't wing your cards at the dealer or not tip him as a result of previous bad beat. They really, actually, and truly have no control over what cards are dealt. They are just there to do their job and they deserve respect.
Do not talk about a hand when you aren't in it. Giving advice to a live player is actually against the rules in most places. Simply talking about the hand is also in very bad taste. The players who are still in the hand don't want to have to listen to your noise pollution when they're trying to focus on the other live opponents. So shut your mouth.
There are situations where a player who isn't in the hand can talk about the hand and it's universally okay.
One is in no limit when players go all-in and they are having problems counting chips and so is the dealer. Often players are flustered, having just made the biggest bet they could make and something goes wrong in the counting section of the brain. A player who doesn't have all their money at stake can often count much faster, so it is acceptable to speak up and declare their all-in.
Another instance is when a player does something like toss in an oversized chip and say raise but the nobody hears it and a few players call the previous bet before the bettor realizes that something went wrong. Before people start yelling, the dealer gets pissed, and the floor is called over, YOU should be the one to say that the bettor declared a raise. People are already angry at the bettor for not saying it loud enough, so they don't want to believe he actually said it. You as an unbiased third party seem a much more valid candidate to determine if the word raise was said than the person who said it.
Some more things to keep you popular and polite at the poker table!
Keep an eye on the action. Know when its your turn to act and don't act out of turn. Don't get distracted and make other players wait on you and be quick with calls you don't have to think about.
Make sure not to splash the pot. The reason that players aren't supposed to is because you could potentially toss in fewer chips. Other players at the table don't want to worry about that. The best way to present a bet is in a neat stack in front of you.
If you decide to show your cards even though everyone else folded, make sure to show everybody at the table. If you show just one player your cards, anyone else at the table has the right to see them too. Might as well not give them the satisfaction of invoking this rule anyway.
If you are still in a hand, make sure that your cards in front of you are visible to all other players. If they aren't visible, another player may accidentally act out of turn not realizing you are still in the hand.
Post your blinds and/or antes promptly and don't make people have to remind you. It slows down the game.
In a ring game, don't switch seats too often. Once per session is plenty. Constantly trying to gain some sort of positional advantage over incoming players isn't worth it. Neither is switching seats over and over in an effort to eventually get to your favorite seat at the table.
Tip the dealer. Even very small pots warrant a small tip. The exception is the no flop, no rake, no tip rule, which is accepted by dealers.
You shouldn't use profanity. At certain tables, you know it's okay to cut loose a little bit, but you should never drop the F bomb.
If you're at a table that allows smoking, it is still a good idea to ask your neighbours if it would bother them if you smoked.
Don't play around with the dealer button. It needs to be visible and clearly in front of a player at all times, so putting your hands on it or moving it is a bad idea.
Don't play while drunk. Nothing is worse than sitting next to a drunk player who bumps into you, spills drinks, knocks over chips, forgets when it's his action, etc. It just plain ruins the game.
If you have a cough, don't cough into your hand. Cough into your shoulder. Everybody is going to touch the same cards and chips, so coughing into your hand is just as bad as coughing on the other players' hands.
These games are sold for amusement purposes only and are not intended or designed to be used for gambling.