When you're playing poker in your home or someone else's, the rules of etiquette are mostly commonsense conventions and normal poker protocols. Following are a list of things to do and things to avoid doing during a friendly game at home:

Do . . .

  • Be honest: Don't try to short-change the pot or otherwise cheat.

  • Play quickly: No one likes a slow player.

  • Be courteous and friendly: No one likes a whiner or a gloater.

  • Be a good winner: Gloating and making fun of other players is a definite no-no.

  • Be a good loser: We all lose. It happens. But show some class and don't show your temper, swear, or throw cards. Definitely don't insult the other players.

  • Let the other players know if you plan to leave early: It's courteous to let the other players know in advance if you plan to quit early.

  • Bet in sequence: Bet, call, or fold when it's your turn. Acting out of turn can adversely affect another player's hand.

Don't . . .

  • Give a player advice in the middle of a hand even if asked: This is a no-win proposition. Either the player who asked will be upset at you if the advice is wrong or the person who loses against the player will be mad at you.

  • Look at another player's hand, unless you have permission: Some players strongly object to your looking at their hand.

  • Play poker with a guy named "Doyle," "Amarillo Slim," or "Harpo": These guys are too good for your normal home game.