Having an understanding of poker rules can help you play better and win more money. In addition, having an understanding of poker etiquette and unwritten rules will improve the atmosphere at the table for everyone.
The most important poker rule is that you must protect your hand. This includes protecting your cards from being damaged by the dealer, by other players, or by a table or object that is placed on top of your cards.
It is also important to not give away any information about your folded hand. This includes not reacting to the flop, even if you would have hit it and made a strong hand.
You should also never peek at another player’s cards during the flop, especially if they have a large monster. This is called angle shooting and it is one of the most disgusting things you can do at the table.
Counting chips, hiding high-value chips or moving them closer to the middle are all bad moves for the same reason. They are not only against poker etiquette, but they can also give away important information about your holding and make you appear to be weaker than you really are.
A string bet or raise is breaking poker rules and makes players roll their eyes at the table. It is illegal to verbally state that you will bet or raise, then go back and forth without making any verbal statements.
You should also not play poker on multiple accounts – so called “ghosting” – if you want to avoid breaking any poker rules. For example, the 2007 World Championship of Online Poker winner “TheV0id” was found to have her sister’s account playing on her behalf, which is a serious violation of both TOS and PokerStars rules.