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Your Guide to Poker Netiquette

While online poker has certainly changed the face of how we play the game and enabled poker fans to play the game from anywhere and at any time, it has also changed the way in which we interact with the other players.  For example, online poker players rely less on their ability to ‘read’ other players and bluff, and instead develop other skills that are not as reliant on what other players do or don’t do, compared to land poker.  Online poker also allows you to ‘let down your hair’ slightly when it comes to relating to our players because you are in your own home, possibly playing in your sweats and old tshirts, safe in the knowledge that nobody can see you and nobody knows who you really are.  But while being less formal is a good thing overall, you don’t want to go the other way and allow the casualness and anonymity of the situation to affect your good manners.

Many online poker sites expect their players to maintain a certain standard of etiquette on the net, aka netiquette, and some even post these rules to show players what is expected of them.   Many of them are obvious, but some of them come to show players that even grey areas are generally frowned upon. Take the action of chip dumping, for example. This action takes place regularly at online tournaments, and should definitely not be condoned. It goes against the spirit of the game and is a clear abuse of  poker on the internet. Luckily, good online poker sites also frown on this practice and will take action against the chip dumper to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

One of the most common forms of online poker abuse is that of swearing or throwing insults to the other players around the table.  The chat features at online poker rooms are there to be used for chatting and exchanging pertinent information. They are not there to abuse other players by telling them they’re playing like morons or that your own cards are crap.  Watch your language – poker room administrators have no problem removing you from the site if you continue to abuse these chat features and you even risk having your account closed.

Take a while to read the rules of the online poker room, especially its expectations on how players should behave socially. It could save  you the embarrassment of being reprimanded, or even thrown off the site.

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