Online Poker Room? Mind Your Manners!


Are you an online poker newbie, rookie, or whatever other slightly condescending term in circulation these days for inexperienced? Believe it or not, but manners at an online poker table are a must. A breach of etiquette may not only irritate other players and alienate you from potential poker buddies, but it may also peg you as ‘fresh meat’. Worse yet, some violations could earn you a swift kick from the game or even a temporary ban from the poker room itself.


Ironically, although it is imperative to follow online poker etiquette to the letter, much of what constitutes this etiquette goes unspoken. You just have to know it or learn it along the way, and it is this silent aspect of these expectations which leads all too often to any number of beginner’s blunders. Fortunately, one need not always wait for experience to embarrassingly teach, or hope that common sense is adequate for the circumstance, for here is a primer of online poker etiquette.


To ‘slowplay’ a hand is to take an unusually long time to decide whether to fold, call, or raise. Slowplaying is fine on occasion to make a particularly difficult decision, or to try and trick the other players into thinking you are trying to make a particularly difficult decision. However, slowplaying each and every hand is not only bad poker, it is simply rude. First, it slows down the game for all the other players. Second, it implies you are either not paying attention to the game or lack the basic skills to be sitting at the table. If the latter is the case, take the time to read-up on the sport and play at some free or low-limit tables until you are comfortable, or at the very least quit multi-tasking your poker game.


To start a conversation in, say, Swedish or Turkish in an English or French poker room is not only rude, but can give the impression you are trying to pass along coded information. When using the chat function at the table, only do so in the language of the poker room. A failure to observe this unspoken rule can result in dismissal from some poker tables. If you are not comfortable with the language spoken in a particular poker room, look around online. There is bound to be a poker room catering to your linguistic preference.


While on the subject of language, be advised that not everyone finds foul or edgy language amusing. Be respectful of the fact that all sorts log on to play a few hands of poker over the internet. If, for some reason, you do use such language, and somebody asks you to stop, either apologize and stop or find a table more amenable to your outbursts. It almost goes without saying that this etiquette applies to all online gaming, not just poker.


It is generally bad form to comment on a hand still in play. Pointing out potential hands in the flop, or offering opinions as to who may or may not be bluffing can make or break the hand for another player. Moreover, know-it-alls tend to be disliked in any situation. Remember, when it comes to online poker you can say it, just don’t type it.


Harassment or intimidation of players is exceptionally poor sportsmanship. People are playing poker online to have fun and make some money, not to be berated for having a good or bad night. Moreover, it is a bad idea to get into arguments via chat in an online poker room. If you have a problem with another player the best thing to do is to leave the table and contact the appropriate party of the poker room in question. 


By honoring these guidelines you will not only establish yourself as a well-liked and perhaps even proficient player, but you will encourage others to behave in a like manner and thus improve the quality of play for all.



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