Online Multi Player Poker Etiquette

This was published 04-06-2009

The growth of online casino gambling has spurred a whole new set of online multi player poker etiquette, which applies to all online poker players. And when it says all, it means from greenhorn novices to seasoned veterans, excusing nobody from following the unwritten rules of good behavior of online poker games.

Stick to Your Own Level

This piece of advice is more geared to players who aren’t use to playing online, or are just getting started in poker.  The lower levels are a learning ground, and generally are filled with people in a similar boat to you.  In low level tourneys, you will have people who push all in in the first hand…because hey, why not? You’ll have people who call you down with bottom pair (and win) with no read, no clue why they are calling, and then, when they’re taking your money type “lol” into the chat box.

Trust me…if you want to play in the higher levels, you will be welcomed with open arms.  Everyone loves to see people buy in with the minimum, and use the auto check/fold button regularly.  They will take your money, piss you off, and wait for you to reload to the minimum. One thing to remember when playing at any level of online poker: it’s all relative.  If someone is playing at the .05/.10 level, they will call you as often as the guy playing at the $5/$10 level.  The difference is the guy playing $5/$10 will probably have a read on you, and will more often than not call when he can beat you.

Chat Nice, Please

Or don’t chat at all.  Seriously.  Online poker is less of a friends gathering and more for people multi tabling and making serious money. At lower levels, and some tourneys, chat is acceptable (especially when you’ve been sharing a table with someone for 4 hours and they’ve been playing well).  But overall, chat in online poker is filled with aggression, yelling at someone who called another person down (OMFG, i can’t believe you called that, fish!) or criticizing other peoples play.  Sometimes this can be fun to watch.  Hell, sometimes it’s part of strategy.  But I would recommend just staying away and using the extra time to open up a second table.  If you really want to chat, stick to congratulating people on hands, and for gods sakes, don’t blame other players for calling you down with bottom pair!

Speak the Common Language

If you start speaking another language at the table, the other players will automatically call “collusion.”  I personally hate it when i think 2 players are working together to beat a table, and will bitch about it every time.  Stick the the online casino’s advertised language (usually English) and you’ll have no problems.

Let the Cards Speak for Themselves

A lot of poker rooms will implement a “chat disabled on all in hands” to prevent the table coercing someone into calling, or convincing him that the other player “has the nuts.”  This also applies to a hand that you aren’t in.  If you don’t have cards, don’t speculate during the chat. Sometimes poker is all about missing the obvious, so if you point it out, with no risk to you, then you are creating a disadvantage to other players.  This is typically the rule in live poker as well, but sometimes with a computer screen in front of us, and our opponents a world away, it’s easy to forget to keep your comments on the hand to yourself (until after the hand, of course).

Make Your Move on Time

Man, there is nothing worse than waiting for a player to make their move.  It’s annoying and slows down the game play.  Typically there is a time bank for those really brutaldecisions (you have KK, the flop comes AA4 and your UTG opponent pushes….wow…) but if you’re in 4th position with 3/4 os and you dip into your time bank before the flop has come down, get out of the hand.  There is no point. You will only incur the wrath of your opponents, and that’s just no longer fun!

Overall be considerate and friendly and you’ll have no trouble.  Respect the rules and the other players and you’ll be welcomed back. Make 1,000,000 and we’ll all be watching you on the WSOP!

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