You would be forgiven for thinking that no etiquette applies to online poker. Over and over again online poker players reach the depths of vulgarity simply because of a perception of ‘bad beat’ inflicted on them by another player, or even because another player is just playing badly. Or maybe even for no obvious reason. Some players will be abusive and rude to other players simply as a ‘style’ of play. This type of player seems to think that being rude to others at the tables will put your opponents on ’tilt’ and therefore give them an advantage.
Well, in that regard, they are correct. Sometimes, at least. It can be very irritating to have abuse against you because of the way you play, or because of your lack of skill or obvious mistakes you may have made. Having a player abuse you after you’ve won a hand from him can be more than irritating; having your game questioned in front of the entire table can affect your confidence, especially if you are not a very confident player to begin with. If you take a winning hand with bad starting cards and then be abused by showing your 7 2 winner, it can make you think twice about playing bad cards again. After all, you don’t want to be ridiculed in front of the entire table again.
This may seem useful, but sometimes it is normal to play bad cards QQ Online. Sometimes you can be in the big blind and see the flop simply because no one has raised you. More importantly, the advanced game suggests that you play bad cards from time to time just to vary your game and stop other players who may be ‘reading’ about you. But if your confidence is impaired because you were ‘abused’ in a previous hand, you cannot play cards, bad cards, which you should perhaps play.
Furthermore, it is not, and should never be, acceptable for someone to abuse any other player at the table. It’s just not connected. If the other player is the worst player in the world, he is still not well. Even if you get the worst bad beat in poker history, you have no right to be abusive to anyone. Ever. Period.
A simple guide would be that you never say anything to another player that you would not say to your grandmother. If you are the type of person who would abuse your grandmother, then this guide does not apply to you. The best thing to say when your temper is rising and you feel that the other player is a complete ‘donkey’ is … nothing. If you are on tilt because of a bad beat – don’t say anything. Just get off the table.
Players who still think it’s okay to abuse other players may one day realize that it doesn’t make them look like big players. It just makes them look like they are – rude and abusive people. And someday they may see each other the way the rest of us do. Hopefully, that day will be soon.
Jared Sid writes poker reviews for online poker sites like Ultimate Bet Poker and AbsolutePoker.