Etiquette is a mode of behavior or a set of socially accepted norms that are practiced in a specific situation. Etiquette is an essential part of a civilized society and allows people in a similar situation to know what to expect from another party.
Knowing commonly accepted etiquette in a specific situation beforehand will help a person fit in and avoid embarrassing incidents.
Etiquette is very subjective and one form of etiquette practiced in one situation is not the same as might be practiced in another.
Etiquette in an Online Casino Setting
There are very strict rules of conduct and etiquette that are practiced at land casinos by both the players and the casino operators. These rules include how to bet, when to join a table, where to sit, when to speak etc. While many of these practices can be researched before entering a land casino, some of them will only be gained when placed in a live setting.
When the online casino industry burst onto the scene about a decade ago, this form of gambling became a very viable alternative to the land casinos setting. At first it was a free-for-all and people enjoyed the anonymity and relaxed atmosphere that the online casino world offered. However, as the industry developed and became a gambling destination for billions of people all over the world, basic rules of conduct and etiquette needed to be established in order to make the experience enjoyable for everyone.
While in most online casino settings there is almost no interaction, many games are being developed which offer interactive play and involvement with other players and the dealer. Good behavior and etiquette is advisable even when there is no interactive contact, but absolutely essential when there is contact.
Basic Online Casino Etiquette:
Learning the Rules of the Game
Learning the rules of the game before starting to play is one of the first things a player should do. A player should first read up on the rules and understand the basics of the game – this information is available all over the internet on various casino portals. Once the rules have been absorbed, a player should then practice playing the game for free before entering a live online casino setting. Most online casinos offer the player the opportunity to play for free credits until they master the game. This opportunity is beneficial both for the player and the casino because it allows the player to practice interactively before playing for money and familiarize themselves with the rules and procedures.
Keeping up the Speed
Most online casino players have chosen this mode of play because of the fast pace and lack of queues. The pace of online casino games is appealing to everyone and generally, online casinos have time limits for play on their games. While players are certainly allowed to take some time to think and plan their next move, unnecessary time delays should be avoided at all costs. If every player took longer than necessary to make their move, the entire game would slow down to a snail’s pace and the advantage of a fast game would be lost. Some online casinos provide warnings to players who repeatedly slow down the game and might even resort to closing down someone’s account if this becomes regular practice.
In specific games at certain online casinos, a chat feature is available. This feature is there to help players get to know each other (often poker players) and to create the ambiance of a live poker room. While this is a great feature, it also presents many opportunities for faux pas. Some players might prefer to remain anonymous and do not wish to engage in idle chit-chat while playing. Players who do not respond when chatted to should be respected. The chat window should not be used as way to vent your frustrations about your own hand in an obscene way – avoid offensive language such as swearing, racist or chauvinist remarks. Typing in ALL-CAPS is considered bad etiquette because it constitutes shouting. Using the chat window for spamming purposes or to promote one’s personal business agenda is also a no-no, but it can be used to introduce oneself to another player who might have the same interests. The internet-urban legend goes that a couple actually met through a poker chat feature and ended up getting married – etiquette or not!
English as Default Language
The online casino setting allows players from all over the world to come together and play their favorite games. Unless a player has been informed otherwise, English is generally the default language in which a fellow player or dealer is addressed. Using only English avoids suspicions arising that players are in cahoots with each other. By using a language that everyone assumingly understands, all players will feel that they are on the same page in the game. Some online casinos, however, are specifically geared to a certain language group and in this case this rule obviously falls away.
Using the Same Computer
It is considered good etiquette to inform the online casino operator if a player and his family member or friend, play on the same computer but from different accounts. If household members play from different computers, but from the same location, they should avoid playing on the same game simultaneously. Online casino have strict rules about opening dual accounts and if this is not brought to the operator’s attention, a player might find himself blacklisted for something he did not intentionally do.
Reporting Other Abusing Players
If a player witnesses another player abusing the casino’s systems it is good etiquette to report them to the casino operators. By keeping abusive and offensive players out of the casino system, the playing experience will be more enjoyable for everyone.
Respecting Customer Support Staff
Generally, when a player needs to contact the online casino support staff, it is when something has gone wrong. While the player might be frustrated and annoyed, he should always try and be courteous and polite when addressing the support staff. It is very bad etiquette to use abusive language or to send multiple emails about the same request without giving the support staff reasonable time to respond. If a player wishes to be treated with respect when receiving a reply, the least he can do is offer similar respect when addressing the support staff.
Online poker is an entire world of its own, and unique norms and social conduct are practiced:
When choosing a seat at a poker table, a new player should start out in a lower limit game in order to familiarize themselves with the software.
A player must ensure that they use the chat program associated to the poker game properly. Offensive, rude of hate comments are considered very bad etiquette and a repeated offender will find his chat program barred.
Generally, only English should be used in the chat format unless otherwise stated.
Observing a poker game is part of the fun of belonging to an online poker room. An observer is allowed to make comments but they should remember to keep these short and topical.
Players should avoid commenting about a hand of cards that have folded. By avoiding these comments, a player protects others from guessing which cards may have been beneficial to others.
Players are allowed to upload pictures or images in order to personalize their chat profiles, but this should be done in good taste. No pornographic, offensive or distasteful images should be uploaded under any circumstances.
Good online casino etiquette helps a person become a better player and creates a more enjoyable atmosphere. Even if there is no interactive play involved, a player should still strive to always treat the casino, customer service staff, fellow players and the dealer with respect. An angry, rude and resentful player will spend all their time and energy focusing on the negative aspect of the game and might end up making careless mistakes in his play. Ultimately, the only person that looses out is the person with bad etiquette themselves.