Online Poker Etiquette: The Do’s & Don’ts

With online poker becoming more popular than ever, there is a new pool of players who have never played a poker hand before. If you’re new to poker, it is important to understand online poker etiquette and what is and isn’t acceptable. Here are a few of the do’s and don’ts of an online poker game.

The Do’s of Online Poker Etiquette

Follow the Rules

While it may seem obvious, you should always follow the rules of the game to prevent frustration and delays. Acquaint yourself with how hands and betting work and the limitations associated with the game you are playing.

One of the easiest ways to understand the ins and outs of the game is to use an online gaming app — that way, you can acquaint yourself with the rules in your own time and with relatively low stakes. Although there’s much debate around which is the best app for learning poker, lots of poker players swear by BetMGM’s app. Practicing on an app will give you a holistic view of how poker is played, as well as giving you insight into how to win.

Act Quickly

Always play, bet, and move on quickly while playing. Unless you are playing a high-stakes game with a lot of money on the table, there is no need to take multiple minutes to make a decision. This is especially true when all the information you need to make a decision is right in front of you.

Pay Attention

Always pay attention to the hands to avoid having to ask questions and catch up with play. It is no one’s responsibility to tell you it’s your turn to bet, what the blind is, etc. If play is moving too fast for you, it is better to leave the table or find a variation of poker that is easier to keep up with.

Be Respectful

Always be respectful to other players and in the chat window. Being online and anonymous to some degree is not a good enough reason to disrespect those you are playing with. Plus, not talking to or interacting with anyone at the table is the easiest way not to disrespect someone.

Bet Smart

One of the biggest things to avoid in poker — whether online or in real life — is making unnecessary betting decisions. In particular, going all-in on every hand, no matter what, in an attempt to scare others off, is not proper poker etiquette.

Put thought into what and how you bet. This will show other players you are taking the game seriously, and you will find yourself being respected more.

Casino Poker Chips

The Don’ts of Online Poker Etiquette

Don’t Slow Roll

Slow rolling is one of the biggest sins at any poker table, and there are a few different examples of play that are regarded as slow rolling. Firstly, one of the most common forms of slow rolling is taking a long time to reveal a strong or unbeatable hand to build suspense or drama.

Secondly, deliberately taking a long time to reveal your hand during a showdown after your opponent has already revealed theirs is incredibly disrespectful to your opponent and is a surefire way to lose respect at the table.

Thirdly, declaring defeat or underplaying your hand before revealing a strong, possibly winning hand is another act that will instantly land you in the dog box during a game.

Don’t Harass Others

Don’t harass other players at the table, whether that be in the chat box, an overuse of emojis, or trolling. While it can be difficult to not respond to another player doing it to you, keep your thoughts to yourself and continue the game.

No Collusion & Cheating

With enough patience, you can find yourself playing at a table with someone you may know. Unlike an in-person poker game, cheating or colluding online is much easier, as no one will know.

However, other players can easily spot collusion through how you play and interact with your partner and will be red-flagged immediately. While this does require a level of honesty on your part, it is the most respectful thing you can do while playing.

Don’t Chip Dump

Chip dumping is the act of seemingly giving away your chips to another player through various methods. For example, you can over-bet on a hand you will definitely lose, giving your opponents a guaranteed chip win.

Chip dumping can be done as a troll, to give unwanted help, or to give a player an unfair advantage. While it doesn’t quite fall into the category of cheating or collusion, as that would require multiple parties being in on the cheat, it is still frowned upon in the poker world.

Don’t Discuss Ongoing Hands

Finally, whether you are involved in a hand or not, don’t discuss it while it is ongoing. While discussing previous hands is fine, discussing tactics, potential actions, betting options, etc., is frowned upon and can sometimes help a player win.

Discussing what a player has done in a similar situation is also frowned upon. Talking about if a player called, raised, bluffed, or folded in a similar hand before will clearly give the other players in the game information they wouldn’t have otherwise had.


Improve Your Etiquette Right Now

These are a few of the biggest do’s and don’ts at the poker table — whether online or in real life. As long as you keep these factors in mind, you will not only be welcome at any table you sit at but quickly gain your fellow players’ respect.