Etiquette is a strange thing when it comes to online casinos. If you have ever frequented land based casinos, you will know that there is often a very strict code of conduct when it comes not only to how to play, but also how to behave, how to dress, and more.
When it comes to playing online, many of these issues become obsolete, nobody knows what you are wearing, or indeed what you are doing when playing at an online casino, whether you are sitting in a dressing gown and eating your bodyweight in chocolate, or wearing a suit and sipping a Martini like your auditioning to be the new James Bond, no judgment will come your way, because nobody will ever know.
But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t certain expectations when it comes to online casinos, and if you are thinking of spending more time in online casino settings, it is worth knowing the rules, both written and implied, that exist at all casinos, as well as the specific expectations that may exist at individual casinos.
The latter of these two comes with a certain level of research, the concept of etiquette is subjective in many ways, and some sites have very different expectations to others, so when it comes to playing at a new site, it is worth taking some time to get a sense of how things work.
However, when it comes to general rules of thumb in terms of online casino etiquette, here are a few things to keep in mind:
At first, online casinos were seen as an antidote to the strictly regulated land based casinos that had, up until that point, been the only option for those who enjoyed gambling.
To this end, the online casino scene became something of a free-for-all, with no real care taken to consider other players, and no sense of etiquette. The relative anonymity of the online casino setting allowed people to be comfortable being themselves, which is, for the most part, a positive, but as the industry grew and grew (and continues to grow today, some two plus decades since its inception) it became necessary for certain rules to be put into place.
A basic sense of etiquette and good conduct became necessary as the market got larger, but it was with the inception of games that involve chat with other players and/or dealers that it became an important factor. When it comes to communication or contact with dealers or other players, it is vital that rules of conduct and etiquette are set out.
The most important element of online gambling when it comes to knowing etiquette is when you play within a live casino setting, because you are playing with others who expect a certain level of courtesy, and some specific behaviour that ensures that the game is enjoyable for everyone.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s not as obvious as you’d think. For example, if you played poker for the first time with a group of friends or family members, then it would be entirely acceptable for you to come in with nothing more than a vague sense of the rules of the game, because those close to you would be happy to guide you through the finer points of the game.
However, when you enter an online casino environment, you are playing not with friends, but with strangers who are there to play their favourite game, and it is therefore vital for you to put the research in so that you understand the rules of your chosen game before you start playing with others.
In most online casinos, the option for free play will be available, and this is where you can get your practice in before starting to play for real money.
One of the biggest selling points of online gambling is the speed and the lack of queueing. When entering a fast-paced environment, it is important that you keep up with the speed of the game you are playing.
Most online casinos will have time limits for play, but even at those which do not, it is important that you do not delay the game too much.
Keep in mind that those you are playing with almost definitely expect a fast pace to the game, so although there is obviously the freedom to take the time to think about your move, don’t disappear to make yourself a cup of tea during your move, because you are likely to frustrate other players.
If a player repeatedly slows down a game by not playing at the expected pace, they will be warned by the casino, and may ultimately have their account closed.
When you step into the live casino section of any site, and you have chosen the type of game you want to play, you may be met with various tables.
Each table will have a minimum and maximum spend, it is important that you take the time to find a game to match your budget, because you don’t want to find yourself priced out, but you also don’t want to be in a position where you are bullying others at the table by always playing the maximum (on a side not, this is also not an effective way to make money when gambling.)
Linking to the previous section, once you have taken a seat, ensure you are ready to play, or you may be asked to leave, especially if there are others waiting for a seat. In this sense, online casino rules are very much in line with those at land-based casinos.
Again, these rules align themselves somewhat with those you’d find in a land-based casino. For the most part, these rules should be simple.
If you are playing any game that offers a chat window for you to talk to the dealer or the other players, then feel free to chat, it is why the option is there.
However, do not insult or disrespect the dealer or the other players, and do not expect responses. Some players like to remain anonymous, and play quietly without disturbance. If you attempt to chat to a player, and they do not respond to you, respect their choices.
Gambling can be a frustrating practice, even games like poker which are classified as games of skill have a certain level of luck to them, and if luck is not on your side, then this can, understandably, lead to annoyance. Do not use the chat window to vent these frustrations.
No good comes from using obscene or offensive language, or announcing your annoyance to the rest of the table, you wouldn’t want it from other players, and they don’t want it from you.
Also, one must be aware of the rules of the typed word in the modern world. For example, typing in All-CAPS is considered to be a way to state that the words are being shouted, so refrain from using these, because even if your intention is not for it to be considered that you are shouting, it most probably will be.
As in every corner of the internet, spamming is not welcome in an online live casino setting, do not see this as an opportunity to promote yourself or your business, or attempt to sell things to your other players, not only is this guaranteed not to be successful in any way, you will probably be asked to leave.
However, that does not mean that you cannot talk to a fellow player if you have things in common, and if the chat is clearly something that is wanted by both sides, there are stories of couples who have met in online poker rooms, but it’s properly not worth considering online gambling as a sensible way to attempt to meet a romantic partner!
Dual accounts are acceptable at online casinos, as is multiple players using the same computer at different times, but this must be brought to the attention of the casino you are playing at. If this is not done, and you are found to be sharing a computer or an account, then you are likely to be blacklisted under the assumption that you are cheating in some way.
An absolute no-no when it comes to playing in an online live casino, is for two people in the same house, using different computers, to enter the same game, you will be found out, you will be blacklisted, and you are likely to lose any winnings you have gained while playing this way. The reasons for this are obvious, if two people in a game are in direct communication, they could work together to try and cheat, but, as stated above, this will not work.
Of course, despite there being a clear sense of etiquette, you may be unlucky enough to encounter a player who does not follow these rules. If you witness another player abusing a system at a casino, or using abusive language or actions towards you or someone else, it is considered good etiquette to report them immediately.
The removal of these players from the casino system means that you and your fellow players will have a better experience.
Online poker has taken on something of a life of its own over the past decade or two, and while live poker games follow many of the same rules as general live games, there is a wider net when it comes to expected etiquette, so if this is your game of choice, you should take the time to familiarise yourself with these.
Most of these rules are fairly obvious, essentially, behave with the level of courtesy that you would expect from others, but it is worth getting to know the finer details of online casino etiquette beforehand, to avoid any awkwardness if you cross a line you did not know existed.