When I only have a short time available, I tend to play cash games because I can play for just as long as I like. Different tables play differently, depending on the mix of players. My natural tendency is to play fairly tight, so I’m not keen on playing people who turn every hand into a coin-flip for high stakes. I therefore tend to join tables where the average pot is quite low.
These tables obviously attract like-minded players. It’s funny to see on virtually every hand that they all limp in, knowing that most of the time they’ll see a cheap flop. Unless someone has a monster, it usually then checks around to the river when someone makes a half-hearted bet and everyone else folds. Every now and again, but not often, you get fireworks when two big hands collide, but the rest of the time it’s pretty mundane.
Sometimes I can’t resist throwing a cat among the pigeons by raising the stakes whenever I have a half-decent hand. When I do this I can easily imagine the tut-tutting that’s going on all around the table. If I was playing a live game among friends, I wouldn’t do it. Why rock the boat when all your friends want to just go with the flow?
This got me thinking about other differences in etiquette between online and live poker. The most obvious is that when you win a big pot playing live, it’s not really on to stand up and put your coat on straight after the showdown. Online, if that’s what you want to do then you just do it. You can imagine the gnashing of teeth, but you’d have to be hyper-sensitive to worry about it.
What do others think about online etiquette, or the lack of it, I wonder?
For more on live poker etiquette, Nolan Dalla has laid down the Ten Commandments, which is slightly tongue-in-cheek but should be required reading for all players.