Ok, if we start at the beginning we’re going to need to discuss what we actually mean by chat etiquette which is particularly hard to spell and even harder to type 🙂
By online pool chat etiquette we’re talking about what is considered things you just shouldn’t say or things that are polite to say when you’re playing an online pool game and chatting to the person who you’re playing against.
This is generally possible because many of the better pool games online have a chat feature at attached to the game so that you can talk online to the person you’re playing the game with (if you want to). It’s never something that is compulsory to do however it can be a nice way to pass the time and it’s definitely a good way to assess the player’s ability.
One thing to note is that most of the free play games that you find built in flash (for instance our own game) don’t have a chat option as they’re often only a one player game or it’s just not a full network where development time has been spent to enhance the game and include a chat option.
Back to the etiquette, you will find that many of the serious players (e.g. when they’re playing for cash) will not want to chat at all or at the least it’s only going to be single word responses because they’re either playing other games as well or they are just not interested in small talk. In this situation you’re really better to stay out of chat as if it’s not being used to pass the time by these players then it’s probably being used to assess your own playing skills or even to distract you from your game.
The idea of using pool chat as a way of distracting someone from their game comes in part from the poker world where players will often talk up their hand or chat to try and throw off the other players from what their hand really is. In that world it’s a real part of the game that exists when players are around a table and talking to each other so it’s natural for it to extend to the online chat when they’re playing the game as well.
In pool it’s a little different as the chat around an online pool table is pretty unlikely to affect the out-come of the game unless the person is actually distracted by what is being said.
So, don’t distract the person you’re playing against. It’s considered bad chat etiquette and if you see others doing it, stop playing them as soon as you have the opportunity!
Aside from that there’s really nothing you need to worry about when you’re deciding if chatting is ok in the pool game that your playing. Generally if the other player doesn’t want to talk they’ll just ignore you and you’ll pretty quickly be talking to yourself, which I wouldn’t suggest doing for too long, people will thing you’d odd 😉
If you really want to have a good online pool conversation then I’d suggest something like an online pool forum where you can chat all about the games that you’ve played or have a moan about the people and software that you’re playing on at the moment and what you don’t like about it.
Whatever advice you decide to follow when you’re chatting, try and keep it friendly and up-beat to make sure that you’re going to have a good time as well!