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How to be a courteous poker player

For poker players in Canada who live too far from the big casinos in Ontario, it’s easy to never encounter a real live poker game unless you intentionally go out of your way to find one. For this reason, a lot of Canadians might make a bad impression on fellow live players if and when they finally have a chance to participate in a game in person. In order to avoid unintentionally angering or offending fellow players and to keep the world thinking highly of Canadian manners, it’s important to keep several points in mind when you move from poker online to poker in real life.

First, never ever ask a player if you can see his or her losing hand. While it’s permissible and often expected to ask to see a hand that is called on the river, it’s important to remember that this is to ensure players don’t work together in order to win. Asking to see a hand any other time is akin to accusing a competitor of cheating, which is definitely a way to make the wrong impression. Moreover, to request to see someone’s losing hand is potentially embarrassing, as it would reveal any mistakes that he or she may have made, which is not a friendly or sportsmanlike move either.

One thing many Canadian online poker players may struggle with is not apologizing. We in Canada pride ourselves on having good manners, but it’s important to remember that if you win, there’s no need to say you’re sorry to those who lost – the aim of the game is to be the winner, so don’t feel the need to apologize for doing what everyone else was also trying to do! It’s insincere to pretend you wanted them to win instead of you, so be polite and gracious without the apologies.

Another point friendly Canadians might struggle with is not offering to shake someone’s hand if you’ve just knocked him or her out of a cash game. As the one who was eliminated, it’s up to him or her to shake your hand, not the other way around, so don’t be too eager to be friendly either. You just eliminated the guy, so if he doesn’t want to shake your hand that’s his right, and by holding your hand out first you make him look like the jerk for not taking it. That’s just not nice.

These are the biggest mistakes Canadian online poker players tend to make when they transition to live poker games. Be careful and mindful of your fellow players and try to think of things from their perspective before making a move.

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