Skip

Do I have to show my cards?
October 30, 2007 12:51 AM   Subscribe

In No Limit Texas Hold 'Em Poker, when a player goes "all in" and you "call" them (but you still have extra chips) do you have to show your cards?
posted by yankeh to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (23 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Typically when you "call" you don't have to show your cards unless proving that you have your opponent beat but a lot of people think (because of TV poker) that if someone's all in--and there is no more possible side betting--everyone involved must immediately flip over their cards for the enjoyment of all the other players and onlookers. But I don't always want to show how strong a hand I was betting in that scenario unless I have to. Does anyone have any good sources to clarify this rule?
posted by yankeh at 12:55 AM on October 30, 2007


The rule varies by room. In cash games, most casinos in Las Vegas don't require you to show until the hand is complete. If the other player shows his hand and you cannot beat him, you can generally just throw your hand away without showing. However, there is an even more confusing rule that allows any player to request to see your hand, and most rooms will show it if anyone asks. The rule was originally to prevent collusion, but in all but a few rooms, you can ask to see any hand that was live at showdown without accusing anyone of anything. It does create hard feelings and is sometimes considered rude.

In tourneys, the usual rule is that you are required to show your cards if there is no more action. I have played in a few events where that was not the rule, but it is rare.

Poker is somewhat devoid of authorities and there is no definitive set of rules that are followed everywhere. The closest thing is "Robert's Rules" which were written by Bob Chiaffone. You can google them up, if you are interested.
posted by Lame_username at 1:22 AM on October 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Depends.

In a freeze out tournament, when play is heads up and one of two players is all in, the dealer will ask to flip the cards over. It's mostly to make play more exciting for the onlookers, I think.

In cash games, cards are typically only flipped when the hand ends. The person who made the last bet (the one who went all in) has to show his cards first. The caller can then choose to either show his, or muck. Different casino's have different rules, however. But you can definitely demand to see your opponent's cards if you called an all in.
posted by NekulturnY at 1:24 AM on October 30, 2007


In some home games there will be a clear house rule about this. If it's my home game, I 100% absolutely insist on seeing cards. The quality of people's cards (bluff/semi-bluff/reasonable hand) when they call gives other players an insight into their game. I therefore consider it very questionable gamesmanship to call and then not show cards.
posted by roofus at 4:01 AM on October 30, 2007


Neither has to show their hand unless they claim the pot. As has been said; house rules usually trump Hoyle.
posted by Gungho at 4:46 AM on October 30, 2007


The quality of people's cards (bluff/semi-bluff/reasonable hand) when they call gives other players an insight into their game.

Which is precisely why the only time you should have to show your cards is when you claim to have won.

Always reveal the least information possible; it's basic poker gamesmanship. House rules to the contrary seriously damage the game, IMO.
posted by Malor at 5:26 AM on October 30, 2007


It varies from house to house. Most home cash games don't have a hard and fast rule for showing- everyone just does it. Probably because that's how they do it on TV.
I've also played some casinos where you don't have to show, but it's considered rude not to show but not outside the rules. But, hey, it's your money!

The quality of people's cards (bluff/semi-bluff/reasonable hand) when they call gives other players an insight into their game.

I thought that was the point of Poker. To avoid letting others onto your gameplay. By the same reasoning, a player should always show cards with no mucking allowed.
posted by jmd82 at 5:51 AM on October 30, 2007


If you're playing in a tournament all cards will turn over. Regardless of who went all in, or where the action is: flop, turn, or river.

In a cash game you may or may not turn over your cards. When all five cards are on the board the person who went all in is first to act. The other people in the hand following the person who went all in may or may not show their cards. It is up to them. It is common for people with losing hands to still turn over their cards, but not required. Some players will turn their cards over before all of the cards are on the board, but it is not required.

These are standard casino rules and from my experience applied to most home games.
posted by LoriFLA at 5:59 AM on October 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Sidenote: Unless you're Doyle Brunson, or some other superstar player you're not good enough to give away free information. I never show my cards. Some people like to turn their cards over for window dressing, to show people: "I bluff a lot." I think it's dangerous to play this way. (signed, Mr.LoriFLA)
posted by LoriFLA at 6:05 AM on October 30, 2007


Lame_username, well answered. I didn't need to add my two cents.
posted by LoriFLA at 6:12 AM on October 30, 2007


Agree with jmd82 and Malor, disagree with roofus.

If you concede that you're beat, and toss your cards in, that's enough. You lost the hand already, no need to tip your hand as to your style.

But that's just my opinion; the rules vary from place to place, as described by lame_username et al.
posted by ibmcginty at 6:36 AM on October 30, 2007


This nearly caused a brawl at a poker night I host, until I laid down some house rules. Everyone has their own opinion and seems to think it's the only way. My house rules dictate that if two players get to the showdown and there is a bet and a call, both flip.
posted by lohmannn at 6:46 AM on October 30, 2007


roofus, maybe you should just remove all the mystery from the game and not allow people to bet on crappy hands. And have poker police walking around enforcing it.

Sheesh, poker is a mental game. Leaving people wondering whether you folded due to being barely beat or because you never had anything is half the game. House rules that force them to show is poor gamesmanship.
posted by chundo at 7:59 AM on October 30, 2007


I've never played in a private game that required turning over the hand if you lost. As said above, you show them if you want to for strategic purposes.
posted by empyrean at 8:02 AM on October 30, 2007


It seems that many of you are discussing home games, where the rules are whatever the house says they are. Many of you have also correctly observed that knowledge is power and the less information you reveal about your hands and how you play them, the better. There is another metagame consideration that you might benefit to learn. When you force a bad player to show his hand when he would prefer not to show, you are probably costing yourself money in the long run. Knowing that he has a hand that he is embarrassed to show is all the information you need. By making the bad player uncomfortable when he shows his bad call (and sometimes worse yet, ridiculing his bad decision), you are conditioning him to make better plays in the future. Let him quietly muck his bad calls all night long and rake in the chips. Some of those players get so much joy from the one time they catch you bluffing and make the heroic call that they are willing to lose a lot of money on net trying to get that experience. If you punish them by making them show all the times it was a poor decision, you are losing money that should have been yours.

A good player always tries to make the bad players as comfortable as possible and to minimize the moments where they are confronted by their bad play.
posted by Lame_username at 8:09 AM on October 30, 2007 [3 favorites]


all private games i've played have always allowed you to conceal your hand when you call. you're paying to see the betting player's hand, so you don't have to show yours.
posted by twistofrhyme at 9:17 AM on October 30, 2007


I'm not sure that everyone has fully read the question -- the issue is whether or not it is required to show your hand when you call an all-in and have your opponent covered.

In every game of Texas Hold 'Em that I have ever played, whether online, in private or in a casino or poker room, if any player in the action is all-in and there can be no more betting (that is, if there is no more than one player in the hand who is not all-in), all players involved must immediately flip up their cards. There is no concealing of hands in an all-in showdown. If other people have had experience otherwise, I am quite frankly surprised.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 10:30 AM on October 30, 2007


When I was just in Vegas in a cash game, the rule was that if you called someone else, they had to show first or fold. Once they show, you can fold or show as well. The one wrinkle which came up is the "show one, show all" rule which meant that if someone showed one of their cards ("see, I had an ace") the other players could demand they show the other as well.
posted by callmejay at 12:57 PM on October 30, 2007


That's not the "show one, show all" rule. In cases where one is not required to reveal their hand, one can choose to show no cards, one card or both cards.

"Show one, show all" means that if you show one player your cards, then you must show your cards to any player who requests it. The dealer will typically flip them up.

Whoever your dealer was, they need to go back for more training.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 1:27 PM on October 30, 2007


Lame_username:

Folding does not equal a bad call. It simply means that you lose - it may have been by a single card, it may have been by a landslide. By not showing, you keep people guessing - if you really had a good hand that just barely lost, and you can fold and leave someone wondering if you were bidding on nothing the whole time, that can work to your favor in future hands - they may be more willing to call you when you have an excellent hand.

Forced showing eliminates that bit of strategy.
posted by chundo at 1:48 PM on October 30, 2007


Whoever your dealer was, they need to go back for more training.

It was probably my mistake.
posted by callmejay at 3:20 PM on October 30, 2007


In every game of Texas Hold 'Em that I have ever played, whether online, in private or in a casino or poker room, if any player in the action is all-in and there can be no more betting (that is, if there is no more than one player in the hand who is not all-in), all players involved must immediately flip up their cards. There is no concealing of hands in an all-in showdown. If other people have had experience otherwise, I am quite frankly surprised.
Your experience is limited. I'm reasonably confident I've payed in every room of any size in the US and I can assure you that both players don't have to show their hands in cash games in the majority of the rooms. Many newer players do so, but it is not required.
posted by Lame_username at 4:11 PM on October 30, 2007


Folding does not equal a bad call. ... Forced showing eliminates that bit of strategy.
I don't think we are in disagreement. I was arguing that it isn't usually in your best interest to make the other guy show. I would also eliminate the rule that allows you to see any hand at showdown unless you can express some reasonable suspicion of collusion. See Tommy's awesome article on point
posted by Lame_username at 4:17 PM on October 30, 2007


« Older Where can I find the a photo o...   |  When movies taken with a digit... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.


Post