A look at the poker showdown and how it works
By Bob Garcia
Even though the cards will already be revealed, the poker showdown still has its own nuances
When two players continue to hold cards even after all betting rounds in a poker hand have been completed, the indication that a “showdown” is approaching is more than obvious. The so-called showdown simply consists of the players taking their cards and revealing them. Once this is done, the winning hand is determined, so that the pot with its respective money can be allocated to the winner. Whether it’s Texas Hold’em or Pot-Limit Omaha, variations of poker are approached in different ways.
The way the showdown plays out will depend a lot on the poker variation in which you are playing. For example, in No-Limit Texas Hold’em, players will put together their best 5-card hand from any combination of their two hole cards and the five community cards. In Pot Limit Omaha (PLO), players are required to use two of their four hole cards in combination with three of the five community cards to form the best 5-card hand.
Most players would rather not show their cards at showdown if they don’t have to. As a result, there have been a number of showdown “rules” created over the years to provide some guidance. As well as clarifying the showdown process, the rules have helped speed up the pace of the game. If no bet had been placed in the last betting round and players only checked, they will show their cards in the same order as the betting round. If a bet or a raise was entered, the last person who bet or raised shows his or her cards first.
To win in the showdown, both hole cards have to be revealed. This is to verify that the hand is accurate. In addition, after other players have shown their hands during the showdown, you can either muck the hand or show the cards. If you have a losing hand and didn’t try to bluff your way to a win, show the cards – perhaps your mind played tricks on you and you actually won.