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How to host a no-limit Texas Hold'em poker tournament in your home

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Showing Cards

How many cards must I show?

Roberts Rules of Poker. Section 3 - The Showdown

6. A player must show all cards in the hand face-up on the table to win any part of the pot.

Unless every other player folds, you must show both hole cards to win any part of a pot.

Must I show my cards when all-in?

Roberts Rules of Poker. Section 15 - Tournaments

34. All hands will be turned face up whenever a player is all-in and betting action is complete.

Who must show their cards first at the showdown?

Roberts Rules of Poker. Section 3 - The Showdown

7. If everyone checks (or is all-in) on the final betting round, the player who acted first is the first to show the hand. If there is wagering on the final betting round, the last player to take aggressive action by a bet or raise is the first to show the hand. In order to speed up the game, a player holding a probable winner is encouraged to show the hand without delay. If there is a side pot, players involved in the side pot should show their hands before anyone who is all-in for only the main pot.

So, if no-one bets on the final round ... the first active player to left of the button must be the first player to show his cards. If there is betting, or raising, on the final round ... the last player to show aggression, by raising or betting, must be the first player to show his cards.

Intentionally showing cards

You are not allowed to show any of your cards during poker tournament play.

Roberts Rules of Poker. Section 15 - Tournaments

21. Showing cards from a live hand during the action injures the rights of other players still competing in an event, who wish to see contestants eliminated. A player may not show any cards during a deal (unless the event has only two remaining players). If a player deliberately shows a card, the player may be penalized (but his hand will not be ruled dead). Verbally stating one’s hand during the play may be penalized.

For a first-time offence, giving an offending player a verbal warning is probably the most appropriate course of action. However, if this is a recurring problem, or very blatant, a time penalty (10 minutes?) might be appropriate. A player must post blinds but is not allowed to play a hand during a time penalty.

If a player does intentionally show any card to any player ...

Roberts Rules of Poker. Section 3 - The Showdown

6. If you show cards to an active player during a deal, any player at the table has the right to see those exposed cards. Cards shown during or after a deal to a player not in the pot should be shown to all players when the deal is finished.

This is known as the "show one, show all" rule.

May I ask to see a players hand?

Yes, under certain circumstances. Here is the rule (which is applied differently at different casinos) ...

Roberts Rules of Poker. Section 3 - The Showdown

5. Any player who has been dealt in may request to see any hand that has been called, even if the opponent's hand or the winning hand has been mucked. However, this is a privilege that may be revoked if abused. If a player other than the pot winner asks to see a hand that has been folded, that hand is dead. If the winning player asks to see a losing player’s hand, both hands are live, and the best hand wins.

In most casinos, you may request to see any hand that was eligible to win the pot at showdown. Only players who were dealt in (received cards) may make the request (no railbirds). If the request comes from the player who is showing the winning hand, the hand that is exposed is considered to be "live" (even if it has been mucked) and could possibly still win the pot.

This rule is not to be used to gain knowledge about an opponents hand. It is meant to be used when you suspect cheating (collusion) between two or more players. See the Cheating page for a description of what collusion is.

Here is an excellent Poker Pages article on the 'I want to see that Hand' rule.

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