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I understand the purpose of burning the cards - so that one cannot possibly use any marks to see the next card in deck. But in home games, sometimes the dealer will forget to burn a card on the flop, turn or river and everyone will shout at them. Sometimes the shouting is timely and the to-be-burnt card is not shown, but sometimes it's too late and the to-be-burnt card is shown to everybody. Should we discard the card and use the next one or once it's shown we should stick with it and potentially fine the dealer? Are there any established rules/customs on this?

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3 Answers 3

I dont think there are any hard and fast rules to be honest.

I have seen some places where they burn 3 cards pre flop and then 1 on the turn and river.

If you notice in time then i believe the etiquette is to swap the card for the next one in the deck. If its not spotted in time I believe the hand is played out as it is (but this may vary from casino to casino)

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I agree with Gaz Winter, I don't think any rules are official here.

When I play homegame with friends, if this kind of mistake happen, then the card that should have been burnt is pulled out (I prefer let the card visible I don't put it back in the deck, like that all players can see it) and you place on the table a 4th card, the one that should be on the flop (if it happen on flop stage ofc).

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The only thing I don't like about leaving the card "up" is that it could seriously affect the odds of the hand. Consider you have a high pair with an A on the board. If the "oops" card were an A, then you have gained SIGNIFICANTLY from the revealed card. <br> if the card were to have simply been used it would have only removed some of the "faux randomness" that burning promotes. –  Christopher Lates Feb 15 '13 at 20:46
@ChristopherLates Burning cards isn't used as a randomizing factor. It's to stop various methods of card finesse/cheating. –  Toby Booth Feb 21 '13 at 11:16

If no actions have taken place on the hand, the correct way to handle this is to place the card back into the deck, shuffle the deck, and correctly burn and turn the next card.

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I've never seen nor heard of reshuffling the deck. Any casino i've ever been to doesn't do this. They just make others aware of the exposed card, still use it as a burn card, and then deal the normal sequence. –  Toby Booth Feb 21 '13 at 11:13
It's not common practice, nor is it part of the casino's rules on how to handle it, but it is the perfect way to randomize the remaining cards in the deck, which means it's the "correct" way to handle it. –  smithandteam Feb 21 '13 at 21:28
The cards are already randomized by the first shuffle so doing it again seems of little use. I suppose its reasonable either way. –  Toby Booth Feb 22 '13 at 9:42
The cards are un-randomized when a card is shown that is not meant to be shown. By randomizing the cards again, you essentially roll back the mistake. The card shown now has a 1/48 (or whatever) chance to come again, just like every other card. –  smithandteam Feb 22 '13 at 13:14

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