I was playing in a house tournament where the players deal their own cards. I was dealt my second card a little high (helicopter style), but it did not flip over or anything. I had pocket Ks. The player next to me says "I'm pretty sure that was a face card." I did not respond in any way, because I didn't want to give away any information on my very strong hand just because he thought he saw a face card. Nothing else was said and play continued. I ended up winning the hand with a set of Ks, and the player that thought he saw a face card was busted out. He was obviously upset with the result. He thought I should have given up my card and exposed it as the first burn card and received a new card.

Is there a rule that clarifies when the card must be given up and exposed?

Should the player have to definitively identify the card before it is given up, or can any player say I think that card was red/black/face/etc and the card must be given up and exposed to the table?


2 Answers 2


This is the general gaming rule typical at a casino:

If a single card is exposed by the dealer in dealing the hole cards,
the dealer must—
(a) complete the initial deal; and
(b) exchange the exposed card with the card that was to be the
first burn card before the flop; and
(c) give all players the opportunity to view the exposed card;
(d) use the exposed card as the first burn card.

If two (or more are exposed) its a miss-deal and a complete re-shuffle / next deck.

So in your situation it all hinges on the definition of 'exposed'.

The general definition taken is that a player is able to 'announce' the card - not a range of possible cards. Saying its a face card is not enough. You could argue that even saying "red ace" is not enough, because that does not expose the specific card, just narrows the range of the possibilities the card can be. There is grey area here. Generally colour and rank is accepted.

I can't think of any time I have ever seen someone accept 'face card' alone. This does not expose the card, it merely reduces the range to one of 16 cards... I don't think anyone on the floor would ever accept anything less than at least the face value. The most common minimum is face value and colour. Suit is generally not required because it cannot be read by the text value.

If he felt that strong about it, he should have requested that the card be declared exposed. At which point the floor would have asked him to name the card. And a decision been made as to if his description has announced the card to the point of exposure.

As soon as an action starts, specially a bet started for the hand, any claim he had is now out the window. You could maybe argue that action be allowed to come around to him. But once he acts in any way, any last hope he had goes out the window.

Complaining about it after the hand is ridiculous.

I'd say you played it fine. It would be absurd if players started to announced they saw a "mostly white - non face card" for example.


Just to make a point.

The exposed card rule is around so that other players do not gain an unfair advantage if they see an exposed card. Although there is some advantage just seeing a card that others don't even when the player mucks the hand, the main advantage is knowing what your opponent has, and that advantage translates into disadvantage for the player trying to keep an exposed card. It worked out fine for you and that's OK, but your EV once a player has knowledge of one of your hole cards, goes down for the hand. I would suggest the smarter play once one of your hole cards is exposed while dealing is to get it replaced in accordance with the rule. Statistically speaking it does not change anything in the long run, and you don't have the downside of playing with a card that is known to your opponent.

  • I appreciate the answer, but I disagree, and concur with the answer above. Especially if I'm dealt pocket Kings, I'm not going to want to show and toss my card because some player thinks he might have saw a face card with no idea the rank, color, or suit. Dec 28, 2019 at 4:18

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