An unusual situation arose recently playing a home game of NL texas holdem. Three people went all in after the flop. The dealer by mistake did a small hand shuffle before burning and turning. What should have been done in this situation. It was eventually agreed to carry on the hand but I want to know what the official ruling would have been. Can you please advise.

  • I'm not really sure there is an official ruling for something like this because the situation is extremely rare (this is the first time I hear about something like this). Big casinos or big live events (WSOP, EPT WPT etc.) might have something about this burried somewhere deep in their rulebook, but I think it differs from casino to casino and from event to event. I posted this as a comment because I don't have any references... yet. May 4, 2014 at 18:36

5 Answers 5


I used to be a croupier and worked at various casinos. The best solution that I know of for the accidentally exposed card after the flop is to announce it and place it on top of the deck. When ready to deal the next card, burn the exposed card from the top, burn two cards from the bottom of the deck and place the third one as the turn or the river. If this action was taken for the turn, the advantage is that the order of the river card does not change. What you were going to get at the river before the accident still is dealt as the river. If you shuffle the cards, the natural river card changes. There would be an advantage of shuffling the cards too as the accidentally exposed card would be added to the deck just in case if one of the players would need it on the board; however adding an exposed card back to the deck would look unprofessional and is not very likely to hit the turn or the river anyway. But shuffling the cards without any any dealer mistake of exposing a card would be stupid in any case.


This "mistake" doesn't change anything for the players, and the game must go on.

There's one situation that the deck must be shuffled. When a burned card is shown by mistake, it goes back to the deck (before showing turn/river) wich is shuffled, then the dealing continues as usual.

  • 2
    I've seen burn cards accidentally exposed before, and all this led to was the dealer making sure the table all knew what the burn card was... then it got turned back over and standard play continued with no shuffle.
    – mah
    May 5, 2014 at 15:10
  • @mah There's no official rules for this case. The rules that applies here is the choice of the tournament director. I don't know if it is common, but I've saw it in many tournament.
    – Xaruth
    May 5, 2014 at 15:49
  • Xaurth that is very bad information. A burn card exposed is not reason to shuffle.
    – Jon
    Oct 2, 2014 at 10:34
  • I've been a poker floorman for ten years and a player for 30. I am not aware of any casino that reshuffles a stub because of an exposed burn card. A prematurely-exposed board card, on the other hand, can do so. Nov 24, 2014 at 17:43

I have scoured the internet to see if I can find an answer to this and there doesn't appear to be one. In most cases where it has happened, the game has just carried on as if there hadn't been a shuffle!

  • 1
    I'm not aware of any standard rule for this situation, but if I were flooring, I would have taken the deck myself, given it another shuffle, handed it back to the dealer, and told him to continue, just so the players are protected against any possible dealer mischief. Nov 24, 2014 at 17:36

Good Casinos (or all) , have so called house rules. Everything what can happen during a poker game should be mentioned here. So in kind of an accident shuffle there is a rule how to behave. When there are people playing they acceppt the rules. This kind of accidents should be covered in here. We all know that it will be still the same game if you shuffle the cards after every board card. But we all know as well that the thinking changes. People will start complaining when they don't hit there cards and claim that otherwise they might have made something. To avoid this kind of situations, the house rules should cover these situations by clearly saying that an accidently shuffle will result in X. Whatever X is. So no one can start complaining and feel messed around.

I played really active for 4 years and had a like 3-5 unnormal situations. Once a dealer shuffled cards which were folded before. Later these cards appeared on the board. At this point one player was all in(tournament)... In another situation, heads up, one player asked the other whether he hit the ace or not. And the other guy showed one card (the ace). But the house rules didn't allow any kind of showing cards..and showing even one card is treated as a fold. (big cash was on table). If it's not 100% clear you will always have a big discussion unless it ends in a split pot, believe me.

So conclusion, whatever is done after something went wrong should be 100% clear.

  • Every casino's house rules also begin with rule #1: The floorman will make all decisions in the best interest of the game, even if that conflicts with the letter of the rules. As a floorman for ten years, I maybe invoked that rule 2-3 times, but it does happen. Nov 24, 2014 at 17:34
  • I have never seen a rule dealing with this particular situation, so I second what Lee Daniel Crocker says. However I could not imagine this happening with a seasoned dealer unless that dealer was a bit to seasoned. I might very well consider a misdeal in this situation, and definitely a write up for the dealer.
    – Jon
    Jan 5, 2015 at 2:20

In home games I tend to make it clear that if any mistakes are made it is up to the players in the hand.

If they all agree to carry on that is their decision and they own it. If even one player currently active in the hand wants a redeal, then it must be redealt.

That way, everyone feels fairly treated, and everyone has equal say in the decision.

If one player chooses to redeal, it is up to them if they want to explain why.

Also, once players have all chosen to carry on, nobody can say it was unfair, because you gave them the decision.

This goes for all mistakes.

If a burn card is accidentally flipped I'd leave it up to the players with two options: carry on and let everybody see that card or redeal.

On a personal note, I'd always call for a redeal in this situation unless I'm sitting on the nuts; in which case I'd try to act neutral and get them to carry on, but would accept a redeal begrudgingly if that was their decision.

It probably goes without saying that in the event of a redeal all chipstacks should be returned to the amounts they were at before the hand began.

  • 1
    Remind me never to play in your home games. Those rules are practically set up for cheating. If there is one single, most important, overriding rule in poker it is this: the players in the hand must never have any choice in how the hand plays out. If you have no floorman to make rulings, you should have a player who is not in the hand decide. Nov 24, 2014 at 17:31
  • @LeeDanielCrocker What if it's a 4 man game and everyone is in the pot? (As is common)
    – Dom
    Nov 24, 2014 at 17:34
  • Then you're kind of stuck. All the players should know the standard rules ahead of time so these things are rare. If a situation like that occurred in my home game, the players would make arguments for what the fairest course of action is, and hopefully reach consensus if possible. Nov 24, 2014 at 17:41
  • @LeeDanielCrocker In that case, remind me to never play at your home games! :/ Poker is slow enough without adjourning a court session and debating a single hand. My rules are simple, and they avoid that silliness. And I'm not talking about high stakes or professional poker.
    – Dom
    Nov 24, 2014 at 17:45
  • I generally play with experienced players who know the rules, so such situations just don't ever come up. Nov 24, 2014 at 17:50

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