Do you burn cards in home/friendly games?

As far as I am concerned, it's pretty much just a complication with no merits to us. There's no risk for the cards to be marked and the stacks we play with are minimal anyway.

6 Answers 6


Yes, I burn cards at a friendly home game.

Cards can become marked unintentionally. Further, failure to follow standard clean dealing procedures makes mistakes more likely, and even in friendly games, a mistake that costs someone a big pot can cause hard feelings.


Yes. It's important for consistency reasons. If one dealer does it and the next one does not, then you run into problems with people saying the wrong cards appeared on the board.

It could be a house rule that you do not burn cards, but whatever is done needs to be done the same on every single hand.


Burning a card is good practice:

It if there is a mark on the back of the card rather intentional or not it protects that mark from being known and exploited.

The top card on the deck is more prone to being shown inadvertently then the one right below it.

Its is much more common to accidentally expose the top card then the card second from the top.

It is also much easier to intentionally show the card on top of the deck then it is to show the second one down.

The act of burning the card is also a good last indication that the dealer believes the action is complete, giving players a chance to speak up if indeed the dealer is mistaken, before any damage is done. (An aside it is good practice to tap the table right before you burn and place the flop card(s).

However burning the top card is basically a security measure, and for a low stakes home game it is really up to you to decide how important it is, this answer and the others give you excellent context to make a decision about that.


It's not a big deal in what you describe.

Depends on the home game. Some home games are very serious and involve significant stakes. Other home games are entirely casual/social occasions and involve low stakes. So, you'll probably need to burn cards in the "serious" games; in the casual/social games, I wouldn't worry about it very much.

That being said.... I prefer the burn card, but in the low-stakes home game, it's not a deal breaker.


Burning cards is part of the game rules for all Hold'em poker variants (Texas Hold'em, Omaha, Omaha 8 etc.).

I think the game rules should be applied as they are no matter where the game is played.

I've seen many bitter situations caused by bending or changing of the rules. Even changes made with good intentions can cause undesirable situations.


Ridiculous to burn a card in a friendly home game. Pathetic attempt to feel important. “Look at me I’m a dealer in a real casino!”


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