There are two players left after the river card has been delt. Player 1 bets and player 2 calls. Does player 1 HAVE to show his cards, since it's HIS turn and he got CALLED, or is he allowed to muck his hand ?

I always thought he had to show and that it was only the second player, or remaining players, that are allowed to choose either to show or muck.

This is regarding a home play Texas Holdem cash game.

  • There are several other posts here about who must show first at showdown. In a cash game, however, you're always free to muck any time if you don't want to win the pot. Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 14:45

7 Answers 7


This scenario will depend on the local house rules. What you are referring to is known as the "last aggressor" rule. Some places do enforce that and would say that since the person bet last, they should show first. However, it is my understanding that this is not universal - in parts of Europe, the last person to act (in this case the caller, not the aggressor) would show first. So it really all depends on the house rules. In your case of a home game, it might be a good idea to establish these rules at the onset so that there are no surprises.

  • 2
    Much like choosing a set of house rules for a home game of pool, it's a good idea to use rules already laid out by some standard body, like the World Series of Poker. Any player who has been a legal part of the game can ask to see a called hand, even if the cards have already been mucked.
    – JoeFish
    Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 21:41

If he wants to muck, he may attempt to do so and surrender the pot. But his opponents paid full price to see his hand, and they are legally entitled to see it, so they can ask the dealer to show the hand even if the player mucks. If the player actively tries to prevent the hand being shown, for example, by sticking the cards into the muck directly, he is cheating and should be penalized appropriately by the floorman.

  • 1
    The player isn't "legally entitled" to anything really. This will all depend on local house rules. They will not be the same across the board. Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 18:46
  • In a tournament you typically would be entitled to ask to see cards, but unless you have a serious (i.e., not just your curiosity) reason related to potential collusion between players at the table, you're labeling yourself as a newbie and general jerk at the table. Don't be that guy. cardplayer.com/poker-news/… Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 20:27
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    It is sometimes perceived as rude to ask to see a called hand. But it is still an absolute right: if you pay to see a hand, you can see it. You can bet that if someone bets $300 into me and I call $300, I am seeing that hand, come hell or high water. Against a player known for mucking called bluffs, I once called a floorman over before calling, and told him to prevent the player from mucking his hand after I called. Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 20:37
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    It's inappropriate for, say, a third or fourth player in the hand to ask to see mucked ones, even though they are entitled. That rule is about stopping collusion, and can get abused. But the CALLER of a large bet is calling precisely for the purpose of seeing the hand he called. It's even called "seeing" the bet. That's what it's for. If anyone, including the bettor, interferes with the CALLER's right to see the hand he called, it is that person who is cheating, and violating the spirit of poker. Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 20:50
  • 1
    We both agree that the non-callers or the routine every-hand request is generally a dick move, and especially the winner asking to see a mucked loser--that's a real dick move (and even has a special rule). But we'll just have to disagree about the "spirit of the game" on a tough call. I have no problem at all with someone making a hard call wanting to see the cards he paid to see, even with no suspicion of collusion. That's just part of the game. I can give you citations from the 1800s of players coming to gunplay because a bluffer tried to muck his hand unseen. Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 22:10

You are not obliged automatically. It is common that someone bluffs, gets called and they muck the hand, and that is not against the rules. However the calling player can ask to see the hand and the request obligates the dealer to turn up the hand, if the hand is still available to turn up.

Related post: Can a bettor concede his hand without showing it?


I have been saying this for years... Back in the "good ole days" , you had to show at showdown no questions asked. But now there are so many poker cheaters and/or weaklings, that this mucking at the showdown is so commonplace that it is allowed. Lee D. Crocker is totally right on this issue. Well, if everybody started playing chess and that became popular out of the blue, they would omit at least one chess rule I am guessing as well (say for instance, they would just do away with the en passant rule because not that many people like that).

  • 1
    This doesn't answer the question, and as a side note, chess is popular, and there's no chance of the en passant rule going away.
    – Herb
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 2:23
  • Yes it does, if you could up your reading comprehension : "Lee D. Crocker is totally right on this issue". I had an old set of bicycle poker rules that stated "ALL players at the showdown show their cards" . What part of "ALL" don't you understand? Also , at least here in North America, poker is some 40 times more popular than chess, that is , after the poker boom of 2003. Commented Oct 13, 2017 at 3:23
  • That is not answering the question. Please consider taking the tour, poker.stackexchange.com/tour, and reading this section on answering, poker.stackexchange.com/help/how-to-answer
    – Herb
    Commented Oct 13, 2017 at 3:38

The "ALL IN" and later fold and Muck player is totally within his or her rights. When you forfeit claim to the pot, no further action is required of you! You have performed an abort and all following assumed actions are nolo! Your motivation to the point of the call is no one's business but yours since you have abandoned the quest of winning.....

  • Hi Lou, this doesn't make much sense which is why i suspect someone down-voted it. Could you edit it to be clearer? For example, there is no"ALL IN" player as you suggest.
    – Toby Booth
    Commented Jul 2, 2019 at 22:40

I don't think you guys understand his question.

What he is saying, that he got a hand, probably a horrible hand (e.g 3,2).

But on the river (e.g.: A K 10 7 4) he talks first and he tries a bluff at and bets, but gets called.

Now almost any card will win against him, except, if the other guy also has 3,2.

(but There is no way the other guy called with 3,2 so he knows he most likely lost... and no point to show hand then)...

so he folds his hand, giving up the pot

(btw, if the other guy would call with 3,2. wouldn't that also be unethical!? to call knowing that you have 0% chance to win, and maybe like <1% to split, yet you call just to see the other guy's "potential" bluff to the table/not to actually win the pot, I think it would be just as bad etiquette, to call someone to only expose his hand, this means we can assume that he had better than 3,2 so it should be guaranteed that we lost, if the other player plays by the etiquette)

So Yes, I believe you can muck your 3,2 and give up the pot. I don't think, especally in a cash game, that you are obliged to show your hand.

(One exception, if people suspect a cheater, they may request dealer to see hand to catch a cheater)

But again, I don't think they can just "ask" to see your card, definitely not in a cash game.

Tournament may be different if house has a 'must show' rule or something.

Although ChatGPT disagrees with me, it said I can muck my hand even in tournaments:

"User can you answer poker rule questions? ChatGPT Yes, I can help with poker rule questions. Feel free to ask, and I'll provide concise answers.

User I'm first to act. I bet on river, I get called. Can I fold my hand or must I show it? ChatGPT In poker, if you're the first to act on the river and you bet, and then you get called, you have the option to muck (fold without showing) your hand. You're not obligated to show your cards if you fold.

User even in tournaments?

ChatGPT Yes, even in tournaments, if you're the first to act on the river, bet, and then get called, you still have the option to muck your hand without showing it. This applies to both cash games and tournament play.

Maybe it's feels bad etiquettem some peoples may think it, I don't.,

I believe I can muck (no matter who bet/call, or what action was done before)

  1. if there is a player behind me on river
  2. I am last and everyone else folded (I win)
  3. I am last and someone showed (I muck and lose)

I am just hobby player, not a pokerroom staff or amything, this is only my opinion. (and probably some poker houses rule too)


if ONLY two players. If I call you, YOU have to show me your cards, otherwise if you don't, YOU have MUCKED them and I win. How is this even a question. the question is does the person that CALLED have to show his hand. I say no he can muck. He gave the winner his money the winner needs no more information. AND D@#$%%^^& sure not the cowards that got out. They should never ever have the right to look at your hand They were too chicken to stay they should not enjoy any information FREE. i say no to any free information. So what if he did fold the winning hand. Collusion? I would be willing to let the winner say I bluffed or I won, fine. As long as he does not show it. to the others in the game. simple. Our little card game still aruges about it. I will listen a little while longer and as house, I will decide.

  • 3
    Hi Roger, why so aggressive? The question is asking for a ruling on a technical issue, there really isn't a need to imbue the answer with so much emotion. I expect that's one of the reasons it was down-voted. With respect, I would be grateful if you could edit the answer a bit, as would the poker.se community. Thank you.
    – Toby Booth
    Commented Jan 10, 2021 at 1:13

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