Do you have to show your hole cards when playing the board in Texas holdem at showdown after everyone has checked and you are in 1st position and declare "I am playing the board"?

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    In American casinos, if there is more than one player remaining at showdown, no player can take any part of the pot without a properly tabled hand. So yes, you cannot "play the board" without showing both hole cards. I am told it might be different in England/Europe. Commented Jul 23, 2015 at 19:35
  • The same here, in France, AFAIK.
    – disco beat
    Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 7:35
  • The question can't really be answered as asked, because the house defines its rules. So the strict answer to the question is: "It's up to the house." But typically, in American casinos, private clubs, and all but extremely casual home games, the answer is "yes" - you must show your cards to claim the pot.
    – jbbenni
    Commented Jan 31, 2018 at 22:23

3 Answers 3


Yes. And be careful, a friend lost a large pot at a casino this way.

He held A9 against KK all in, and paired his ace on the river. The opponent was trash talking, and in the heat of the moment my friend mucked his 9 (since it wasn't needed to make his hand), tabling just the Ace to demonstrate his win.

But the opponent objected, and the floor manager confirmed that my friend was required to table both hole cards. Friend pulled his 9 out of the muck, but that wasn't good enough - mucked cards are dead and you have to table both hole cards to claim the pot. It was a hard lesson.

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    Upvoting for the first sentence. "Yes." That's all that's required to answer this question. The bit about your friend is a cool story, bro. Commented Jul 28, 2015 at 18:03

Yes you have to show your cards. Every set of rules used in poker says that you must table your cards to have any claim to a pot. Tabling your cards is placing them face up on the table. This is perhaps one of the oldest rules in poker.


As per other answers, yes - unless your opponent(s) all muck their hand(s), in which case you should be awarded the entire pot without showing your hand.

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