So I was playing Texas hold'em, heads up in a hand at a full table of 10, after the turn I made a large bet and he folded. He flipped his cards up and showed the table. I took a quick peek at my hand and tossed the cards forward face down. Apparently the guy next to me (who was the one who folded) caught a glance and reacted because he had folded the better hand. A couple others at the table quickly called the dealer to "roll those cards" and he did so before I could object.

Is this a rule? If I show (inadvertently or even on purpose) my table neighbor my hole cards does everyone at the table have a right to seeing it?

Hope that makes sense. Thanks in advance!

2 Answers 2


The dealer made a mistake here. If asked to show a hand, the dealer should ask the player if he exposed it, of otherwise try to determine if it was in fact exposed, perhaps enlisting the assistance of the floorman, but should not simply trust the players who asked.

In this case you bet, the other player folded, so the hand is over. If you intentionally show a card to your opponent, the others do have a right to see it. But if he just catches a glimpse of a card you are releasing face down, he is under no obligation to say anything. It would be different during the hand--he would be ethically obligated to say that he saw a card and try to equalize information for all players. But with the hand already over that doesn't apply. I would have ruled that the card(s) not be shown.

  • I agree that this should be the way things work. The alternative would give way to a free-for-all. Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 2:27
  • This answers the question, so +1, but I'd think the dealer would be paying enough attention to know one way or the other whether the cards were meant to be exposed. Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 20:37
  • They should, but even a good dealer can miss details like that sometimes, and it's better to ask for assistance than to make a bad assumption. Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 20:41

Yes! It is an old rule. Show one player your cards (intentional or not) then every player at the table has the right to ask to see them, and they will. Why this makes sense is that it just seems to add a sense of fairness to the game, and perhaps a little security.

  • The hero in this case though didn't show his cards intentionally, they were "seen". You didn't specifically address that in your answer.
    – Toby Booth
    Commented Sep 6, 2015 at 19:24
  • @TobyBooth Does it matter rather or not it was intentionally shown? What I mean is should a player get a pass on the hand being shown because they did not properly secure their hand from the view of others? I think intentional or not, the hand is shown on the request of other players.
    – Jon
    Commented Sep 6, 2015 at 19:49
  • 1
    What if villain didn't see it and was play acting? I do think it matters if it's intentional, absolutely. Information is valuable and it should be at the discretion of the players to control it as I'm sure you would agree. It seems unethical to resolve someone spying (also arguably unethical) on a players hand, by forcing the injured party to divulge that information to the table.
    – Toby Booth
    Commented Sep 6, 2015 at 20:03
  • Pretty tough to see a reasonably protected hand. Villain play acting; Poker players lie and angle all the time, you just do the best you can and go from there. The angle I see most around this kind of thing is a player letting another peak then denying it was intentional. The rule says if your cards are seen by one, all can see. It does not matter if you did not intend someone to see or not.
    – Jon
    Commented Sep 6, 2015 at 20:13
  • 1
    Tough to see or not isn't a reason for allowing players to do it. Did you just try to justify villains angling because lots of people do it?! Also, the rule you mention isn't used everywhere. The London clubs I frequent don't all use this rule.
    – Toby Booth
    Commented Sep 6, 2015 at 20:21

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