After the river, player 1 bets, player 2 calls, player 1 mucks his cards, does player 2 have to show his cards?

Also since player 2 called, is player 1 obligated to show his cards even though he mucked?


5 Answers 5


The pot belongs to player 2, and he can claim it with his face-down cards. However, called hands may be shown on request, so if either player asks the dealer to show the other hand, he will (if it is retrievable). In this situation, it would generally be considered rude to ask. Also note that player 2 asks at his own risk--since he is the apparent winner, the dealer will not kill the other hand when asked to show it, and it plays (and therefore might win). If anyone else asks to see a called hand, the dealer will kill it before showing. Casino rules very about who is entitled to ask to see a called hand.

As pointed out below, tournaments are different. If the bet is all in and called, neither player is entitled to muck--all cards must be shown.


Just how is player 1 supposed to show mucked cards?

You immediately forfeit your hand when it hits the muck.

Yes player 2 wins the hand without showing if player 1 mucks.

There was a good argument on this in poker after dark with Phillip Hellmuth and Jean-Robert Bellande. Etiquette or rules

  • According to this en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Showdown_(poker) "Any player who has been dealt in may request to see any hand that is eligible to participate in the showdown". How rules are enforced can vary. Lee's answer is better then mine.
    – paparazzo
    Feb 9, 2016 at 17:29
  • In the latest TDA rules, you not only have to be dealt in, but you have to actually still have a hand. Rule 17 A: "Players not still in possession of cards at showdown, or who have mucked their cards face down without tabling, lose any rights or privileges to ask to see any hand." Several years ago the rule allowed anyone dealt a hand at the table to ask to see hands at the end, and there were occasionally a few trolls who asked to see everything from anyone. It was infuriating. I definitely welcome the change. Feb 9, 2016 at 18:14
  • @ChrisFarmer Yes I read your answer. I think this question is the reverse of Hellmuth Bellande. In that case I think Bellande was correct in saying fine show your cards and I will show mine. So in this case according to rule 17 if OP if player 1 intentionally physically mucked that is bad form and possible subject to penalty - I guess.
    – paparazzo
    Feb 9, 2016 at 18:32
  • That hand was several years ago, so the rules were probably not the same then. Also, I think poker after dark is a cash game, isn't it? So maybe this rule is totally irrelevant there. Feb 9, 2016 at 19:30
  • @ChrisFarmer We don't know OP is not a cash game and poker after dark kind of goes by agreed rules.
    – paparazzo
    Feb 9, 2016 at 19:32

You don't specify whether you mean cash game or tournament, so YMMV here. This answer is relevant to tournaments that are using TDA rules. There were some changes made in 2015 to the TDA rules that affect who has to show cards and when.

  1. In your question, player 1 bets. If player 1 is all-in and called by player 2, then everyone must show their cards. No mucking is allowed. This is TDA rule 15: "All hands will be tabled without delay once a player is all-in and all betting action by all other players in the hand is complete. No player who is either all-in or has called all betting action may muck his hand without tabling."
  2. If player 1's river bet was not all-in and was called, rule 17B says the caller now has a right to see the bettor's hand. "If there was a river bet, any caller has an inalienable right to see the last aggressor’s hand on request (“the hand he paid to see”) provided the caller retains or has tabled his cards." It's unclear what recourse the caller has if the bettor irretrievably mucks anyway, despite the request to see the cards. As the PokerNews article I linked to suggests, maybe the director would assess a penalty, but maybe not.
  • 1
    I assessed such a penalty once in ten years. Player A (who makes a habit of bluff-and-muck) bet, player B actually called me to the table and said "I want to see that hand if I call", and then called. Player A reached into the muck with his cards and scrambled them before I or the dealer could react. I gave him five minutes out. Feb 10, 2016 at 1:33
  • That's funny. That's a real jerk move by A. 5 minutes is a pretty mild penalty in live poker, though, since that's probably only two or three hands at most. Player A probably got enough fun out of mucking his cards to make it worthwhile for him. :) Feb 10, 2016 at 16:44

So FYI, the WSOP changes this back and forth year-to-year almost. At least it does seem that often. What it actually comes down to is first) A fast-acting rule-knowing player who really wants to see a mucked hand after he or someone else calls is within their rights to do that. It's just incredibly annoying/douchey and bothers everyone at the table whether it was your mucked cards or not. Second) if the dealer enters the table under the impression that "in tournament, no hand muck," which is only about 1/4 of dealers at WSOP since they're all under-trained and from all over the country where rules are again different from state to state, cash to tournament. Personally, I can't stop myself from requesting to see a SEEN hand - one which a player shows his buddy-pal next to him before hopelessly attempting to muck his hand only to get swatted all Dwayne Howard style by me.

I don't care if a dude mucks his hand in a tournament and we were supposed to be able to see it but the dealer didn't enforce the rule so we don't. The reason is because we all have/lack (interesting english language moment where "have" = "lack" in context...) the SAME information so there's no one 2 hours later cold 4betting because he saw that the 3bettor was the earlier mucked hand and apparently it was a bluff allowing this guy to pull the 4bet trigger. Or WAS it a bluff? The 4bet could be a level or fantastic timing but do you see how we already have 3 relatively equal likelihoods for his range. They're equal because they're all coming from a source of pure guessing and zero hard info but THAT GUY has all the info.

Not on my watch. But seriously there's rarely a time that players outside of the hand in progress should be augmenting the process of OTHER players playing out theirs. Things like noticing a player is trying to get the dealer's attention for a stack-count and instead of nudging the dealer a player gets to play pretend dealer and since he had been paying attention he knew it was about $300 left in his stack so it just comes out. And that's a very big problem if you are off by =>$15 now the dealer is back and catching up w/ the action and HERO-GUY's mistake of miscounting ("$265 total" = guy who spoke up is way way in the wrong).

I guess I'm ranting a bit - likely due to just finishing nearly 2 months with these archetypal annoyances - but that doesn't take away from the main message which is just that you HAVE to keep your mouth shut even if you CAN help the hand move along it is not your job it's the dealer's so the most you can and EVER SHOULD DO is get the dealer's attention and then meditate away the pain of the situation : )

  • I am not a moderator nor am I lashing out. Simple mis-read is all - confusing it with excitement and confidence. But let's say for the sake of argument that you're right. That means you think there are people in the world who have deeply emotional reactions to old anecdotes they initially intended to use to make a point, but got too angry at the World Series of Poker. I wouldn't confuse capitalization with anger I often use it during excitement I was thinking back to a session from 2 weeks ago where i won $4k so that is the likely suspect. Never even gone deep in an event w/ a bad beat story.. Jul 23, 2016 at 4:30

I believe in cash games (and this may depend on the casino), a player can muck their hand once called. But if player 1 is called and tries to muck, any other player can ask to see the hand. However, if the hand touches the muck then it is dead and not able to be shown.

In tournaments, once player 1 is called at the showdown, all hands must be shown.

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