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In the last round of Hold 'Em -- the river -- everyone still only has 2 cards in front of them according to rules. When you call, what three cards form the pair of five (the pair you show) in the five cards in the middle, and in what order?

I don't understand this part of the game. Do I say any three work in conjunction with the two I have to form five -- or is there a specific rule to this?

I am referring to Texas Hold 'Em style poker. After the flop comes the turn and then the river. In the river round, people actually have the chance to show their cards or fold -- this would be the ending of the game.

Five cards are in the middle of the table known as communal cards -- but, when I show my two cards, how does anybody know what I have unless I physically grab the cards from the middle and form the adequate pair of five?

I don't get this, and it would be nice if someone could clarify this confusion.

marked as duplicate by Toby Booth Aug 7 '16 at 22:32

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  • Correct you can't grab the cards. Most players just read the hand and board and know. The dealer will determine the winner. It is polite to announce your hand but I don't think you have to. – paparazzo Aug 8 '16 at 13:36
  • Just a minor nitpick, but when you say "pair of five" ... the word "pair" always refers to "two" and never "five". – user1934 Jul 2 '17 at 4:22

Let's say there is only 1 player in the pot. This player has two hole cards in front of him. Let's say 5 of Spades and 2 of Hearts.

After the river is dealt, there are 5 community cards. Let's say: 6, 7, 8, 9, King (let's ignore the suits). If there is a showdown (i.e. a bet and a call or check and another check), all hole cards are opened. In this case, there is only 1 player so this player opens his hand.

There are now a total of 7 cards (5 community cards and 2 player cards). The player must use 5 of these 7 cards to make the strongest possible hand combination. It does not matter how many of his own hole cards he uses. He can use just 1, both or none.

In this example, the best possible hand he can make is a straight: 56789. Using the 5 from his hand and 6789 from the community board.

If the board were instead: AAAKK. Then the best possible hand he could make is AAAKK for a full house.

In terms of seeing what each player has at the end of the hand. Typically, you must open your hand when there is a showdown in order to have a claim to the pot. You never physically grab any of the community cards, especially in a casino.

Hope this helps!

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