Texas Hold'em tournament home game. I get dealt A-s and Q-d mid position. Saw the flop, called a bet. Saw the turn, called a bet. On the river comes the fourth diamond to the board. Me and one other player, I check, he bets. I look at my hole cards to find one card missing. The one remaining is the Q-d filling my flush. Is it legal to continue to play and showdown with only one card? Where can I find the answer?

  • 1
    How can you lose a card? You forfeit the hand. Many casinos would escort you to out.
    – paparazzo
    Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 1:06
  • @paparazzi he said it's a home game... Scotty, sounds like you got bamboozled. Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 2:52
  • 1
    @DannyMahoney I know what it says.
    – paparazzo
    Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 5:22
  • @Paparazzi oh right, I misinterpreted! Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 0:49

4 Answers 4


Rules of poker:

You must protect your own hand at all times. Your cards can be protected with your hands, a chip, or other object placed on to p of them. If you fail to protect your hand, you have no redress if it becomes fouled or the dealer accidentally kills it.

You must keep your cards in view of the dealer.

I get it was just a home game but protect you cards is your responsibility. You deserve to forfeit the hand - even in a home game.


Home Games often have their own rules partly defined at the start of a night (or otherwise generally known by the players), and partly impromptu. It would be up to the host to resolve this incident. Otherwise: FIND THE CARD!

Sounds like somebody tried to cheat you. But as @Paparazzi said, you are responsible for your cards so you could reasonably expect to be folded out.


Your hand is dead, you have no claim on the pot. This is a basic rule in all casino poker games.


The fact is it was a home game and crap happens sometimes. If your other card cannot be found, the fairest way would likely be to look at every other card in the deck and on the table and if the only missing one is the queen of diamonds, you have won. As this is unfair to other players who mucked, this should preferably be done by a person not in the game.

  • Yes it would be possible. And it would be a dead hand. A player is responsible for protecting their cards. I saw a hand where a player was all in and her cards got raked because she did not have a protector. She had to forfeit her hand.
    – paparazzo
    Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 17:01
  • @Paparazzi And if I recall, she claimed to have had aces to boot!
    – user1934
    Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 20:29
  • @Michael And I believed her. Imagine if that happened to Phil H.
    – paparazzo
    Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 20:31
  • "Ok, Phil, we've fired the dealer, shot the floor supervisor, and we are closing the casino. Are you happy now? No, we still couldn't retrieve your cards from the muck..."
    – user1934
    Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 23:12
  • "This would have been impossible" - cameras don't stop cards getting mucked or flipped or stolen. Even if they are all being actively monitored at all times, which is not often the case.
    – Nij
    Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 10:27

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