When to show your hand



I'm sure you had some players show you their hand even though you folded. Sometimes you wonder if you should show your hand at all. Why give them information on your playing style? Well, sometimes showing your hand can be a great stragedy.

I recently read an article by Daniel Negreanu explaining this particular topic, mainly about how showing your hand can work to your advantage.

The article list some reasons why:

1. If you reveal a bluff hand, it might be good for your table image after you've successfully got your opponents to fold. Bad players usually have long memories. you get them to think that you try to steal all of the pots, all of the time. This will come in hand when you get dealt a greta hand.

2. If you show a strong hand, you can benefit from this move. Against a weak player, it will allow you to bully him for the rest of the night. The player will thinkthat when you bet, it's always because you have great cards, even if you don't.

This works against aggressive players too because may help to keep them off your back. An aggressive player won't attack if the player is thinking about the time you weren't messing around when you raised him earlier.

3. Revealing a hand can mix up your game. If you usually raise the bet when holding top pair, you call your opponent on the flop next time and then raise him on the turn when a safe card hits. If your opponent folds and you show your hand, the player will believe that you make this play often. For future hands when you just call on the flop, he may worry that you'll raise him on the turn. If you raise on the flop, the player may think you have a drawing hand.

The article points out an important rule: "I don't recommend that you engage in this type of psychological warfare if you are a novice player. In fact, you'd be much better off never revealing your hand unless you are obligated to do so...Don't show your cards when squaring off against great players. Revealing your hand is much more effective against more easily manipulated opponents."

What do you think?


I think knowing when to show is very simular to figuring out the playing style of each player at the table. You have to look at everyone there and decided which is better to show, the monster or the bluffs and which will be more benificial later on.

Showing Monsters
If you are playing in a very aggressive game, show the monsters. Gain the respect of them so you can later bluff at a pot when you know they don't want to call. This doesn't works well in a very passive game with callers only. Show the monster hand and you lost the power of the caller. They will give you too much respect and you won't maximize your hands. You don't really want to try and steal in this type of game because you never know when you will get called.

Showing Bluffs
This will work on very tight games when you are getting heads up after the flop. When there are only two of you playing, the odds of flushes and straights hitting are less so you can attempt to steal with scare cards.
Showing these bluff wins may enable you to get that call on the river when you do have the monster or caught your flush draw.

You have to learn which type of person will use the knowledge you just gave them to your advantage. You sit down at your computer or live table and start looking for the signs of the person that you might be able to take advantage of later.


Rising Star
It is very dangerous, because u catch a bad player and he go all in immediately. I am a beginner and I never show my uncalled hands. But I think I will try it later when I learn some thing about the poker. Thank you to share your ideas.


If you very rarely bluff, and then manage a bluff, you could show it to encourage action against you. However, at most do it once at a table, because if you always show a bluff and don't show a real hand, then you'll give information about how often you bluff.
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