Ruling on Mucking Cards



This ruling on mucking cards is often debated between me and my friend during our fierce but fun poker nights. The argument is more and more frustrating every time it is brought up, so I'm sure I can resolve it easily here at CC.

1) Let us imagine that there is a heads up, and both players are all in.

a) Are the hole cards revealed at that very moment of all-in, or after the river is revealed?
b) Is it mandatory for both players to show their hole cards at the end of the river?
c) If the answer to b) is NO, then how is it decided who shows his hole cards first?

2) When my friend wins the pot, he only reveals one of his hole cards (the one which makes the winning hand with the community cards). Is this legal, or is it absolutely necessary for him to show both hole cards?

Thanks for the help!


I'm confused
A) that depends on the rules at the casino, some require turning up the cards when all active players are all-in, some don't. If it's a home game it's the rule of the "host", or whatever your tradition is. It should be stated before play starts.

B) See A. If there is a requirement it applies to all players in the hand.

C) If it is not required, the one the made the bet shows first. In other words if you push all-in and your firend calls you, and there is no requirement to turn over cards till the end, then you would have to show first. Your firend may or may not show his.

2) You can't show just one card, if you show your cards in a showdown to win the pot you MUST show both cards. If you fold or much your hand at the end though you can show one, both or noine of your cards. Unless of course there is a requirement to show cards when all-in.

MOst caisnos and tournaments now require that all players involded in an all-in pot turn up their cards prior to the remaining cards being shown.

Short answer is that in the majority of casinos, tournaments, online play and home games your firend would be wrong.

Hope that helped.


I thought that you had to show starting from left of the button. But, if the person in front you has you beat then you can elect to muck them.


To make it simple, there are only 3 times it is "mandatory" that cards are shown:
  1. When a player thinks he has the best hand and wants to win the pot.
  2. At all-in showdown pre-river.
  3. At the request of any player or staff to investigate cheating.
When it comes down to "who shows first", the person who "bets & gets called" is obligated to show first. The player who "calls the original bet" has the option second. On a checkdown, it's up for grabs.
Jack Daniels

Jack Daniels

Charcoal Mellowed
And of course all of the above is primarily only applicable to tournaments, and that is only most of the time, not all the time.

However, in cash games, the rules will vary greatly and in a casino you need to check the house rules. In most live cash I've played has not required me to show a hand at any time unless I was laying claim to the pot (or portion of it). And yes, there have been times where this included all in situations. (Though point in # 3 above still stands in rings games as well.)

What it finally comes down to for any home game (be it tourney style or cash game) is the host making a final decision, communicating the rule clearly to all, and enforcing it consistently.
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Rock Star
From Crown Casino, Melb Australia......

i have been told the rules are as follow...

For Tournaments....

If an 'all in' occurs and its called both players must reveal their whole cards at that specific time, order is irrelevant, unless there is 3 or more players involved in the hand and a side pot is possible then no hands are turned over untill after the river. i think this sums up all your questions.

For Cash games

Assuming that there is only 2 people involved
Whomever went all in over the top of someone else or just went all in and i emphasize on the words over the top he/she must reveal cards when they please before the flop, turn or river or after but MUST show both cards. Other player then can show or muck. If more then 2 players are involved then the same as tournament play occurs. If there is a bet though that covers your stack for eg.. u have $70 and the bet is $150 then the better must show whole cards first whenever they please but they must show.

At a SHOWDOWN player who acted last must reveal both whole cards. For eg... if neither player is all in.


I help run local charity tournaments and run a poker league.

These rules make more sense if you know the how and why:

Tournaments require you to show your cards no matter what with an all-in and call to make sure that someone has been eliminated. Cards speak for themselves. They do this to verify everyone that gets eliminated has lost the hand. It helps prevent collusion or not eliminating someone that should be gone by mucking the winning hand. This is done because you cannot rebuy and when you are out of chips, you are done, unlike a cash game.

Cash games very greatly because you can always reload. You do not have to show on any calls. The person doing the calling is paying to see the other persons cards, therefore you get to see the other persons hand first and then can decide if you want to muck the losing hand. It is treated like any other called hand on the river. The person calling is putting money in to see the others hand so the better shows first. Anyone whose hand is better than his can then show to take the pot away from him.

Some are now requiring that both show from the start like stated above.

Everyone else hit it right on the head as far as showing one or both. Winning hands must reveal both to take a pot.