What Is A Showdown In Poker?

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Last Updated: December 19, 2023

What Is A Showdown In Poker

In poker, a showdown occurs when all the active players remaining in the hand reveal their hole cards after the final betting round.

During the showdown, and based on the best possible five-card combination that each player remaining in the hand can put together, the hand's winner is determined.

It is important to note that not all poker hands go to a showdown, only those in which the last bet in the last betting round (river) is called or when all active players move all in.

Furthermore, the showdown rule states that the player who took the last aggressive action on the final betting round needs to show their hand first. This allows his opponents to forfeit their hand by mucking without showing their losing hand if they choose to.

If everyone checks during the last betting round or is all-in, the first active players to the left of the dealer button are the first to show their hand. 

Poker Showdown Example:

Let’s say you are playing a $5/$10 Texas Holdem poker game and 2-bet preflop from the cutoff when everyone folds to you. The button and small blind folds and the big blind calls, so you go to the flop.

The first three community cards are Ah Jd 3c, and both of you check. The turn brings Td and opens straight and flush draw opportunities, so both of you decide to check again.

The river is Jh completing possible full house and trips combinations, and you decide to bluff when the big blind checks, but he makes the hero call, and you go to the showdown.

In this situation, you need to show your hand first since you made the last aggressive action on the river. If your opponent can beat your hand, he will show it and take down the pot, but if you have the winning combination, he can just muck his hand without showing.

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