Texas Hold ‘Em: The Showdown

Find out what happens when the last community card is played and players face down in Texas Hold ‘Em

To be frank, there’s not a lot of poker strategy to be had in the showdown. The preceding rounds all featured play that goes back and forth as bets are made, but the final moments of a poker hand are pretty simple, but are still worthy of discussion. The last player to open or raise is required to show cards first and anyone else can fold if they have lost. It goes without saying that in Texas Hold ‘Em Poker, the player with the best five-card hand wins.

The “best hand,” however, frequently isn’t as easy to determine as we’d like it to be. In Texas Hold’em the winning hand is the highest five card hand. It can be made from any combination of the two personal cards held by the players and the five community cards. In some cases the highest five card hand is made by using the five community cards. If two players have equal hands, then the pot is evenly split between them. An example of this would be a 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of mixed suits on the board. Player One has a 3 and a 4, giving them two pair while Player Two has a King and a Queen, giving them nothing. It’s important to note that a sixth or seventh card is never used to break a tie. In Texas Hold ‘Em, it’s five cards at most.

In the poker showdown, a player can be determined if there is a winning hand such as a flush on the board. If two or more active players have a suited card higher than the lowest card on the board then the player with the higher card will win. For instance, let’s say the board features AhKhTh9h6h. Player one has a QhJs while player two has 8h7s. Player 1 would win because their queen makes for a higher-ranked flush than the player with the 8 of hearts.

Players who elect to fold aren’t required to show their hands, either when they play online poker or in live tournament or cash games play. The act of “mucking” your cards isn’t considered any kind of breach of etiquette, despite the grumbling that may occur from railbirds and people who’d folded earlier.