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Who shows their hand first in poker?

Ok recently we have been having a debate at the casino as to who has to show their hand first when betting action is complete. Different places have different rules. The basic rules are: If there is a bet in the last round then it’s the person who made the bet (or last bettor) who must show their hand first. If the hand is called. It would then go clockwise from them. Usually, if you have a winning hand you should show it reasonably quickly (if not you could be “slow rolling”). On that rule everyone basically agrees. The debate comes in when the last round of betting is checked around. Some places say that who ever was the last person to bet, no matter what round that was, is the first to show their hand. Other places say that if there is no action then the person clockwise from the button is first to show their hand. I cant say which is really correct, but I believe very strongly in one. Some of the arguments I have had at the table were as heated as if we were talking about religion or something. So if you disagree with my opinion fee free to share your reasons for the other side.

The first person to show their hand after the last round of betting is checked is the person clockwise from the button. Even if he was not the last person to bet. My reason for this is that I believe that’s what the rules say. Every round of action starts at the button and continues around in circles until all bets are matched. Just because a person bet the turn does not mean that they are first to act on the river. Some people say that that only goes for betting. It does not say that in the rules, it says “to act” and showing your hand is an action. Another hypothetical that can help to disprove the other method is this; What if everyone called the hand and then the entire hand was checked down to the river with no betting, who would be the first to show their hand? Small blind? You would think so, but they were not the last person to bet, actually the big blind was.

Here is another argument for the last bettor to show their poker hand first. I hear people say that its not fair that a person can bet all the way and check the river then not have to show. To that I say, “not fair” are you telling me that having position in a hand is “not fair”?? Yes it is an advantage and no it should not be fair. I would love to hear more arguments on this topic, this is kind of like preparing myself for the next debate at the tables.


As I had said above some people, who don’t know any better, slow roll other players on the show down. Its when a person waits for a period of time long enough that the first person to show their hand begins to think they have won. You then slowly roll over your hand and surprise him that they have lost. The length of time can be different, especially with more players in the hand. Now this is not illegal, but its one of the biggest a** h*** things you can do at a table. Its not like showing a bluff, which may anger someone but it is acceptable. All poker regulars would agree that slow rolling is band by the unwritten rules of poker.


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Comments (2)

Without a doubt in my mind, person to the left of the dealer shows first. I have pushed this rule a million times over, and I completely agree with you.

It's one of the benefits of playing in position that you can muck. Some dealers will turn over these mucked cards if asked (similar to viewing last hands at FTP)

Also, if you look at any poker software, who shows first? The person closest to the button, clockwise. Every time. Tough shit if you don't like it.


I agree that the person to the left of the dealer is the first to show, if everyone checks on the river.

And, acording to "Robert's Rules of Poker", which is the best i've seen so far: you can "request to see any hand that was eligible to participate in the showdown, even if the opponent's hand or the winning hand has been mucked. However, this is a privilege that may be revoked if abused. If a player other than the pot winner asks to see a hand that has been folded, that hand is dead. If the winning player asks to see a losing player’s hand, both hands are live, and the best hand wins."

PS: sorry for any mistakes, my English is really poor.

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