OK, so you’ve started to win a few poker games, perhaps even started to win some bigger cash games and online poker tournaments than the $5 and $10 ones you started out playing. However, you’re still not the ‘completed’ advanced poker player as there’s always something new to learn. In this article we’re going to take you through the way you should behave come the showdown and what you can learn about your opponents at the showdown.
The showdown arrives and everyone still in the game is required you to show their hole cards, so there can be no doubt as to who has the winning hand and who gets that lovely pot of cash or chips in the middle of the poker table. If two, or indeed more, players should have hands of equal value then the pot will be split equally amongst them. Now then – revealing your cards at the showdown can, for some people, be an opportunity to act out some sort of melodrama moodily revealing their cards or acting out some sort of pantomime with them. Anyone who does this really is being disrespectful to the other poker players around the table as there is an actual poker etiquette – for revealing your cards at the showdown. Players who have checked in the round of betting after the river really should reveal there cards more or less all together, so as to quickly establish the winner. If a player calls they are in effect paying to see what cards the player making the original bet is holding. Here the etiquette says that the original bettor should reveal their two hole cards promptly, without any drama or time wasting. Having done that if the second bettor then decides they can’t beat that hand – they can fold, handing over the pot. The bit that might hurt here, but it is all part of the showdown etiquette, is that they don’t have to show you the cards they’re folding on – so you’ll never know just how good your play was. Oh yes, winning one or two hands doesn’t make everyone else donkeys or a palookas – bad etiquette again in my opinion. Perhaps at the end of the session if you’ve won nearly all the hands you might have cause to make some smug comment, just don’t overplay it.
Slowrolling, to do a slow roll, might be all well and good in the movies – the mean and moody guy slowly revealing their winning cards slower than an ice age receding – but at a regular poker table it’s just downright bad manners. You’re not staring down your opponents impressing them with how superior you are – be honest, you’re just being a drama queen and milking the moment. Slowrolling is just bad form, it will not impress your opponents – but is more likely to put the whole table against you, setting you up for a fall. Having lost the pot you don’t have to reveal your cards. However, some players in some situations chose to. Whether they do this to try and psyche out the winner by showing them what great hand they had too or just for amusement doesn’t matter. The etiquette is again to turn your hole cards over quickly and with the minimum of fuss. Remember the other guy won, what do they care how long you take – they’re holding the pot and you’re just wasting time to get on with the game!
The showdown can be a great opportunity to pick up some tells on your opponent(s). Even if you went out of a hand early on, always watch the player’s behaviors at the showdown. The showdown is an opportunity to potentially see the cards several other players were holding, not just the winner, and if you are now a more advanced poker player that could tell you a lot. Advanced poker players will all the time be looking at who’s betting what as a hand progresses and, come the showdown, you can start to get a handle on who’s playing lose or tight not to mention the tells they show according to the size of the bets and values of the cards in their hands.