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Exposing hole cards19 May 2016
Hole cards aren’t exposed only in poker, though doing so can do you more damage than in games where you’re not playing against other players.
Readers have sent me their own tales of exposed cards, in other table games:
THAD: Mississippi Stud, it’s not a huge deal, but I can see the cards of the players to my left and right almost every hand I play. People pick up their cards way out in front of them, and I’d almost have to be looking straight down all the time not to see the cards.
Nobody really cares. You’re not trying to beat each other. I will admit that once in a great while, it makes a difference how I play.
Here’s an extreme example. One time, I had a pair of 4s. Usually, I make the low bet, one times my ante, when I have a low pair to start. This time, though, I could see the player next to me had the other two 4s. There was no way I could get a third 4, so I didn’t make the bet. I folded. I also made sure the other guy could see my hand so he knew he couldn’t get another 4, either.
DARYL: Single-deck blackjack, sometimes I find things are really tight. A number of times when players were tipping their cards, dealers have told them the watch their hands, that they can’t show.
Sometimes things get looser and I can see somebody’s cards. I don’t count, so it doesn’t help me a lot. Maybe if I’m deciding whether to double down and I see the player next to me has a couple of faces, I might back off.
I saw one big argument once, though. A man and a woman were together, playing next to each other, and they kept wanting to show each other their cards. The dealer kept telling them they couldn’t do that. There was another guy who was playing two hands. He was looking at one hand and playing it, and didn’t see his second hand until he played the first.
Still, when he played the second hand he had the added information of what his first cards were. The man and woman pointed it out. “He get to see an extra hand before he plays. Why don’t we?” The pit boss came over to intervene, and eventually a guy in a suit had to come calm things down.
I don’t think they were thrown out or anything, but they left the table.
JEANINE: Half the fun at Three Card Poker is showing your hand when you have good cards. I had a a straight flush, and I couldn’t help it. I said, “Oh my God!” The dude next to me said, “You have something good?” I could barely speak, I just turned my hand so he could see. He made sure everybody else knew. “Look at that,” he said. “8, 9 and 10, all diamonds.”
Everybody was so happy for me. The dealer still had to take everything in turn. When he got to me, he had a big smile and said, “Let’s take care of the lady with the straight flush.” I had $10 on the Pair Plus, so he paid me $400. They were the first black chips I ever had in my life.
It was so exciting. I can’t even imagine playing without being able to show my cards when you get something like that.
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