word type: noun

  1. The act of players remaining in a hand turning over their cards to see who the winner is. The showdown occurs at the end of each hand.
  2. The act of seeing who wins in a poker hand, as in "showing down" cards.

You First. No, You First. No, You First.

As exposing one's cards gives players at the table information, you will often see the annoying dance of two players waiting for the other one to flip over his cards at showdown. So that this doesn't happen, poker rules state that the last player to make an "aggressive" move, meaning the last player to open the betting or to raise, must show first. The rest of the reveals then go clockwise around the table. Players after the first one to show can choose to muck their cards if they know they have a losing hand.

Grounds for a Kneecapping

If you know you have the best hand at showdown, or are at least very likely to have the best hand, turn your cards over immediately when it is your turn. Delaying your reveal for show is called slowrolling, an action which is considered unsportsmanlike. It is not only showboating, but it also unkindly raises the hopes of your opponent, who may think he won if you are slow to show your cards.

Seeing Mucked Cards

Every player has the right to see other players' mucked cards at showdown, but unless you suspect someone of cheating, do not request to see mucked hands. It is considered bad etiquette. Players muck their hands because they don't want you to see them. Honor their wishes.