What is A Showdown in Poker and 3 Basic Rules

What is A Showdown in Poker

Figuring out what is a showdown in poker is not as hard as you think. At this time, we have reached the climax when the real poker player will be revealed who will win all the entire pot money. Of course, showdown is the round after all rounds of betting that declares the winner of the pot. 

Now, we are very close to understanding that name who has been using the right poker methods and playing very smartly throughout the game. 

What is a Showdown in Poker Actually?

Showdown in Poker Definition
Showdown in Poker Definition

To give you a clear idea about what is a showdown in poker, it is the final round of a hand of poker, after the last card has been dealt and after the last betting round. At this time, remaining players in the hand reveal their cards and the winners and losers are determined. 

Moreover, showdown is not required to be held for any specific hand of poker (although they are a part of the rules for all types of poker). In many high-stakes No Limit Tournaments poker, showdown is not even particularly common. 

When all players, except for one fold their hands prior to the showdown, the remaining player will win the pot and doesn’t not need to show their cards. 

Basic Rules in Showdown

After knowing what is a showdown in poker, this term also has a few basic rules to follow for the order of showing cards. These are literally house rules as they are fair and consistent. Since showing one’s cards will give extra information to opponents, players commonly don’t show their cards unless they are needed to do so. 

1. Side Pots are Resolved First

Side pots are made when a player goes all-in but two or more players remain in the hand and continue to bet without the all-in participating. If later in the hand, another player will go all-in while two or more players remain, yet another side pot is made. These side pots will be rewarded to their winners first before considering the main pot. 

Beginning with the most recently-made side pot, the dealer will instruct the players to show their hands based on rules 2 – 3 (below) until that side pot is rewarded. To give a clear idea about what is a showdown in poker, once that side pot is rewarded, the next-most-recently-made side pot is considered. 

Then, the additional players who played in that pot show their cards based on rule 3 until that pot is rewarded. 

2. The Player who Last Made an Aggressive Move Reveals Their Hand First

Aggressive action on what is a showdown in poker, means to bet or raise. When no player bets or raises on the final rounds of betting (if all remaining players decide to check), rule 3 (see below) will be used. 

In addition, when a player bets or raises on the first betting round (for instance the flop in poker), however, there is no betting on the final round. They are not considered to have created any aggressive action on this round, and rule 3 is played. 

As you know what is a showdown in poker, a betting round will be only considered to be a valid betting round for purposes of rule 2 if there were two or even more players remaining in it who both had chips available for betting. 

Instead, if only one player had chips remaining on the river in poker, that round will not be considered a betting round. The player who took the most recent aggressive action in the previous round will show their cards first. 

3. Players Must Show Cards or Fold Clockwise from Dealer’s Left

The last basic rule on what is a showdown in poker, a player might not keep their cards hidden when addressed: they need to be either exposed or mucked. Generally, once a hand is shown, it will be compared to the already-shown hand, and the lower of the two hands is mucked. 

In Omaha Hi/Lo, make sure that the mucked hand can win either high or low for the hand before mucking it. 

Who Will Decide the Winner in the Showdown Round Poker?

To help you understand more about what is a showdown in poker, the players who are playing at online casinos, will leave on the table until this round to show their cards and make them face-up on the table. The winner with the best hand will be decided automatically by the software. 

Whereas, when you are playing at a real poker table in a casino, the poker dealer who is hosting the game will decide and announce the winner by comparing all hands on the table. In both cases, the decision is easy and fair to take as there will be no issue when hands are shown on the table. 

How is the Pot Split when Multiple Players Win in Online Poker Games?

As we have discussed about what is a showdown in poker, there can be more than one winner in poker games. In addition, the pot money is splitted based on the particular possibilities. The possibilities in the showdown case can be as follows:

If There is One Winner

There is no possibility of any argument when there is only one player with the strongest hand is the winner. That player will receive all the poker pot money. 

Two Players with the Similar hand in the Showdown Round

If two players have exactly the similar hand in  any poker game, the pot money will be splitted evenly between them.

All the Community Cards Create the Best Hand

It is a very rare case that all the community cards on the table create the best hand. Therefore, the pot money is splitted equally among all the players on the table. 


To conclude about what is a showdown in poker, it is one of the moments in which only a few players will completely comprehend the rules. The best part is, once you figure out how it works, you can use it to your benefit. 

Our advice, never show your hand until it is your time, unless you have the nuts or close to them. Slow-rolling your opponents is a bad idea. If you are OK being despised by everyone in the poker room, that is!


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