Cards

A player is never required to expose his concealed cards when folding or if all others have folded; this is only required at the showdown. Many casinos and public cardrooms using a house dealer require players to protect their hands. This is done either by holding the cards or, if they are on the table, by placing a chip or other object on top. Unprotected hands in such situations are generally considered folded and are mucked by the dealer when action reaches the player. This can spark heated controversy, and is rarely done in private games. The style of game generally determines whether players should hold face-down cards in their hands or leave them on the table. Holding "hole" cards allows players to view them more quickly and thus speeds up gameplay, but spectators watching over a player's shoulder can communicate the strength of that hand to other players, even unintentionally. Unwary players can hold their hand such that a "rubbernecker" in an adjacent seat can sneak a peek at the cards. Lastly, given the correct light and angles, players wearing glasses can inadvertently show their opponents their hole cards through the reflection in their glasses. Thus for most poker variants involving a combination of faceup and facedown cards (most variants of stud and community are dealt in this manner), the standard method is to keep hole cards face-down on the table except when it is that player's turn to act. 5 card draw is generally played with hands held by the players at all times. Stud poker is any of a number of poker variants in which each player receives a mix of face-down and face-up cards dealt in multiple betting rounds. Stud games are also typically non-positional games, meaning that the player who bets first on each round may change from round to round (it is usually the pla

er whose face-up cards make the best hand for the game being played). The cards dealt face down to each individual player are called hole cards (which gave rise to the common English expression ace in the hole, which suggests that one has something valuable that is not apparent to others). Community card poker refers to any game of poker that uses community cards (also called "shared cards" or "window cards"), which are cards dealt face up in the center of the table and shared by all players. In these games, each player is dealt privately an incomplete hand ("hole cards"), which are then combined with the community cards to make a complete hand. The set of community cards is called the "board", and may be dealt in a simple line or arranged in a special pattern. Rules of each game determine how they may be combined with each player's private hand. The most popular community card game today is Texas hold 'em, originating sometime in the 1920s. In home games, it is typical to use antes, while casinos typically use only blinds for these games. Fixed limit games are most common in casinos, while spread limit games are more common in home games. No limit and pot limit games are less common. Later betting rounds often have a higher limit than earlier betting rounds. Each betting round begins with the player to the dealer's left (when blinds are used, the first round begins with the player after the big blind), so community card games are generally positional games. Most community card games do not play well with lowball hand values, though some do play very well at high-low split, especially with ace-to-five low values, making it possible to win both halves of a pot. When played high-low split, there is generally a minimum qualifying hand for low (often 8-high), and it is played cards speak.