cards mucked at showdown

Strategy & Advice by rsmiller334 Posted

I've been given different answers, I would like to hear from others about this rule. One the river there was a bet and a call. One of the players mucked the hand, the other player asked to see the cards. The cards never hit the muck, what is the right thing for the dealer to do?


  1. If the cards went over the line, they are dead and no longer in play and can no longer win the hand. I assume the player that made the last bet was the one that mucked. In that case, if the cards can be clearly identified as the cards of the player, the caller has the right to see the other players cards. Although it is common courtesy not to do so.

    The rules are not enforced very strictly, if the limits are not too high or the game is generally easy going, the dealer can decide to declare the hand not mucked as long as the cards did not touch any other card in the muck. The dealer should pick up the cards, touch the muck and show them. In any case, if the mucked hand was the winning hand after all, the hand should never be able to win any pots. Awarding a pot to a hand that was thrown face down over the line is a mistake.

    The explanantion for this is really easy: The muck is mostly on the left side of the dealer. Players in seat 1 - 4 can hardly accidentally throw their cards and NOT hit the muck.

    Players in seat 7,8,9 & 10 have an advantage, They can throw their hand over the line without consequences as hard as they please, they will never hit the muck.

    So in general: Any hand that is over the line and released by the player is dead and is no longer a contestant for the pot, whether it hits the muck or not.

  2. It depends on the casino. EVERY CASINO HAS DIFFERENT RULES! IF YOU ARE UNSURE ABOUT THE RULES THEN ASK TO SPEAK TO THE FLOOR. It is up to you to protect your money. As for the line, some places have forward motion rules, some are a betting line, some are a courtesy line. So again, check with your casino about the rules in that room.

  3. @zzjitterzz no, if the calling player ask to see the hand and the hand turns out to be winning hand tapping the card in the muck doesn’t kill the hand. Whoever has best hands win the pot.

  4. @zzjitterzz Yes, you are right ,touching the muck will kill all the hands EXCEPT when the caller ask to see hand.

  5. @zzjitterzz great analysis

  6. The previous poster was correct that the specific rules and their enforcement vary from venue to venue, both for called hands and for the line, if any, on the table. In many casinos, any player who was dealt into a hand can ask to see any called hand. In those cases, the mucked hand is dead, even if it turns out to have been the winning hand. But also in many places, the exception is that the mucked hand is live if the player who would otherwise have won the hand is the one requesting to see the called hand. As previously stated, common courtesy dictates this rule be invoked sparingly. The intent of the rule is not to allow an informational advantage. It is to discourage certain types of collusion. Some casinos say explicitly in their rules that abuse if this oriveledge can lead to individual players not being allowed to make requests.

    I had this rule mid-used against me just this past week. In a tournament, I called a river bet. The called hand was shown, and I mucked my cards. Another player, who had folded pre-flop, asked the dealer to show my hand, since I had raised pre-flop. It was clear that he was only using the request to gain an informational advantage, learning a bit about my open raising range in that situation. I, the dealer, and two other players told him that mine was not a called hand, and he coukdn’t see it. Discussion continued, and the floor was called over. At that point, in the interest of saving time, I just told the dealer to show him my hand, a suited K6 I had opened when action folded to me in the cutoff.

  7. @Dajo never say never. I can definitely hit the muck with my discarded hand from seats 7-10.