What is ‘Show’?
To ‘show’ in a poker game means to reveal your cards to the rest of the table, either intentionally or by accident. In most forms of poker, players have some hidden cards with which to assemble their best five card hand, as well as the exposed or open cards which might be shared with the table or available just to the player.
In poker, to ‘show’ means to reveal the value of the cards held by the player. This usually happens at the ‘showdown‘ of the game – the point when all bets are made and all hands are set. Players who are still in the game and who have not folded their hand are eligible to win the pot. The winner of the showdown is the person with the best ranked hand against the standard poker table (though there is some variation between highball and lowball hand ranks).
Players might also ‘show’ their cards by mistake – more commonly known as to ‘flash‘ or ‘expose’ a card. This might be because the cards were not handled correctly, probably through carelessness or inexperience. If this happens, the cards are expected to play and it is the player who ‘showed’ their card who is disadvantaged. In the rare event that a dealer ‘shows’ the card during the deal, it is removed from the game and a fresh card dealt in its place, after the rest of the deal has been set.
Occasionally, a player might choose to ‘show’ the cards during live play. This is more common in social games and low stakes games, where the players are in for the fun and perhaps for a small pot too. A player could show their card to make a point to the rest of the table – for example, if a previous hand was waiting for a particular card, and that card appeared when not needed in the next hand, the player might show it to the table to highlight their bad luck.