Explanation of Hole cards

Hole cards are private cards which are only viewable and usable by the player. These hole cards are typically used in conjunction with community cards (cards visible and usable by everyone) in order to construct a 5-card hand. 

In seven card stud, down-cards (cards only visible to the player) are often referred to as hole cards. “High spade in the hole wins half the pot!”

Example of Hole Cards used in a sentence -> In Pot Limit Omaha players receive 4 hole cards as opposed to 2 hole cards in No Limit Hold’em.

How to Use Hole cards as Part of Your Poker Strategy

If playing live, we should always remember to keep our hole cards secret. When checking cards we  should do so at an angle that avoids exposing their values to other players at the table. 

Some players like to place a “card protector” over their hole cards to avoid the dealer incorrectly mucking the hand before they have legitimately made the decision to fold.

Why are They Called ‘Hole Cards’ in Poker?

The term ‘hole cards’ in poker signals that the cards are private cards that should only be viewed by the player. The dealer deals hole cards face down and players should ensure that the value of those cards remains secret

What is the Difference Between ‘Hole Cards’ and ‘Community’ Cards in Poker?

Hole cards are dealt face down and belong exclusively to the player. Their value is kept secret until showdown is reached. Community cards are dealt face up in the center of the table and are available for use by any of the players at the table.

How Do the Hole Cards Work in Hold’em?

Each player is dealt two hole cards face down at the start of the hand. Throughout the course of the hand five community cards will be dealt face up in the center of the table. The hole cards are used in conjunction with the community cards to construct a five card hand. 

Making hands in Hold’em is very flexible. It’s possible to use both hole cards, one hole card or none of our hole cards when making our five card hand. 

How Do the Hole Cards Work in Omaha?

Each player is dealt four hole cards face down at the start of the hand. Throughout the course of the hand five community cards will be dealt face up on the center of the table. The hole cards are used in conjunction with the community cards to construct a five card hand.

The rules for making hands in Omaha are strict. Players must use exactly two of their four hole cards when making a hand, no exceptions. Since poker hands are made with five cards this means we need to use exactly three of the five available community cards in the center of the table. 

How Do the Hole Cards Work in Stud?

Stud is a little different from Hold’em and Omaha in that it does not make use of community cards (with one rare exception). Throughout the course of the hand players are dealt 3 down  cards and four up cards. All of these cards are personal cards only to be used by the player, but the up cards are dealt face up for the rest of the table to see. The three down cards are secret and are essentially our ‘hole cards’. By the final betting round we’ll have seven cards and can use five of them to construct a hand.

See Also 

Stud, Hold’em, Upcard, Downcard, Community Cards

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