You have to pay to see my cards

IF nobody calls your final bet, in a poker game, you don’t have to show your cards.

That’s unless you’re a sucker for peer pressure. Opponents will often shout “Show the bluff!”, or ask “Will you show if I fold?”

There’s a popular new trend where everyone at the table agrees in advance that anybody winning without a showdown will flip one card over anyway.

People enjoy choosing the card they think will mislead opponents, usually the one that might mean they were bluffing.

This fashion has even spread to the internet. It was always possible to click-show your cards voluntarily after a pot; it’s now possible to show just one of them, including when you fold. Players seem to find this feature irresistible.

Well, resist it. Trust Uncle David: never, ever give free information. Remember the wise words of Edward G Robinson, ‘The Man’ in The Cincinnati Kid: “You only paid the looking price. Lessons are extra.”

These jokers haven’t even paid the looking price!

There are only two possibilities. One: you are the greatest poker player in the world. If so, no advice from me can help you.

Two: you are not the greatest poker player in the world. That means some opponents are better than you at spotting betting patterns, using position, judging odds, sizing bets, or all of the above.

They are also better at working out what one card means. The ‘misleading’ card you choose to show is, to them, hugely informative. It’s a whole new world of tells; free ammunition for the crafty opponent.

Do not reveal your cards voluntarily, even just one of them, unless you’re quite sure you are the best player at the table. Otherwise, if people want information about your hand, make them pay for it.

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