When this final round of betting is complete, each player must reveal his hand if he wishes to stake a claim on the pot. The player with the highest five-card hand wins. Sometimes two or more players will have exactly the same hand. In that case, the pot is said to be 'split', and is divided equally between them.
There are actually two ways to win a hand of poker:
- 1. You can show down the best hand at the river, once all the betting is over.
- 2. Your opponents may all drop out (or fold) when you bet. In that case you take the pot uncontested, without having to reveal your holding. They don't get to see whether you were bluffing or actually had a good hand!
You may have noticed on television that each time a flop, turn or river cards is dealt, the card on top of the pack is first discarded. These discarded cards are known as burn cards and play no further part in the hand. The idea of burning a card is to protect players in case the dealer accidentally allowed someone a glimpse at the top card, or if the card had become marked in some way. In live games, the burn cards also act as a natural pause in the game which can help if the dealer acts too quickly.