Burn Card

  • A burn card is discarded by the dealer from the top of the deck prior to a certain dealing phase during a poker hand. The burn card is placed face down into the muck by the dealer without showing it to the players.
    It is tradition for the dealer in live games to discard a card from the top of the deck before dealing to the players or dealing community cards. Depending on the poker variant this happens more or less often during a hand.


    It is traditional for the dealer in live games to discard a card from the top of the deck before dealing to the players or dealing community cards. Depending on the poker variant this happens more or less often during a hand.

    Usually in flop style games, the first burn card is mucked before dealing the flop, then the turn, then the river. Again this custom is different for each variant of poker, with house rules applying differently in each case.

    The reason for doing this is to make it more difficult to cheat, increasing the player's trust for a fair playing environment. As the top card of the deck has an increased risk of being known to a player next to the dealer it is discarded from the top of the deck, as the bottom of the deck is always protected by the cut card.

    A card may be considered burned when it is exposed to the table or part of the table while dealing. It is placed face up into the muck, so every player at the table can see it. The way this is handled is also dependent on the house rules, as it has major influence on combinatorics and thus odds and outs calculations for the hand in question.

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