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Old 01-11-2019, 10:08 AM   #1
MarshMan114
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Glimpsing Players Hole Cards

This has happened more than once just this week and Iím curious what you all do. I usually sit in the 2 or 8 seat (9 handed) and sometimes Iím low to the table to stretch my back or just reposition myself. I try not to watch tv all day and be aware of the action and have noticed that I can glance and see about 3/4 of a card in seat 3 in this particular session. Or sometimes people will squeeze the cards and the backside will pop up a little. Or they will hold both cards in their hands and alternate them top to bottom and expose something.

I absolutely hold myself to a higher ethical standard and only looked once I folded or knew i was going to fold. It was just weird that it was so consistent. Do you tell people when you can see their cards as a friendly gesture?

We also have a few old guys with physical disabilities who absolutely show half the table their cards. Most people just cringe and look away, but I think this is a different case.

All that to say, be careful how you peek at your cards.

Marsh
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Old 01-11-2019, 10:36 AM   #2
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Re: Glimpsing Players Hole Cards

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Originally Posted by MarshMan114 View Post
I absolutely hold myself to a higher ethical standard and only looked once I folded or knew i was going to fold. It was just weird that it was so consistent.
Looking at other people's cards is not ethical, even if you don't plan to stay in the hand.


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Do you tell people when you can see their cards as a friendly gesture?
I think that most people would say that you should tell your neighbor if s/he is flashing their cards, especially since seeing someone's cards gives you an unfair advantage over everyone else at the table who can't see these cards.
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Old 01-11-2019, 10:50 AM   #3
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Re: Glimpsing Players Hole Cards

If I read this correctly, you knowingly repositioned yourself ina way that would allow you to see a specific players hole cards, then used this position to gain advantageous information without 1) correcting your behavior or 2) informing the player that his cards were exposed.

My advice to you would to 1) stop considering yourself ethical, and 2) stop cheating.

If a player is inadvertently flashing his cards to other players, who are not actively trying to see his cards, then the correct thing to do is to inform the player that he is flashing his cards and to be careful.
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Old 01-11-2019, 10:51 AM   #4
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Re: Glimpsing Players Hole Cards

The people I find who usually do this are older guys who arenít aware theyíre doing it. As opposed to focusing on looking away as they look at their cards or feeling like a scumbag because I can always see their cards without meaning to, I just tell the people I can see their cards when they look so they should probably use their other hand to block it.

I donít think Iíve ever had a bad reaction to speaking up, from the table or the player in question.
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:00 AM   #5
MarshMan114
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Re: Glimpsing Players Hole Cards

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If I read this correctly, you knowingly repositioned yourself ina way that would allow you to see a specific players hole cards, then used this position to gain advantageous information without 1) correcting your behavior or 2) informing the player that his cards were exposed.

My advice to you would to 1) stop considering yourself ethical, and 2) stop cheating.

If a player is inadvertently flashing his cards to other players, who are not actively trying to see his cards, then the correct thing to do is to inform the player that he is flashing his cards and to be careful.

Negative sir. I tend to twist and turn, especially late in a session, and would never reposition to view someone’s cards. It’s more about how awkward do you be to let someone know it’s happening? I can understand if your neighbor is being flippant and you let them know. What about the player 6 seats away like in my other examples?

Last edited by MarshMan114; 01-11-2019 at 11:01 AM. Reason: Typo
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:09 AM   #6
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Re: Glimpsing Players Hole Cards

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Originally Posted by MarshMan114 View Post
This has happened more than once just this week and Iím curious what you all do. I usually sit in the 2 or 8 seat (9 handed) and sometimes Iím low to the table to stretch my back or just reposition myself.
Stretch and reposition yourself in between hands.

Boom problem solved.
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:29 AM   #7
MarshMan114
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Re: Glimpsing Players Hole Cards

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Stretch and reposition yourself in between hands.

Boom problem solved.
Sounds good, but you donít let them know?

Sorry for the confusion but thatís really what the question was about. Obviously if Iím cheating and trying to see hole cards Iím not going to post about it.

Itís like if the guy/girl next to you has a huge booger and starts telling you a story. You have like 2 seconds to bring it up or else you are pot committed to never mentioning it for the rest of the session. Maybe Iím the only one who struggles with Larry David style social issues at the poker table.
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:30 AM   #8
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Re: Glimpsing Players Hole Cards

I always tell people when I have seen their cards in order so that they protect their hands better.

I never see a players cards on purpose.

I have gotten some mean spirited feedback. Which just goes to show that shooting the messenger is still a thing.

I also mention that I have seen an exposed mucked card when I am in a hand. I sometimes do it when I am not in a hand if somebody near me is also still in the hand (because they may have seen it an aren't letting go of their advantage)
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:37 AM   #9
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Re: Glimpsing Players Hole Cards

There must be dozens of threads on this topic. The views on this vary from poster to poster. Most folks , of course , think you should never intentionally try to see another players hole cards. If they get flashed to you anyway , then most folks think you should let the player and the table know. Personally I would do this only one time. After that I will just keep quiet and let other players or the dealer handle it as they will. I feel an obligation not to try to see a players cards and an obligation to let him and the table know if I do. To keep at it gets a little awkward to me.
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:58 AM   #10
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Re: Glimpsing Players Hole Cards

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Sounds good, but you donít let them know?
Know what?

That while you were twisting in your chair like a toddler eating broccoli, you saw their cards?

There's a huge difference between someone flashing their cards to a reasonable person, and an unreasonable person catching a glimpse of what might be well-protected cards.
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Old 01-11-2019, 12:24 PM   #11
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Re: Glimpsing Players Hole Cards

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Originally Posted by MarshMan114 View Post
Negative sir. I tend to twist and turn, especially late in a session, and would never reposition to view someone’s cards. It’s more about how awkward do you be to let someone know it’s happening? I can understand if your neighbor is being flippant and you let them know. What about the player 6 seats away like in my other examples?
You stated that due to your great ethics, you only look at their cards when you are not planning on being in the hand, indicating that the decsision to look at their cards is a conscious choice resulting from an active action on your part. Stop doing that. In the hand, out of the hand, that is cheating.

"I absolutely hold myself to a higher ethical standard and only looked once I folded or knew i was going to fold. It was just weird that it was so consistent."

You sat in a way that you could consistently see his cards, then chose to do so and gained an undeserved advantage. There is no universe where this isn't cheating. The fact that you discovered this position by accident is irrelevant.


If it is someone flashing their cards, you tell them they are flashing their cards. But that isn't what you described in your original post. You stated that you sat in such a way that allowed you to see other people's cards, but you would only look when you weren't going to play the hand. This is a long way from another player flashing his hand to someone else just sitting there.
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Old 01-11-2019, 12:36 PM   #12
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Re: Glimpsing Players Hole Cards

Yeah this is a very old issue / discussion and you will not find any consensus on that. IMO if everyone on the table goes about their normal ways it is each players own problem if they do not protect their hand. However, in your case it clearly sounds like you are doing some funny stuff. Obviously it is impossible for a player to protect their hand against all kinds of possible stretches and whatnot.
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Old 01-11-2019, 12:43 PM   #13
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Re: Glimpsing Players Hole Cards

If I see someone is handling their cards in a manner that exposes one or both (or all in the case of omaha), I will discretely let them know. Most are appreciative and take steps to try and protect their cards better. Beyond that, you cannot help what is being shown through no fault of your own. It would be different if you were going out of your way to do your contortions as a means of obtaining the information...
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Old 01-11-2019, 12:52 PM   #14
MarshMan114
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Re: Glimpsing Players Hole Cards

Whelp, I guess I came across as the ass on this one. Apologies if this is an old subject and mods can feel free to lock the thread if they want.

I'll state again I never went out of my way to try and look at other people's cards nor would I condone that.
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Old 01-11-2019, 01:25 PM   #15
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Re: Glimpsing Players Hole Cards

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Originally Posted by MarshMan114 View Post
I absolutely hold myself to a higher ethical standard and only looked once I folded or knew i was going to fold. It was just weird that it was so consistent. Do you tell people when you can see their cards as a friendly gesture?
The bold is where folks will have some trouble. I sometimes wonder myself if the Player to my left sees my cards when they insta-raise my opening bet PF. It can be difficult for some to believe that you are that selective with your glances.

The 'correct' thing to do is to let the Player know that you can sometimes see their cards when you sit back. I actually lean back and put my chair on two legs to keep my back straight when I fold, not withstanding chairs with rollers!

When still involved in a hand you are supposed to tell the table if you have any knowledge of cards that the remaining others don't have. This can get touchy PF with slightly flashed cards ... plenty of threads on that as well.

It's not weird that it's consistent ... Poker Players are creatures of habit and typically do things the same way most of the time .. thus physical tells!!

On the flip side .. If you have chatted with a Player and they continue the behavior then the extra information they give you is yours to catalog for future battles. GL
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Old 01-11-2019, 02:57 PM   #16
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Re: Glimpsing Players Hole Cards

This thread comes up a lot. My policy, if someone holds their cards so I can see them, I let them know once. After that it’s their problem. This has only happened a couple of times and both occasions the person adjusted so I could no longer see their hand. I got one thank you and one look of baffled comprehension.

Note occasionally I had a player who showed their cards to the guy on their right (me) before folding and in a way that’s not highly obvious to the rest of the table. So if that’s happening I don’t mention it. I would speak up if I had cards when they do it.
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Old 01-11-2019, 03:09 PM   #17
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Re: Glimpsing Players Hole Cards

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Originally Posted by MarshMan114 View Post
Negative sir. I tend to twist and turn, especially late in a session, and would never reposition to view someone’s cards. It’s more about how awkward do you be to let someone know it’s happening? I can understand if your neighbor is being flippant and you let them know. What about the player 6 seats away like in my other examples?
Sir, do you realize you are showing your cards to this whole side of the table?

Because if you can see them from several seats away then so can others.

--klez
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Old 01-13-2019, 04:19 PM   #18
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Re: Glimpsing Players Hole Cards

Wait... so I am cheating when I look at people’s cards in plain view when I am not in the hand? Is there a rule explicitly covering this? I don’t think it’s even unethical. It is not my responsibility to protect other people’s hands. There is an in game advantage to seeing cards during a hand. There is also an advantage when out of a hand but it’s not the same. The same information could be acquired through a private chat yet that is not illegal or discouraged.

Peek to your heart’s content.
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Old 01-13-2019, 07:44 PM   #19
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Re: Glimpsing Players Hole Cards

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Wait... so I am cheating when I look at peopleís cards in plain view when I am not in the hand? Is there a rule explicitly covering this? I donít think itís even unethical. It is not my responsibility to protect other peopleís hands. There is an in game advantage to seeing cards during a hand. There is also an advantage when out of a hand but itís not the same. The same information could be acquired through a private chat yet that is not illegal or discouraged.

Peek to your heartís content.
An undeserved advantage is gained by knowing what cards your oppoenets play, so if you get information on their cards even without being int the hand, you have gained an advantage,

If you get that information passively, because your opponents are flashing their cards and you can't help but see them, and you say nothing, your are acting unethically but likely wouldn't be considered cheating.

If you actively try to see their cards, by sitting a certain way, by glancing at them when they are checking their cards, etc., then you are cheating. Yes, they are responsible for protecting their cards, but if you take action to try and overcome that protection, no matter how small or innocuous that action is, you are cheating.

I did check the TDA rules and couldn't find a rule against actively trying to see concealed cards being against the rules, but i am pretty sure this is one of those assumed things. I also couldn't find a rule against slipping cards into the deck or stealing chips from my tablemates, but you would argue that it is the dealers responsibility to protect the game, and players should protect their own stack.
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:52 PM   #20
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Re: Glimpsing Players Hole Cards

I've done this before, after a while i just told the guy next to me i could see his cards. I didn't know how the table would react but no one really reacted at all. I thought some might call me scum or call me a cheater or even accuse me of collusion or something, but no one cared. Probably tell them discreetly if it keeps happening.
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Old 01-13-2019, 11:27 PM   #21
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Re: Glimpsing Players Hole Cards

If they reveal cards as I'm following action my eyes are going to be drawn to it. Can'y help it. I'm not going to crane or sit back or anything like that to try to do it but I'm not going to actively look away like it's a Medusa.

After the first time after the hand is over I will let him know he is not protecting his cards and tell him his cards that hand. After that if he continues to flash them it's his problem.
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:08 AM   #22
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Re: Glimpsing Players Hole Cards

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Originally Posted by SpewingIsMyMove View Post
An undeserved advantage is gained by knowing what cards your oppoenets play, so if you get information on their cards even without being int the hand, you have gained an advantage,

If you get that information passively, because your opponents are flashing their cards and you can't help but see them, and you say nothing, your are acting unethically but likely wouldn't be considered cheating.
Can you articulate in more detail why you think this is unethical? Who cares if it's an "undeserved advantage?" What if a friend provides me with reads on a player in private, or even just shares a hand he played with a person. This also yields an advantage that was "undeserved," yet neither of these things are considered unethical (or do you disagree?)

Quote:
If you actively try to see their cards, by sitting a certain way, by glancing at them when they are checking their cards, etc., then you are cheating. Yes, they are responsible for protecting their cards, but if you take action to try and overcome that protection, no matter how small or innocuous that action is, you are cheating.
Gaining insight into someone's strategy is not the same thing as having knowledge we're not supposed to have during a hand which would be cheating. Not everything that yields one player an advantage that other's may not have is cheating. It might be unfair to a very small degree, but I don't see how it's cheating.

Quote:
I did check the TDA rules and couldn't find a rule against actively trying to see concealed cards being against the rules, but i am pretty sure this is one of those assumed things. I also couldn't find a rule against slipping cards into the deck or stealing chips from my tablemates, but you would argue that it is the dealers responsibility to protect the game, and players should protect their own stack.
Both of your examples are covered by rules, although maybe not TDA rules. The rules of hold'em require a single standard deck of 52 cards. Adding additional cards violates the rules of hold'em. Theft is illegal almost everywhere in the world and doesn't need to be explicitly covered by the rules.

Not everybody has the same ethical standards, so I'm not sure how this is clear as day cheating like you say if there is nothing about it in the rules. If it's not in the rules then it's a social etiquette issue, which makes the issue both subjective and context dependent.
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:31 AM   #23
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Re: Glimpsing Players Hole Cards

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Can you articulate in more detail why you think this is unethical? Who cares if it's an "undeserved advantage?" What if a friend provides me with reads on a player in private, or even just shares a hand he played with a person. This also yields an advantage that was "undeserved," yet neither of these things are considered unethical (or do you disagree?)
Sharing information acquired through the course of standard game play is not unethical. Acquiring information you would otherwise not have access to in order to gain an advantage, though, is completely different. You are not entitled, in the standard course of a session, to know what people's uncalled cards are.

Getting that information passively, while probably not cheating, is unethical because you are violating the integrity of the game and getting an advantage outside the rules of normal game play. Getting that information actively is cheating, plain and simple.

Quote:

Gaining insight into someone's strategy is not the same thing as having knowledge we're not supposed to have during a hand which would be cheating. Not everything that yields one player an advantage that other's may not have is cheating. It might be unfair to a very small degree, but I don't see how it's cheating.
Because it is not information you are entitled to have, by the rules of the game. What part of this are you having trouble with. If a hand has not been called, the player is not obligated to reveal his holding by most rule sets.

Getting that ionformation in violation of those rules is cheating.

Quote:
Both of your examples are covered by rules, although maybe not TDA rules. The rules of hold'em require a single standard deck of 52 cards. Adding additional cards violates the rules of hold'em. Theft is illegal almost everywhere in the world and doesn't need to be explicitly covered by the rules.

Not everybody has the same ethical standards, so I'm not sure how this is clear as day cheating like you say if there is nothing about it in the rules. If it's not in the rules then it's a social etiquette issue, which makes the issue both subjective and context dependent.
So, you don't think those same rules don't have provisions making it agianst the rules to look at someone's concealed hand without their knowledge?

Again, if you are flashed cards and see them without intentionally trying, but say nothing, this is unethical but not likely cheating (though strict interpretation of the rules by some would say that if you did not disclose the information you have, you are cheating). But actively taking steps to see someone elses cards when you have no right to see them, even if you aren't in the hand, is cheating.

If you feel so strongly that it is OK, try doing it openly at the next major tournament you play in or the next time you play a decent sized cash game, and see if the floor agrees with you that you did not break any rules.
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:20 PM   #24
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Re: Glimpsing Players Hole Cards

"Cheating, cheating, cheating...." yet you can not reference a rule. If you think it's unethical, fine. I'm not going to try to change your opinion, but to say it's cheating is making a truth claim which you can prove by referencing a rule which defines this as cheating.

Quote:
Because it is not information you are entitled to have, by the rules of the game. What part of this are you having trouble with. If a hand has not been called, the player is not obligated to reveal his holding by most rule sets.

Getting that ionformation in violation of those rules is cheating.
So what if it's information the rules don't entitle you to? Going back to my previous example, the rules don't entitle me to knowledge of other players obtained in that way, either. A lack of an obligation to disclose information doesn't imply that it's cheating to get that information anyway.

Cite a rule supporting your position and I will reply with thanks, otherwise I don't think this is going anywhere. Without a rule forbidding the behavior this may be unethical to you, but it is not cheating. A room may choose not to tolerate this regardless of whether or not it is cheating, although in thousands of hours if live poker I've never seen or heard of anyone caring about it.
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:45 PM   #25
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Re: Glimpsing Players Hole Cards

As usual the comments on this topic vary. Just like they have in dozens of other threads here about seeing a players cards , and what to do. Or what not to do!

I don't personally need a written rule to tell me that seeing a players cards and NOT telling them AND the table at least once is as close to cheating as you can get. Other folks don't see it that way at all. I get that too.

In the end I guess it is up to the room rules and views on what it amounts to. Likely some places would ignore it and others would hand you a rack for the day.
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