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Poker Dictionary (106) > River Card

The River Card - Online Poker

The 'river' or 'river card' refers to the last board card dealt in community card games like Hold'em and Omaha, just before showdown. In community card games, players attempt to assemble the best poker hand from the cards in their hand, known as hole cards, and cards on the board, also known as board or community cards.

In Hold'em, there is no rule around which combinations you can use. Players can use any five card combination from the two in their hand and the three on the board. If the best hand is the five cards on the board, then that's the hand that is used - this is known as playing the board. In Omaha, players are dealt four hole cards (private to each player) and they need to use two of their cards in hand with any three on the board to make the best 5 card poker hand.

In terms of the deal to the board, the first three cards are known as 'the flop', the fourth card is known as 'the turn' or turn card' and the fifth and final card to be dealt is the 'river card'. These cards are also referred to as 'streets', with the turn being 'fourth street' and the river card being 'fifth street'. In most community card games there is a round of betting after each cards is dealt. It is up to players to decide whether to stay in the hand (in which they would have to match any bets made), basing the decision on the strength of their hands, their position relative to the dealer button, and what they have picked up from their opponents.

Table Talk

A player might say "i got overturned on the river" or "I was the favorite going to the river". Some losing players tend to chase cards are said to be 'River Rats' when they chase down cards and hit a winning card on the river. This is the poker equivalent of a poacher in football. The recipient (who loses the hand) would be said to have been 'Rivered'.

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