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Poker Board Definition

Flop Game - Boards

by Jesse Knight
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Poker Board
Board -
1. The community cards in a flop game.
2. The up cards in a non-flop game.
3. It is where players sign up to play a game in a casino.


In flop games, a portion of every player’s hand is made up of cards which are spread face up in the middle of the table, for all players to share. These cards are called community cards, and are usually divided into a three card flop, a one card turn, and a one card river. As these cards are turned face up and put in play, they are called, collectively, “the board.” Players must combine their hole cards, which are privately held cards delivered face down at the start of the hand, with the cards on the board, to make their best five card poker hand. Sometimes, in a Hold’em or Crazy Pineapple game, a player may not be able to use any of their hole cards because they do not play. When this happens, they must play the five community cards that are on the board. This is called “playing the board.” You usually have a very weak hand when you play the board, because if any player can play either of their hole cards to make a better five card hand, they have automatically beaten you. Occasionally, the board will be the nut hand, in which case all active players must play the board and will receive an equal portion of the pot regardless of what their hole cards are, so long as they turn their hand up at showdown. Here are two examples of hands that are nut hands when they are on the board: AhKsQdJcTs and 6h6c6s6dAs. As you can see, neither one of these hands can possibly be improved upon by any two hole cards.

In a jackpot Hold’em game, having three Aces on the board represents a possible jackpot situation. Many clubs have a policy that management must be present to watch the action for the remainder of the hand once three Aces appear. When a third Ace hits the board, the dealer will stop the action and call out “Three on board!” This will prompt a floorperson or other manager to come and monitor the action for the rest of the hand. The purpose of this is to ensure that there is no cheating or collusion happening on jackpot hands.

In a flop game there is only one board, and it spread out in the middle of the table for all players to see. In a stud game, where there are no community cards (except on rare occasions), each individual player has their own board. Each player’s board is made up of that player’s up cards. In most stud games a player will end up with only four cards on their board, while a flop game board will ultimately have five cards.

The term is also used to describe where a player signs up to play a game. If a player enters a casino and wants to play in a $5-10 Holdem game, but the game is full, then he would go up to the board and put his initials or name on it. The board person (sometimes called runners) will call the players in order when a seat is available.

Usage: Play The Board, Board Plays, Three On Board, Dangerous Board

Previous Poker Term: Bluff
Next Poker Term: Bottom Pair

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