Created by LawDude on August 5, 2009


In live poker, generally referring to a set of obligations that a player has to ensure that his or her hand is not seen by other players and is not killed or mucked by the dealer. Methods of protecting one’s hand include covering the hand when looking at one’s hole cards, placing a chip or other object on top of the hand as a card protector, holding onto the cards if necessary if a dealer reaches to muck them, ensuring that they do not touch the muck, the community cards, or another player’s hand, and ensuring that the player is dealt the proper number of hole cards before there is significant action on the hand. A player who fails to protect his or her hand is generally not permitted to recover his or her cards if a mistake is made as a result.


While Hero has his back turned to the table, talking to a friend, the dealer mistakes Hero's cards, which are sitting on the table with nothing on top of them, for the cards of Hero's neighbor, who verbalizes that he wishes to fold. The dealer therefore mucks Hero's cards. Hero has no remedy, because he did not protect his hand.

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