Burn Cards

I would like opinions and advice on allowing “burn cards” displayed on the games that Replay Poker runs at their tables. I know that burn cards keeps real poker games from being cheated with marked cards. But on this site it would not only allow reality to the games but also change the first community card and the river card to a different card which would change the outcome of the hands. My theory is that it would change the number of both “straights and flushes” that are very high at online poker sites down to a more normal outcomes. Straights and flushes account for 41-47% of played hands on online sites compared to 16% in real poker hands. What do you think?

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Welcome back Lucy. 4 years between posts is a long time.
Considering that the deal should already be incorporating burn cards that remain unknown to all players, it shouldn’t make any difference at all. (You do understand there’s a burn before the flop in Hold’em or Omaha, another before the Turn, and a third before the River.)
On the other hand, if the burn cards were exposed, it would make a (potentially) huge difference to players who can now see that one (or more) of the cards needed to fill their inside straight, flush, or full house draw are no longer possible.
In a live casino or home poker game of draw poker or seven-card stud, those unexposed burn cards might be mixed back into the deck if there weren’t enough cards for all the remaining players to receive the final down cards. Alternatively, that final card might be dealt face up as a “common card” for all players, depending on the house’s rules.
Either way, you really don’t want anyone to know what cards they were while the hand is still in play. It would skew the odds unfairly.

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Actually i don’t want the burn cards displayed face up but show them on the table face down so the players know they ARE part of the game. Doesn’t that make since?

I guess it does. Suggest it via the feedback button on a participating 1/2 table (I don’t think you need to be an active player to leave feedback). I will, too. Can’t hurt. The worst that happens is they say there isn’t room on the table for the extra cards (space really is at a premium). Good luck in the games.

It won’t affect the outcome of hands if the way the hands are dealt is already incorporating the burn cards, but simply not displaying them for sake of a cleaner, easier to read interface.

Also, if the shuffle is fair, it won’t matter whether the cards are burned or not. As you said the purpose of burn cards is to prevent the back of the top card from being read in case of a marked card.

To be honest, I don’t really understand why it helps in a table game, since if there is a marked card in the deck, if it happens to be on the top of the deck, and gets burned, you at least know that that card isn’t going to show up. It’s not as good as knowing that it is going to show up, but it’s still and advantage over not knowing anything.

(personally if ppl don’t know there are burn cards, they need to read the rules better, I’m very sorry to say, and I mean that not being condecending/mean)

The simple win-win is the following, since some dealers use a seperate pile for burn cards, and some cover over the burn cards with the flop/turn/river cards… then there’s ample “room” if, and only IF the burn cards are only partially seen.

By that I mean if the cards are 2" wide, then having a burn card where 1/3rd of an inch is visible, under the card it proceeded ( the 1st of the flop, the turn, and the river ). If currently it takes 11.5" to display the “board” then this situation will end up being no more than 13" wide… adding less than the width of 1 xtra card, is totally doable, both on current tables, and the beta tables easily. The only other option is a seperate pile that ends up almost 3" wide + space between, so perhaps 3.5" wide… so that might NOT be doable in the space provided on tables.

I’m not sure reminding players of the fact that burn cards exsist and where they are, is necessary. Thats something we all have to learn while playing ANY of the 3 varients Replay currently offers… Plus its the same on all 3 … There are 3 burn cards, 1 before the flop, 1 before the turn, and 1 before the river.

Take Royal for example, I completely agree not enough ppl see that on a full table ( 6max ) , players are NOT correctly realizing that ohhh…
2+2+2+2+2+2 ( 6 players’s cards ) , 1+3 ( the flop ) ,
1+1 ( the turn ) , 1+1 ( the river ) = 20 cards !
and that there are only 20 cards in a royal deck, so all cards are used each hand.

Its something we all must learn and be aware of. Coddling your playerbase, by somehow showing those 3 burn cards, to me is Over-reacting. Part of poker is identify’n your opponents skill level correctly and adjusting your play accordingly.

When someone in royal, goes all in when they flop a str8, tells me they have no clue what a good betting hand is in Royal. Usually by the river, 2 pair or trips ( on the flop )… turn into a boat or quads and CRUSHES that flopp’d str8. Especially on a full table !!! Why, because there are NO un-used cards other than the 3 burn cards , so if someone forgets this, its thier own fault they lost the hand and thier chips.

Is it then Replay’s responsibility to then show the burn cards to help noobs, but disrespect the seasoned players by showing them ??? thus taking away a advantage built into poker, where better players have an adv, because they have played longer ???

Sure if you mostly cover the burn cards there is room to show them.
Should Replay do this… I think replay has more things to tweak before this occurs, and I think its 95% un-necessary , but I won’t discount @IloveLucy 's opinion that its a good idea. In a Perfect World, yes I guess you would show them, but no poker site I have ever played on has a 100% “perfect” poker site.

In Omaha 9max & a full table, do enuff players remember that just players’s cards take up 36 cards ?? heck no they don’t. That leaves 16 cards, of which there are 3 burn cards, so the effective cards available are 13 possible cards that can be “the board cards”, so effectively thats 5 of 13, even tho its really 5 of 16.

Can Replay show the burn cards : Yes, if implemented corrrectly.
Should they : Maybee, but only AFTER alot of other things are address’d 1st.

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Maybe the burn cards could be downsized to save space. If I was playing and saw the Burn cards on a Replay table I would be quite surprised if I felt I was any safer than I am right now.

It won’t change anything. There are not more straights and flushes. There just appears to be because with online play more hands per hour are being played. Another reason is the stakes, free or micro stakes will see more garbage hands to the flop multi way. Example: UTG opens to 3.5 bb, 5 callers, 6 ways to the flop. Board runs out Jc Td 8s 6c 4c. In the 6 hands you’ll find J4o (2 pair), 2c5c (flush) Q9o (straight) 97o (straight)… etc. 4 made hands all yelling at each other about how badly they play. FWIW, this happens in low stakes live cash games and tournaments too. Some of these will say it doesn’t but they’re wrong. I’ve seen guys call $600 all ins at $2/$5 pre flop with J4o too many times.


Burn cards or no burn cards make absolutely no difference to the frequency of straights and flushes if everyone played to the end (i.e. if all dealt hole cards are in play, and assuming the Random Number Generator is truly random, which I do accept). Perhaps on a free poker sites fewer hole cards are folded, than in a cash game, and that makes a difference to frequency of straights and flushes at the showdown.

Do you have a similar view of the statistical effect of the change of dealing in Blackjack, where the dealer gets his hole card AFTER every player has made all decisions (also a change to cut down on cheating collision between dealer and a player).

I think the point of the question was the claim that the hands would be different if there are or are not burn cards (true in any particular case, but it makes no statistical difference in the long run). In the Royal example 3 cards out of 20 are not dealt/shown to any player or the board. If the pack is fairly shuffled it makes absolutely no difference which 3 cards remain “undealt”. It could be cards in places 13, 17 and 19 in the deck, as in a live game (the burn cards) or it could be cards in places 18, 19 and 20 which is how I would program, if I were writing the dealing software (because that is the easiest to program).

Similarly it makes no statistical difference (in the long run, when one deals from a fairly shuffled deck) if the program dealt the hole cards as follows: 2 cards to player one, then 2 cards to player six, then 1 card to the remaining players in clockwise order, then 1 card to those players in anti-clockwise order.

Actually, on a full table … cards 1-6 are dealt 1 to each person, then 7-12 dealt 1 to each person, card 13 is Burned, cards 14-16 are flopped, card 17 is Burned, card 18 is the turn, card 19 is Burned, and card 20 is the river …
Online or Live in a casino, that is how its dealt and should be, no programmer would try and have the burn cards be cards 18,19 & 20, easier or harder that is Incorrect

If easier is the Metric, then why can’t player 1’s cards be card 1 and card 2 , not card 1 and card 7 ??? isn’t that also, easier ??? :roll_eyes:

Yes I understand your contention, that since the cards are supposedly already randomized, why would it make any difference whatsoever. I agree that you’re premise “may be” valid , but because of the standard rules of Poker…
The problem with that is : Once a “deck” is finalized thru a “Shuffle”, they can only be dealt 1 way, the correct way… 18,19,20 … is well , incorrect. :unamused:

This is from an old thread about burn cards.
ChasetheriverPoker Operations Manager
(How does Replay handle the burn cards?
Sep '15
Hi 34Ford, actually there is no burn card at online poker sites because there is no need for one. Live games burn a card so that there is no possibility of players knowing the next card if its marked. Same with the bottom card of a hand dealt deck, that’s covered too, so no-one can see a card which is definitely not going to be in play this hand. If there are online sites which show an animation of a burn card, it might not even be an actual card taken from the top of the virtual deck, it could be just an animation for effect.


This is crazy!
Next thing you know they’re going to tell us the pictures above the player’s names are not authentic!

From Hoyle website, an athority for 200 years on rules of card games.

Burn Card

The card that is removed from the top of the deck, face down, before either dealing the three-card flop or the turn and river.
The card referred to as “the burn card” is the one that has been discarded from the deck before dealing the flop, for example. This card is set aside to show that a burn card has indeed been removed from the deck. The term burn refers to the action of removing a card when dealing.

Primary Use
The burn card’s main reason for existence is to foil cheaters. Some cheaters will mark the backs of cards, so discarding the top card prior to dealing will reduce the advantage someone would get from knowing what that card is from its markings. Other cheaters will do what is called “second dealing,” which is dealing the second card in the deck, rather than the first, in order to save the first card (which is known to the dealer) to be dealt to a specific player. By burning the first card, that known card is eliminated from play.

Secondary Use
In some games, such as Seven Card Stud, it is possible, though rare, to run out of cards before the hand is over. In these instances, burn cards can be put into play.

Online Poker
Some online poker deals involve a burn card and some don’t. It doesn’t matter, since marked cards and second dealing are not issues in the virtual game. Don’t get your panties in a bunch over it.

After re-writing this a few times, and review’n both Replay’s help center article, and add’n in ChaseTheRiver’s comment, along with the above information.

  1. Replay has every right to have thier version, even if that means no burn cards.
  2. Every site I look’d at, said there’s no difference if there are or are not burn cards, for online poker play.
  3. Actually there is a difference if no burn cards are used, I think.
  4. Either way, every site should be up front and list if there are, or are not.

Let me address #3 :
on a 6max table, lets use Texas Hold’em…
After the 12 cards are dealt to the players, 40 cards remain, thus the odds of the next card is 1 in 40 of the remaining cards. By this I mean, if the Ace of Spades is not already dealt to a player, there is a 1 in 40 chance the next card is the Ace of Spades. As more cards are used up, the odds decrease of the next card being a certain card. If however the Ace of Spades is dealt to 1 of the players, there is a 0 in 40 chance of the next card being the Ace of Spades.

I do not use odds-calculators, nor do I have any information if there is a way to tell that program if burn cards are used or are not.

But the use of, or the non use of Burn cards do effect the odds calculations. Sure every card in a vaccum has a 1 in 52 chance of being any 1 specific card, but as cards are used/eliminated from the deck, the odds decrease of the next card being any 1 specific card, AND once used/eliminated from the deck, the odds are 0 that any subsequent card can be that 1 specific card.

We all know that slot machines are , slightly favored in odds , to the house (casino) … whereas in Poker, the house takes a rake in some way to cover thier costs, so no odds manipulation should occur because the house has NO stake in the outcome, since they were already paid by the rake/tourny fee.

So… if there is are burn cards, they decreases the odds
from 1:40 1:39 1:38 to 1:39 1:38 1:37 effectively for the Flop,
from 1:37 to 1:35 on the Turn, and
from 1:36 to 1:33 on the River.

It makes No difference if burn cards were to thwart marked cards or not, having them or not having them does impact the odds, doesn’t it ??

By the river, there are 3 xtra cards you cannot draw to IF there are correctly dealt burn cards. Otherwise by the river, your odds are better by 3 cards if no burn cards are used. This means The Math calculation, for odds calculators, must account for burn cards or no burn cards, do they ???

Replay has the right to do this any way they so choose to, but it should be duely listed just like their cert. for RNG. @Chasetheriver , should not say “some sites” or “other sites”, just “On Replay its done XXXX way” and be done with it. easy-peasy.

I’m glad now this is being revisited while the update for HTML5 is in progress, Replay has the chance, if they so choose, to ammend how even they see it, iono.

If I am yet again wrong, and the odds are not effected, in the maner I described, can someone please… very detailed, explain why they are not effected to me, please. I seriously want to learn something here from this thread if possible.

Geez! I look exactly like mine! Well, the hairdresser helped a little.


This is true IF, and ONLY IF the specific card’s identity is known. As long as its identity remains unknown, it is still Schrodinger’s cat that both is–and ISN’T --the specific card being sought. Therefor, the odds have to be calculated based on what is KNOWN, not on what is speculated as possible.

In live poker, the burn is important enough to have become an almost universal rule in casino games for the reasons listed in Sassy’s Hoyle quote (though it is seldom used in home games and club games are divided on it). It’s also worth pointing out that in casino games, there will always be a plastic “filler” sort of card (usually a plain red or green) placed on the BOTTOM of the deck to prevent anyone from seeing the bottom card, thus getting an advantage that way. Doesn’t affect anything, right? Wrong. Casinos are very unlikely to deal Royal Poker as we know it at RP because EVERY card of the 20 used gets dealt in every hand and even knowing the value of that final card alone would be a HUGE advantage. Obviously, it’s unnecessary to have a “filler” to block the sight of the bottom card in an on-line game with no physical cards at all. Likewise, the burn cards in on-line games.

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Alan, I have never played Texas Holdem, in casinos/bars/home games any other way than deal to the players, burn - flop - burn - turn - burn - river.

While the Identity of the burn cards are “unknown” , there still is a difference… in my post between 1:36 and 1:33 isn’t there ?

Or let me ask it this way, if 12 cards are in players’s hands, then there are 12 chances the card you need is already gone. If you increase ( by the river ) the number of chances by 3, your odds go down … in respect to drawing the card you need, don’t they ??? 2nd off Alan, if online poker is supposed to replicate what you get in a casino, then either way, isn’t it therefore necessary to use burn cards?

I just don’t understand how having less cards possible to draw from = same odds to draw the card I need on the river, if burn cards are correctly used. Can you show me mathwise, plz.

I also have played in my local poker tour at bars. They used Burn cards too, so I have never play’d a texas holdem variant that didn’t use burn cards. I agree that even I learned 7 card stud, without burn cards. Are you then saying if I play that @ a casino, that there are 5 burn cards used ?? Never learned 5 card draw with burn cards either, but for the reasons Hoyle listed, then ANY casino game would need to use burn cards at various stages to obscure the top card on the deck, wouldn’t it ?

I was under the assumption that Texas Holdem was specifically set up to have burn cards, whereas 5 card draw isn’t. Since I have only played Texas Hold’em in a Bar/Casino I cannot speak to any other variant of poker in a casino/bar setting, only what I learned while playing in home games. Yet the home games I have played in, that were Hold’em only, have always replicated a casino setting.

All I was trying to point out, is that 3 xtra cards I cannot get as a river card, change the basic implied odds of hitting the card(s) I need on the river. Knowing or not knowing what they are doesn’t change that fact.

yes it effects everything if no burn cards are used. lets say I need A to win a hand and top card is the said A I win. now we burn the A and next card is a 4 spades I lose.

royal poker. 6 handed. first 12 cards dealt to players. cards 13,14, 15, 16, 17, table. leaving 3 cards unused. what if I could had used one of those 3 cards I missed because of no burn? or a card a player hits that beat me, but should had been burned?

with or without a burn card it effects who wins a hand. it effects what cards come up or don’t come up.
replay wants a real poker experience then need to use burn cards and actual burn cards, not just some animation that just shows burn a card.

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Your odds of hitting a specific card are based on the total number of cards you know the location of versus the total number of cards you do not know the location of in a deck containing all 52 cards. The unknown or remaining cards are all the cards you dont know the specific location of. The unknown cards are comprised of other players hands, burn cards and the deck. The Ace of spades could be in any of those positions . Over a large enough sample it will be in each position an equal number of times. Pre-flop on a full 6 seat table there is a 10 in 50 chance the As is already dealt to one of the other players and a 40 in 50 chance its still in the pile but as you dont know where it is, it is still available in any of those 50 positions. You only know your hole cards so the odds of hitting the As are 1 in 50 + 1 in 49 + 1 in 48.
When the next card is burned it may/may not have been the As and you still dont know where is but you now know 5 cards (hole + flop) so its 1 in 47 remaining cards and will be 1 in 46 remaining on the river.
As you dont know which specific cards are dealt elsewhere or burned or hidden up the dealers sleeve you must calculate based on a full deck because any card may occupy any position in that deck. Initially, You know 2 hole cards only so the remaining 50 cards can be in any of 50 positions unknown to you. Your odds of hitting the As on the flop are not changed by the number of players seated. They may have and may not have the desired As but the odds of it being flopped are still 1/50 + 1/49 + 1/48.
Only cards you know the exact identity and exact location of change the odds.


Yes, only the physical location have changed, but the set of cards that you are choosing from remains constant.