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Community card (poker)

In poker, a community card is a card dealt face-up to the table (not to any one player) that is shared by more than one player is called a community card or shared card or widow card. For example, if one individual player holds a hand of K-7-3-3 and there is a K as a community card shared by all players, then that player's hand plays as Two pair upon Showdown, K-K-3-3-7. If another player on that same deal with the same shared K held cards of A-Q-J-10, his hand upon showdown would be the ace-high Straight A-K-Q-J-10

Often several community cards are dealt to the table, shared by all players, and subject to variant-specific rules about how many and which of the cards may be used in each player's hand. Such a set of community cards is often called a "board" or "widow" (though this latter term is inconsistent with its use in other card games). The board is usually dealt in a simple line, but some games may have elaborate layouts of community cards with special rules about what combinations of them can be used. For example, the game Texas hold'em ends with each player holding two cards in his individual hand, and a board of five community cards in a simple line shared by everyone; each player then plays the best five-card hand he can make out of the two in his hand combined with the five he shares in any combination. In Omaha hold'em, game rules restrict players to using exactly three (no more and no fewer) of the five community cards combined with exactly two of the four cards dealt to each player to make a hand. In Tic tac toe, the board is a 3x3 array of nine cards, and players must use exactly three cards from a row, column, or diagonal of the board.

Many Community card games are strategically interesting because shared cards can give players hands of similar value, making skilled play important. For example, when the five community cards on a Texas hold'em board include four of one suit, any player with a card of that suit in his hand can play a Flush (but the one with the highest-ranking card of that suit is likely to have the best flush and win).

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