Hole cards now always visible when all-in
The latest version of the PokerStars software for desktop and mobile devices across all jurisdictions has removed a small feature: when two or more players are all-in, their hole cards are now always visible to other players at the table.
Revealing hole cards when all-in has been the long-standing practice at poker tournaments, online and live, for many years. However, this has not always been the practice at cash games - for several years, players have had the option of displaying or hiding their cards when all-in at PokerStars. While it has been the default to have cards visible when all-in in cash games, until now, players could turn this off at PokerStars. When one player turned this feature off, no one at the table was able to see the hole cards visually when all-in, but they were always visible in the hand history file.
We are making this very small change because we believe that this will lead to a slightly more fun, and slightly fairer playing experience. Players can now sweat the flop, turn and river knowing what they need to hit (or what they need to avoid). Hole cards from all-in confrontations had always been displayed in the hand history anyway, so advanced players who were familiar with the software were able to retrospectively find out what opponents had in all-in situations. Going forward, all players will be able to view these hole cards in real time, taking away this advantage, and adding to the excitement of the hand.
This is certainly only a very small change - indeed, most players won't even notice that there has been a change at all. However, we think that making small changes like this is part of our mission to make poker fun and fair for all adults, especially people who are unfamiliar with our software.