The river is also a term in poker
. In both Texas Hold 'Em
, you get dealt a hand, then community cards are played.
First comes the flop, three cards all at once. Then the turn, one single card. Finally, the river, one more card, falls down, to make a total of five. After the dealing of hands, the flop, the turn, and the river, you bet.
Being the last card, the river can make a big difference, and can lead to someone getting "rivered"--where you had the winning hand until that last card, at which point someone else is left with the winning hand. Example:
I'm dealt A-A, you're dealt Q-10. Before the flop, I've got a pair of aces, you've got nothing. I'm winning.
Flop comes down A-Q-10. I've got trip aces, you've got two pair. I'm winning.
Turn is a Q. I've got aces full of queens, you've got queens full of tens. I'm winning.
River is a Q, I've got aces full of queens, you've got four queens. You're winning, I just got rivered. This sucks. Since I've had a good hand, a winning one in fact, the whole time along, I will have been betting away like a madman. Now, I lose at the last second due to a very unlikely river, and I'm going to be angry. Getting rivered is one of the leading causes of tilt.
Practically half my school plays compulsive Texas Hold 'Em, in class, out of class, at home, online, whenever, wherever. I'm included in this number. I'm not great; I generally lose, but not toooo much. On the other hand, sometimes shit just happens.
I go to a friends house, to play a $10 buy-in, 20/40 blinds game. Small stakes, obviously...we are playing for fun, not blood. It goes on for a while, cards aren't going my way. Then I get a good hand--a flush. On the turn (4th card out of 5). Someone bets me all in. I call.
He flips a full house. I swear, and pull $5 out of my pocket, and buy back in. That's not getting rivered, but it's still really annoying.
That $5 lasts a while, until one hand, when I've got pocket 5's, a decent hand. I raise pre-flop, and one guy calls. The flop's total junk. He raises me all in, I call.
We flip. He's got shit, an ace high. I breathe a sigh of relief.
On the river, he hits his jack kicker, and wins with jacks.
I take a deep breath, and buy back in for $5, telling myself it's the last time. I'm dealt 10s. I raise, one guy calls. Flop is 2-4-4, rainbow. I raise, he reraises me all in. I think, "Nuts, he's got Trips. Gotta call though." I call. He turns over A-3. I celebrate again. I have him beat by a long shot, and his only chance is an one-ended straight draw, for which he needs a 5. Not happening.
He gets it on the river. I'm out, again. I'm not throwing any more money into this game, so tilt ain't a problem, but I am extremely angry, and it takes a while for me to calm down.
Everyone tells you that, well, shit just happens sometimes, you get rivered and otherwise have bad luck. You just have to ignore it, and keep playing, or stop if you can't play without tilting. And they're right.
But it still pisses you off.