The term hole cards in poker means the cards players get given exclusively to them,
only for them to see and use. In live poker games they are dealt to them face down
so the other players cannot see them. In online poker each player is shown a unique
view of the table on their screen which constantly shows their cards face up and
all their opponents ones face down. In Texas Hold’em you get dealt two hole cards
each and can use either one, two or none of them in combination with the board to
make your best hand. In Omaha Hold’em you get four but must make use of exactly two
and three from the board.
It was the introduction of hole card cameras by British poker TV show Late Night
Poker that allowed viewers to see the players cards in real time that dramatically
increased televised pokers popularity. Being able to see all the players cards made
the game far more interesting to watch and you got a better insight into how the
top pros played. The increase in audience numbers for poker on TV can take a big
chunk of the credit for the poker boom which shortly followed.