Showdown value

In general, the term simply describes the fact that a hand has a certain value on the showdown and that you can win a sufficiently profitable number of showdowns with it in order to make profit in the long run.

However, the term is usually used in situations where you can no longer bet for value since there is hardly any weaker hand that would pay a bet, while your hand is still good enough to take it to the showdown cheaply, where it will often be the best hand.

Here's a quick example to illustrate this principle:

Stacks & Stats
UTG ($100.00)
MP ($100.00)
CO ($100.00)
Hero ($100.00)
BB ($100.00)
SB ($100.00)


Preflop: Hero is BU with 7  8
3 folds, Hero bets $3, 1 fold, BB calls

Flop: ($6.50) 2 K A (2 Players)
BB checks, Hero bets $4, BB calls

Turn: ($14.50)  7 (2 Players)
BB checks, Hero checks

River: ($14.50) 6 (2 Players)
BB checks, Hero checks

You raised a suited connector first-in from late position and one of the blinds calls your raise. The flop reveals two over-cards, you don’t have a pair and have neither hit a flush draw nor a straight draw.

The opponent checks the flop and as the preflop aggressor you make a flop continuation bet with the only intention to get the opponent to fold - your hand is absolutely worthless with the exception of the fold equity you can create.

However, your opponent calls and you hit a small pair on the turn. The opponent checks to you. Although you have a pair now, you can’t bet for value since it is very unlikely that your opponent will call with a weaker hand. It is possible now that your opponent has picked up a draw and will also check the river if the draw doesn't complete. Your pair therefore has showdown value and you check with the intention of getting to the showdown.