Is there a standard notation, like there is for chess, for describing Texas Hold 'Em, poker, or other poker-like card games?
I think there was a standard for Bridge because I remember they would print games/hands in the newspapers.
Yes there is a standard for notating poker games, though it's not so widely used. One of the reasons for this is doing it as a player in game is cheating, writing down the cards that have come out would be counting cards.
The card values are: 2-9,T,J,Q,K,A in standard notation.
Suits can be noted, with the symbol of the suit (♠♣♥♦) or the first letter of the suit name (SCHD), though usually this is not bothered with as suits only matter in poker for the three flush type hands. Often is it just noted if a players hole cards are suited (s) or offsuit(o) - ATo would be an ace and a ten with different suits.
For community cards they are grouped and ordered as they would be on the table - 3 in the flop, 1 in the river then one for the turn.
Beyond that, notation for the players are BB(Big Blind), SB(Small Blind), BTN(button, the dealer), UTG (Under the Gun, to the left of BB and the first to bet) and CO(cut off, to the right of the button). Players if any between UTG and CO are notated by their distance from the closest of these, like UTG+1 or CO-2.
Bets are noted by the dollar value of the bet, or by how many times it is the big blind (2.5x)
Yes, there's a notation used in all discussions and software poker related.
Face value of the cards:
2-9, T, J, Q, K, A
Suits of the cards:
s, h, d, c
So King of spades is
Ks, 5 of clubs is
When talking about hole cards, you can write them using the suits, i.e.
AsTh, or, when the suit doesn't matter (usually preflop), just note if they're suited, i.e.:
AJs, or off-suited, i.e.
Same goes for the flop: you can note the suit of every card, i.e.
AsTh5h, or group only the face value and the fact that the flop is rainbow (i.e. all cards have different suits), suited (two cards of the same suit) or monotone (all cards of the same suit), like this:
Positions are noted this way: Dealer is called Button, notation BTN or BU. Small Blind is SB, Big Blind is BB. The player before BTN is called the Cut-off, notation CO. Then, depending on the number of players, the other positions are grouped as Under The Gun (UTG) or Middle Position (MP). UTG is the first player to talk during preflop, thus is the one sitting after the BB. If the table has 6 players, the player between UTG and CO is the MP. If the table is a 10 players table, you have UTG, UTG+1, UTG+2, MP, MP+1, MP+2, CO, BTN, SB, BB. A very seldom used notation for the player before the CO is Hijack, or HJ. Regarding heads-up game, the only positions are SB (=BTN) and BB.
Answering your question in the comments, usually online rooms log the result just by using the standard notation, i.e.:
Player 1 - AsAc Player 2 - KsQh Board - Ts,Js,2d,7d,9c
There're too some less used notations, for example when describing a board at the turn which is double suited (2 cards of a suit and the other 2 of another one), like
AT75ss, but these are mostly used in analysis/discussions.
Edit: I forgot to add the notation for the players' actions.
Check - X Bet - B Raise - R Fold - F
So, if a player for example check-raises, it's noted as a
There is no a universal standard that I know of. But they read similar. It would be nice to have an XML standard.
You can get hand history from many sites and applications. They typically don't include hole cards of the players that did not have to show.
Hand history is not widely released as it is more valuable to bots than people. A bot can look up when they did X what was the range they were holding.
Internally most sites keep a history to spot cheats. It could be real people colluding or bots.
As stated in other answer cards are 2-9, T, J, Q, K. The suits are c, s, d, h and usually in lower case (e.g. Td). Positions have names and pretty standard abbreviations. You typically get seat number and where the button is like the example below.
Hero is you and your hole cards are known.
Sample hand from PokerStars
Hand #156605842579: Tournament #1618015625, $2.00+$2.00+$0.40 USD Hold'em No Limit - Level XVIII (300/600) - 2016/07/29 23:25:05 MSK [2016/07/29 16:25:05 ET] Table '1618015625 40' 9-max Seat #7 is the button Seat 1: nossoff (22844 in chips) Seat 2: Gr0z3LB (27895 in chips) Seat 3: yarikkkkk (7005 in chips) Seat 4: sigis1313 (18222 in chips) Seat 5: S21berlin (25318 in chips) Seat 6: Hero (8240 in chips) Seat 7: tommesk (8185 in chips) Seat 8: gergelyt3 (17912 in chips) Seat 9: endreooo (50289 in chips) nossoff: posts the ante 90 Gr0z3LB: posts the ante 90 yarikkkkk: posts the ante 90 sigis1313: posts the ante 90 S21berlin: posts the ante 90 Hero: posts the ante 90 tommesk: posts the ante 90 gergelyt3: posts the ante 90 endreooo: posts the ante 90 gergelyt3: posts small blind 300 endreooo: posts big blind 600 *** HOLE CARDS *** Dealt to Hero [Jd Ac] nossoff: raises 600 to 1200 Gr0z3LB: folds yarikkkkk: folds sigis1313: folds S21berlin: folds Hero: raises 6950 to 8150 and is all-in tommesk: folds gergelyt3: folds endreooo: folds nossoff: calls 6950 *** FLOP *** [7h 2h 5s] *** TURN *** [7h 2h 5s] [5d] *** RIVER *** [7h 2h 5s 5d] [4d] *** SHOW DOWN *** nossoff: shows [Qd Ah] (a pair of Fives) Hero: shows [Jd Ac] (a pair of Fives - lower kicker) nossoff collected 18010 from pot nossoff wins $1 for eliminating Hero and their own bounty increases by $1 to $6 Hero finished the tournament in 5028th place *** SUMMARY *** Total pot 18010 | Rake 0 Board [7h 2h 5s 5d 4d] Seat 1: nossoff showed [Qd Ah] and won (18010) with a pair of Fives Seat 2: Gr0z3LB folded before Flop (didn't bet) Seat 3: yarikkkkk folded before Flop (didn't bet) Seat 4: sigis1313 folded before Flop (didn't bet) Seat 5: S21berlin folded before Flop (didn't bet) Seat 6: Hero showed [Jd Ac] and lost with a pair of Fives Seat 7: tommesk (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet) Seat 8: gergelyt3 (small blind) folded before Flop Seat 9: endreooo (big blind) folded before Flop
At a live table you are typically not allowed to take or refer to notes during the hand if you are in the hand. People that track have their own notation and do it between hands.