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Poker – Everything you should know
Originated in North America, Poker today is a world-famous card game played in different forms. From private homes to poker clubs and casinos, the game is played everywhere. Even today, poker is one of the most played online games by both new as well as expert poker players. Saying that the internet has taken the game’s popularity to the next level won’t be a wrong statement.
History of Poker
Poker is a recent form of the evolution of gambling which continues to evolve with new rules and playing platforms. Poker has gained mainstream popularity in the last 15 years, but the exact origin of poker is unknown due to the wide variations of card games being played all across the world. However, with hands and methods of wagering, the modern poker can be traced back to a type of French game called “poque”.
The game had a bad reputation in the 1800s due to non-existence of standardized rules, high level of cheating and absence of an officiating body. However, with the growing acceptance and increased interest of the game, both casino, as well as online poker playing platforms, came together to protect the integrity of the game and make it an enjoyable and fair game.
The official invention of Texas Holden Poker
The modern Poker game was invented in a little town outside of Corpus Christi called Robstown, Texas in somewhere near 1925. Quickly the game gained popularity in Texas and then all across the world.
History of Online Poker Game
Poker too off after 1970 the credit of which goes to the WSOP coverage on CBS and ESPN during the Stu Ungar years. With the growing usage of the internet, the journey of online Poker also started. The game which was being played via IRC chat started as a full-fledged real money online poker play in 1998.
pokertempo.com was the website that came with a bang with well-known faces like Mike Caro as their spokesperson. Within a few years, the online world got bombarded with a huge number of poker website and the inventor became just a site with poker rules.
After some time, pokertempo.com emerged as the number one online poker site with close competition from names like PokerTempo and Full Tilt. Today, Poker Tempo is one of the leading and widely visited poker sites by both the new as well as experienced poker players.
The game has gone through a number of changes of time. From the rules to the poker playing techniques, there have been many changes that resulted in several poker variations.
The early poker of the card game had ‘draw poker’ like five-card draw, which later transformed into the five-card stud and seven-card stud in World War II.
In the early 1960s came Hold Me Darling from Texas that eventually became Texas Hold’Em, which today is the most popular form of Poker all across the world. Poker again got a transformation and gained more popularity in the early 1970s with the launch of poker tournament named the World Series of Poker. This was a showdown of poker players where the main even and the world champion used to be based on Texas Hold’em.
This is similar to Hold’em in terms of betting and blinds but differs from it with the number of hole cards players are dealt.
This is for the players who feel that they can cash in their ‘bad’ hands. This game can be played with 2 to 8 players and the goal is to make the best five-card low hand from the seven cards you are dealt with.
Basic poker rules every player needs to follow
No matter you are a beginner or an expert, you always need to follow certain rules to play the game.
Dealing cards and betting rounds
After dealing with initial poker cards, players need to act in turn, moving clockwise around the poker table. Given below is the list of actions players can take when their turn comes:
Check – This is the option to deny the opportunity to open the betting. Players are allowed to check only when there is no bet in that particular round.
Bet – A player can bet only when no other player has bet in that round, which compels other players to ‘call’ by matching the bet amount to remain in the hand.
Fold – Once forfeited, players cannot win or act again during a particular hand.
Call – Players need to call and match the highest bet when any other player bets in the current round.
Raise – Like call players can raise when other players have bet and here also, they need to match the highest bet made and then make a greater one. In order to stay in the hand, other players need to call the raise or re-raise.
A showdown happens when the last bet or raise is called during the final betting round. The active players at this level need to show or declare their hands and the player with the best ranking hands win the pot. If multiple players have good hands, they can share a single pot divided in multiple ways based on the game rules.
Basically, poker games have below-given betting limits to open and raise during the game.
No limit – As the name suggests, in this poker game a player can bet or raise any amount to their full-stack in any betting round.
Pot limit – games with a pot-limit give each player an option to bet or raise by any amount up to and including the size of the total pot in the game.
Fixed limit – poker games with fixed limit allow each player to choose to call, bet or raise a fixed amount, which is set in advance.
In the poker game, a standard 52-card deck is used. Though poker is a one-pack game, nowadays, in all games, players also use two packs of contrasting colours to speed up the game. However, only one pack is used to play while the other pack is shuffled and kept aside for the next deal. In clubs, players are allowed to change cards often and even call for new cards when they wish.
How to play poker?
Poker is a game where your money is at stake. So, to ensure that you take home good winnings, you should learn to play poker. Read below some steps to play poker like a pro:
Learn the 5-card hands and their ranking
- Royal flush with a 10, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace of the same suit, one kind (all clubs, diamonds, hearts or spades) is the highest-ranking hand
- A straight flush, which is made up to 5 consecutive cards of the same suit.
- 4 of a kind as the name suggests 4 cards of the same rank and the first card of any other rank.
- A full house that contains 3 matching cards of 1 rank and 2 matching cards of another rank.
- A flush that has 5 cards of the same suit without being from the same sequence.
- A straight having 5 cards of consecutive rank from more than one suit.
- 3 of a kind where a player has 3 cards of the same rank along with two unmatched cards.
- 2 pair means having two cards of one rank along with two cards of another rank (different from the first pair) and one unmatched card.
- Pair includes 2 cards of the same rank with 3 other unmatched cards.
- High card is the lowest-ranking which in reality is nothing. A player having high card has no two cards with the same rank, the five cards are not consecutive, and they are not all from the same suit.
Place the bet
In poker, you need to place the bet at the beginning of the game. IN Texas Hold’em, the most commonly played game, the player next to the dealer places a small blind bet which is usually half of the minimum bet.
Check your hand
The dealer places the first card on the deck to ‘burn’ it or to keep it out of play. Then 2 cards are given to each player.
Bet, call or raise
Based on other players, you need to make a bet, call or raise. The first bet is made solely based on the two cards a player is dealt with.
Look at the flop to check your hands. The dealer puts 3 cards face-up on the table, which is called ‘flop’. These cards are open for any players to use.
The dealer again burns the top card and places 1 card face up next to the flop, which is called the ‘turn’ card. Your next decision to bet, call or raise should be after checking all the cards on the table and in your hands.
After ‘burn’ and ‘turn’ card, the dealer puts a final card next to the ‘turn’ card which is called the ‘river’. Check your card and community card and based on that decide whether you want to bet, call or fold.
In this round, each player’s hands are opened in clockwise.
Interesting poker facts
The shift from 20 to 52 poker cards
The game that is today played with 52 cards was once a 20 cards game. In its early days, only 20 poker cards would be used by the four players to play the game.
Introduction of poker chips
In the initial stage, poker was played with gold nuggets, gold dust and gold coins. When playing with gold dust, coming out with the standardized units was difficult that resulted in the introduction of gaming houses and saloons with poker chips. To depict values, ivory, bone, clay and wood poker chips used to have designed.
The most lucrative sport across the world
No matter how popular are games like cricket, golf and football, but no one can beat the popularity of poker. With the five biggest prizes up to $44,202,738 awarded in super high roller tournaments, Poker is still the most lucrative game all across the world.
Poker winnings to run for elections
Richard Nixon – the former U.S. president is said to be a successful and experienced poker player who used his $5,000 poker winnings to finance his run for Congress in California in 1946.
The longest duration of poker game
The longest continuous poker tournament was played for 48 hours 55 minutes and 58.5 seconds in Pasay, Philippines. The game was organized by the Asian Poker Tour and Resorts World Manila Iron Man Poker Challenge (Philippines) from 13 to 15 December 2013 with the total prize pool of US$ 71,400.
Influence of Zen on poker skills?
From playing poker in dirty clothes to choosing a particular seat, poker players follow a number of superstitions to ensure their victory in the game. One among them is the esoteric philosophy of the East – Zen Buddhism. It has a huge influence on poker. From staying in the moment to remaining in a particular zone, poker players follow different philosophies of Zen. Major rules of Zen applied on both traditional as well as online poker game include:
- Discipline with a nimble attitude to understand the meaning of patience and bad luck.
- Hard to get yourself way up in the game.
- Conditioning of the mind with lots of practice and hard work. Like meditation, you also need regular practice in poker to understand the rhythm of the game.
- Zen practitioners learn from their mistakes and use them as their building blocks. The same rule also applies in poker like learning from over-aggressive attitude.
If you don’t have confidence, start with free poker online. There are a number of websites like Poker Tempo, where you can play poker online for free. It will help you learn the basics and start playing for the fund and improve your game over time.