If you are thinking about trying your hand at gambling, or if you are interested in learning a few casino games, probably the best place to start is poker. This is a card game that is one of the most popular casino games around the world and it is often played at private parties where a few people get together for a few hands of cards and to wager some hard-earned money. In this article we take a look at some of the basic rules of the game and give you some tips on how to play poker.
The history of poker
It is widely documented that poker probably originated in New Orleans in the early 1800s, spreading through the rest of the United States courtesy of the Mississippi riverboats (where gambling was a common past-time).
There are lots of different ways to play poker, but there are generally four main types:
Straight – a complete hand is dealt to each player and players bet in one round.
Stud Poker – cards are dealt in a combination of face-down and face-up rounds, with a round of betting following each deal.
Draw Poker – a complete hand is dealt to each player, players can improve their hand by discarding cards and being dealt new ones.
Community Card Poker – players are dealt an incomplete hand and then a number of face up cards are dealt in the centre of the table, players can then use these cards to make a 5-card hand. Texas Hold’em is a version of Community Card Poker.
In private games the role of dealer generally rotates around the players – the dealer is marked with a button. In casino games a house dealer handles the cards but a dealer button is still used to determine the order the betting amongst the players.
The cards are dealt clockwise around the table, one at a time. Cards can be dealt face up or face down – the approach followed is determined by the type of poker being played.
Betting is done in rounds, between the betting rounds the players’ hands are developed by dealing additional cards. At any time if an opponent is unwilling to match the bet of another player then they fold and their hand ends. If no player matches the bet then last player to bet collects the pot of bets that had been placed on that hand.
The birth of online poker in recent years has seen another surge in interest in activity in the game of poker. Players can join online tournaments and play against other players around the world. Big prize pools have made online tournaments incredibly popular and are a great way for inexperienced players to build their poker experience without the pressure of having to go to a casino.
So if casino games or card games are your thing, or perhaps a new hobby that you are looking to explore, then poker could be the game that you need to learn.