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What is Poker? – Introduction

Poker is a set of card games originated in USA. Though it is played throughout the world, it is still the most popular of all the card games in USA.

Poker is played with the standard set of playing cards, it is five-card vying game. The players bet as to who has the best combination of cards among all, instead of playing their cards out, and the betting continues with the stakes raising until a showdown happens (showdown happens when the best hand wins the pot i.e., all the stakes) or where all the players stop betting or are out of the game and only one player remains and he wins the stakes without a showdown. Bluffing is important in such a game, (in fact Poker was earlier called ‘Bluff’). So when all the players have been bluffed out of the play, one person can win by a hand which may not even be the best.

History of Poker Game

Originated sometime around the first or second decade of the 19th century in the French Territory of New Orleans, it was earlier played in the gambling saloons and the notorious floating saloons called Mississippi Steamers. The first reference to Poker could be seen in 1836. The earliest form of poker was played with a 20-card pack and four players. Between 1830 and 1845 it was played with a 52-card pack and more players. Poker was introduced to the English by an American ambassador, General Schenck.

Basic Rules of Poker

Though a game of chance, it requires a bit of skill and psychology when betting is involved in the game.

Played with a 52-card pack, (sometimes more than 1 pack or jokers are used), with four suits (diamond, heart, spade and club), the cards are ranked high to low in the order – King, Queen, Jack, 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2, and Ace. Ace may be ranked highest or lowest but usually ranked the highest. All the hands have 5 cards and the highest hand wins. Sometimes the game may have jokers or any other cards used as wild cards. From high to low, the hands are ranked as – Five of a kind, Straight Flush, Four of a kind, Full House, Flush, Straight, Three of a kind, Two Pair, Pair and High Card.

Types of Poker Games

1. Texas Hold’em, the most popular game in the world as of now, is a game of choice. With significant increase in its popularity, it can be viewed on television regularly. In this game, each year’s World Series of Poker winner is determined.

2. Omaha Hi, Omaha Hi-Lo, Omaha 8 or better are quite similar to Texas Hold’em, The difference is that instead of 4, 2 cards are dealt with and a 5 card hand is formed with 2 cards in hand and 3 community cards.

3. Seven Card Stud and Seven Card Stud 8 or Better, is entirely different form the other two types and each player deals a hand, if he doesn’t like it, he can place them in the discard pile and all players remaining in the hand remembers the discarded cards for more chances of winning and to know the opponents’ odds.





Remember, you can beat the odds, but you can't beat the percentages.
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