Discussions held around the history of poker are often contentious, with ‘experts’ offering differing points of view. Does the modern game have its roots in 10th century China or 17th century France where citizens played Poque? The picture becomes clearer following the introduction of the game to the southern United States in the 19th century where it grew in popularity before spreading around the world. Today poker, in all its guises, is almost certainly found in every casino that offers online gambling.
Poker VariationsThere are many variations of the game including:
- Texas Hold’em
- Seven-card Stud
- Five-card Draw
- Poker with video streaming from live casinos is becoming increasingly popular
Basic Rules and Betting LimitsAlthough rules between the different versions of the game will differ, the basic object of the game is to get the best five-card hand from the available cards. In any comparison with another hand, all five cards must be taken into account. Poker games fall into three main categories:
- Draw Poker – The hand is hidden from other players.
- Stud Poker – The hand is a combination of hidden and exposed cards.
- Community Card Poker – Players use community cards or shared cards.
How to Play PokerFirst each player is dealt two down cards before five more cards are dealt to the table. The first three of these cards, which are shared, are called the flop. The fourth card is called the turn and the final card is called the River. To finish, combine the initial cards to make the best possible hand. During the process, betting which may include small blind and big blind bets will take place. Understanding poker hands and their ranking is important and worth taking a bit of time to get it right. Poker hands (from best to worst) are:
- Royal Flush – Ace, King, Queen, Jack and Ten in the same suit.
- Straight Flush – Five sequential cards, all in the same suit.
- Four of a Kind – All four cards of the same value.
- Full House – Three of a kind plus a pair.
- Flush – Any five non-sequential cards of the same suit.
- Straight – Five sequential cards, not in the same suit.
- Three of a Kind – Three cards of the same value.
- Two Pairs – Two different pairs.
- One Pair – Two cards of the same value.
- High Card – The highest card in the hand (no other potentially winning combinations)
Types of Bets Which can be PlacedMany poker casinos will use the standard bet and three raises model with minimum and maximum bets being set by the casino for each particular game. The three predominant types of betting structures are:
- Fixed Limit
- No Limit
- Pot Limit
- Check – To refuse the chance to open the betting.
- Bet – Players may bet if no others have bet during the current round.
- Fold – Players will forfeit their hand.
- Call – To call is to match the highest bet.
- Raise – Players may raise if others have placed a bet in the current round.