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The Poker phenomenon attracts millions of players and spectators across the globe, both in real tournaments and, of course, on the Net.
Nowadays the most popular form of poker is Texas Hold’em, however the game of Poker dates back to the 17th century where it was invented by the French. If we go further down history we can find its roots in ancient Persia and China as well. In Europe, the game was originally called Poque, and only later was it was refined to Poker.
Nearly all games played in casinos have their roots in Europe and Poker is no different. It came to US shores via French settlers during the time of the US Civil War. Back then in the 1860s it became an instant hit and grew in stature with the growth in population. It was during that time that many new rules were incorporated in to the game and new versions such as Stud Poker and Draw Poker were introduced as well.
As one might be able to guess from the name, Texas Hold’em was made in Robstown, Texas in the start of the 20th century, however it failed to make any impact for nearly 50 years. In 1967 a Casino in Las Vegas called Golden Nugger added Texas Hold’em to its roster of games and from there it started to gain popularity. Two years later on, a casino called Dune held the first Texas Hold’em competition and things really kicked off from there.
Then in 1970, a move by the Binion brothers changed the destiny of Poker as we know it. They took over the failing Gambling Fraternity Convention and converted into an event which is now the biggest and the best poker competition in the world. Back then, they decided to keep Texas Hold’em as the main attraction, and as they say, the rest is history.
The World Series of Poker got coverage on national television; Texas Hold’em was crowned king of the Poker world. The kingdom of Texas Hold’em further grew with the emergence of the internet which made Texas Hold’em into an online game and made it available to millions across the world.
The terms listed below are for general poker and some are specific to the Texas Hold’em version only
Blinds: Obligatory wagers that are made by the 2 players to the left of the dealer. The player who is at two places left has to place a big blind whereas the player sitting immediately to left has to place small blind.
Bluff: A strategy used by the player in which he wagers on a weak hand, thereby forcing player with stronger hands out of the game.
Buy-in: Amount worth of chips a player has to acquire to take part in the game.
Community Cards: Five cards that are dealt face-up and can be used by all the players. However this only applies in Texas Hold’em.
Flop: First game, in which 3 community cards are dealt face-up.
Flush: A hand in which all five cards belong to an identical suit.
Hole Cards: The first 2 cards dealt to the player
Pair: Two identical worth cards, i.e. two Kings or two 6s.
Pot: Total worth of wagers placed on any specified hand.
Rake: The commission which the house makes from each pot. It is also how the house earns money from poker.
River: The final community card, generally the fifth card that is dealt.
Round of Betting: The four options a player has before every betting round: call, check, fold or raise.
Royal Flush: This is the top achievable hand in Poker. It consists of a flush which has a value of Ace and higher such as King, Jack, Queen or Tens of Spades
Straight: A hand in which the numbers follow a series of 5 numbers, for instance 2-6.
Trips: A set of Three-of-a-king, e.g. three 4s or three Jacks.
Turn: The fourth community card to be dealt.
The game begins when either a player of the dealer shuffles the standard deck of 52 cards. The player two places left to the dealer has to place a big blind (minimum wager) whereas the player sitting immediately to left has to place small blind, generally half of the minimum wager. The dealer then deals two cards to all the players, beginning from the player sitting on the left.
The betting starts with the player sitting on the left of the big blind and it continues from there is a clockwise direction. From here, a player can either add money to the pot or call; he can also bet in excess of the maximum bet amount or raise, he can leave the game by opting to fold or he can simply play check, if by now he has played the max bet.
The flop comes out: the dealer removes the card on top of the deck and then deals 3 community cards. This takes the game into the second round of betting, this is round is then followed by the fourth community card being dealt which starts off another round of bets. The final round is river when the fifth and final card is dealt, this is followed by another round of betting and then each player reveals his cards.
If two of the players or more stay in the game after the river, the 5 community cards are revealed by the dealer and then a winner is announced after determining who won. The winning player is the one with the best 5-card hand (determined by using 5 community cards and the players’ 2 hole cards).
In poker the value of hands (in descending order) is as follows:
Royal Flush: This is the top achievable hand It consists of a flush which has a value of Ace and higher.
Straight Flush: A hand in which the numbers follow a series and also belong to an identical suit.
Four of a Kind: Hand in which four of the cards have the same value plus an additional card.
Full House: Hand containing three of a kind and a pair.
Flush: Five-card hand in which all cards are from the same suit.
Straight: Five consecutive cards from different suits.
Three of a kind: A Hand in which 03 cards have same value, whereas the other two are different in value.
Two pair: A Hand that has 02 pairs of same value cards and one additional separate card.
Pair: A Hand that has 02 same value cards.
High Card: If all players fail to make a Pair or greater, then the game is decided by seeing which player has the highest card, the counting begins from Ace.
Just like all other versions of poker, Texas Hold’em requires you to be sharp. You have to do your math’s, play your bluffs right and catch the bluffs of others. However, all this comes at an advanced level. In the beginning you just need to focus on two things, weather to play with the hole cards or fold.
Generally, the probability of winning is reduced if the hand contains two cards from two different suits that have a total worth of less than 10. However, if one card valuing over 10 is present in the hand, then the game can be played on. The next step involves an analysis of the worth of the cards and what would be required to spend to stay in the game. In some instances fold is the best option, in other, giving in a little extra just might be beneficial
- As competitive as you might be and as impressive as your winning streak might get, always keep in mind that it is mathematically impossible to win every hand. Learn when to play and when to fold.
- As in real life, don’t stay in the game just because the money is already in it. If you have a bad hand the stakes are raised higher and higher, admit defeat and quit.
- The best weapon a poker player has is his composure, no matter what the situation is. Keep your head cool and clear at all times in order to process the events going on in front of you.
The community cards are for everyone, by taking a close look at them you can figure out what cards your opponents have and you can even make your own hand better from these cards.