While gambling is as old as the civilization, organized gambling is something relatively new as a concept. The casino industry is a group of establishments where people gather in order to participate in gambling. However, in today’s hyper-connected world, for the first time in history, we have a uniformed set of rules for some of the most popular casino games. This is why Gambling 101 aims to instruct their readers on some basics regarding the most widely played games. As a start of our series, we decided to focus on the flagship of the late 20th and the early 21st century gambling- the poker.
Poker is a Broad Term
Generally speaking, poker is a broad term at very best. There are so many versions and variables and so many different types of poker. The greatest difference is in the hand values, the number of betting rounds and even actions between the rounds. Most popular are 7-Card Stud, Omaha and, of course, Texas Hold ‘Em. The last one is on its own played more than all the rest versions put together, which is why, in this guide, we’ll focus on it the most. Its popularity goes so far that it is even played in the World Series of Poker.
Basic Rules of Texas Hold ’Em
At the start of this game, each player gets dealt two cards that are placed face down. These two cards are referred to as “hole cards” and, upon receiving them, you have the choice of checking, betting or folding. After every player makes a choice on which of these three he is going to change, the next stage of the game initiates. The next thing the dealer does is place three cards face up at the middle of the cards. These cards are shared, which means that every player may combine them with the unique hole cards they have in their hands.
When these cards are dealt, there comes one more betting round, then another card is added to the shared cards, which is also followed by the betting stage. This is repeated until there are five cards in the middle of the table. The key to the game is to combine the strongest five cards and this is determined by the official poker hand rankings. Royal flush and straight flush are the strongest, followed by four of a kind.
There are two ways a game can go after this. The first one is the showdown, where players basically turn over their cards and the one with the best combination wins. The second one is that everyone but one person folds. In this case, no one has to reveal anything, which means that someone could win even if they have the worst hand at the table. It all depends on other people misjudging their hand and being afraid to risk because the stakes are too high.
Where Can You Play?
As for the Texas Hold ‘Em, you can practically play it with your friends on Wednesday night or at a high-end casino for astronomical sums. If, however, one desperately wanted to play, but they had no company, in 2016, they can play via internet. Go to numerous minigames to play for fun or, if you want to play for real money, simply browse for best Australian online casino and choose the one from the list.
Rules and hand rankings of any game are best learnt by playing, but how much fun you have is determined by two things. The first one is the company you are in, and the second one is whether you are good at it. Unlike roulette or dice games, poker should in no way be considered to be luck-based. In 90 percent of the cases, having the best cards is not what brings you victory. It is convincing other people that your cards are best that does this trick.