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Poker - King of Card games

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Poker is a popular card game. Nobody is really sure of its origin. It is very similar to the Persian game of as nas. It is believed that the game was taught to the French settlers in New Orleans by Persian sailors. It is not clear how poker came to be but some of the features were known in the previous games. Perhaps the earlier games have influenced the present form of poker. It seems, in 1800 gambling was a common pastime. During the gold rush it spread up the Mississippi and West.

It is reported that initially poker was played with 20 cards but soon after its spread, the full 52-card English deck was used. During the American civil war the game changed. More additions were made, such as draw poker, stud poker and the straight. Around 1875 wild card was introduced and about 25 years later split-pot poker was developed and then again about 25 years later around 1925, community card poker game was developed. From America the game spread to other countries. The introduction of poker to Asia, it is believed that the U.S military was responsible for it. The game and its jargon has become an integral part of American and English culture. While speaking English many phrases are used such as ‘ace in the hole,’ ace up one’s sleeve, blue chip, call one’s bluff, cash in, pass the buck, poker face, stack up, when the chips are down, wild card. Etc. Many people do not know that these phrases are connected to poker.

World Series of Poker started in 1970. It became popular in American casinos. Initial years of the 21sr century saw the popularity of poker reaching to the sky mainly because the game went online. This was responsible to turn this game into a spectator sport. With T.V coming in, a new dimension was added to the game as player became aware that their actions might be seen on T.V.

Poker is played in many different ways, but there is a basic pattern of play that is followed everywhere. Players deal each hand by rotation. But in a casino a house dealer handles the cards, normally a white plastic disk is passed around the players to indicate who is the dealer for that round. It is rotated clockwise so the order of betting can be determined. The dealer shuffles the cards, cuts it and deals it. The cards are dealt either face up or face down. The position of the cards depends on what kind of poker is played.

Bluffing is basic feature of poker. Most popular forms of poker are:

Draw poker:
Players receive 5 or more cards. All the cards are hidden. The player can replace one or more of his cards a certain number of times.

Stud Poker:
Here the player gets one card at a time, some cards are displayed to other players at the table. In Stud poker players are not allowed to discard or replace any cards.

Community card poker:
A number of cards are dealt face up and shared by all players. Players combine individually dealt cards with the ‘community cards’

The most popular versions are Texas hold’em, and Omaha hold’em. In this variety two or four individual cards are dealt, respectively. Texas Hold’em can be played by up to 22 players but normally it is played with 2 and 10 people. The objective of Texas hold’em is to win pots. Out of seven cards available, form a poker hand with best 5 and win the pot or bet to cause other players to fold and abandon their claim to the pot. To win the player has to make mathematically correct decisions.

Omaha hold’em:
It is also known as Omaha holdem or Omaha. It is a community card poker game. It is very similar to Texas hold’em. Each player is dealt four cards. And has to make best poker hand using only two of his cards and can use only three out of five community cards.
Published: 2007-02-24
Author: Trish “The Queen” McArthur

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