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  Poker:

Discussing the rules of poker is a bit problematic due to the many variations of the game. Most variations have the same card rankings (aces highest, then king, queen and jack, then the numbered cards from ten to two), but there are different rankings for the hands. Generally, hands consist of five cards.

The following are the poker hands, ranked from highest to lowest
1. Straight flush: five cards of the same suit, of consecutive value. An especially high regard is given to the royal flush, which consists, in descending order, of an ace, king, queen, jack and ten.
2. Four of a kind: four cards of the same value, plus one non-matching card
3. Full house: three cards of the same value, plus a like-value pair of a different value
4. Flush: all cards of the same suit, but not in consecutive order
5. Straight: cards of consecutive value, but not in the same suit
6. Three of a kind: three cards of like value, plus two mismatched cards
7. Two Pair: two pairs of like-value cards, plus one unpaired card
8. Pair: a pair of like-value cards, plus three unmatched cards
9. High Card: the polite term for “nothing,” the worst hand in poker without cards of like value, or suit or useful order

Poker


In some games, the joker is used as a sort of additional ace or wild card. The player can use it to conform to whatever value or suit would be most useful, especially if he or she has an almost-complete flush, straight, or straight flush.

There is a simpler variation of poker called Red Dog or In Between. Players are dealt two cards. Then they are given a choice of whether or not to raise the initial bet. Afterwards, a third card is dealt. The player wins money if the third card has a value in between the first two.

Bets

The betting rules are really what all the poker variations have in common, and also what distinguishes poker from other gambling and card games. Poker bets are complex and exciting. They also allow for a skill aspect to the game that is absent from most other gambling games, in which chance plays a much bigger role.

At the beginning of the game, all players are forced to put up money for the pot. However, from then on, betting is voluntary. After voluntary betting begins, players must either match the initial bet or raise it. The raised bet then becomes the amount that must be matched from then on. If a player does not wish to put up more money, he or she can fold. That player then gives up the money he or she has already put into the pot and will no longer be playing that hand. He or she can, of course, start playing again at the next hand.

Poker Games


So, how does one win bets at poker? One way is to be the last player who has not yet folded. Then you can collect the whole pot without having to show your hand. This is quite the victory, especially if it turns out you were hiding a bad hand the entire time. Otherwise, the game often gets to a point where most players have folded, but two are reluctant to give in and keep matching and raising bets. This is resolved in a showdown, wherein the players reveal their cards and the one with the best hand wins the pot.

Strategies

Given the many variations of poker, it is hard to mention a strategy that works for all of them. However, one very useful tactic is not to get too excited if you get an ace. It is true that an ace is a valuable card, but the final unit in poker is hands, not individual cards. If your other cards do not match the ace in any useful way, you will still lose. Do not be tempted to raise the bets right away. Do your best to prevent other players from raising bets until you get some good cards that match your ace. In fact, you might actually have to fold early. Since the ace is at the extreme end of the card-rankings, it is hard to get cards that you can use to complete a straight with an ace. Don’t feel bad about folding early. In fact, wait for the third card, and if signs are not good, fold. You may even fold after the second card, if you wish.

Psychology and street-smarts also play a big part in poker. This is where the expression “poker-face” comes from. Skilled players watch their opponents very carefully because so they will know when it is wise to fold or keep raising the stakes. Players have to watch one another in order to ascertain whether the other player is bluffing (pretending they have a better hand than they actually do).

The Experience

Of all the various card games, perhaps none has the same mystique as poker. Perhaps this is to do with the portrayal of the game in art and media. The great composer Giacomo Puccini used it as an important plot device in his Wild-West-themed La Fanciulla del West (The Girl of the Golden West). In it, Minnie, the titular girl, challenges the sheriff to a poker game, with the life of the bandit she loves as the stake. For a more recent example, see the Bond film Casino Royale, wherein the villain arranges a high-stakes poker game for thrill-seeking rich people, including, of course, an undercover Bond with a suitcase of money that is not his own. Competitions among celebrities are often organized—with the proceeds going to charity, of course. So it is no wonder that poker has a special place in the popular imagination.

All this glamour might make it difficult to evaluate the game of poker objectively. Is poker really all that exciting and fun without the glitz?

Poker is unique in what it asks of its players. Other casino games require willingness to leave things up to chance. Poker requires more judgment and responsibility. Once you get past the first bet, the amount of money you risk is entirely up to you.

In sum, poker is a very exciting game, both in terms of card-play and the types of bets one can make. The mystique conferred upon it throughout the years is justified, but players do not need it in order to enjoy the game. Beginners, however, are advised to be especially wary. A great deal of skill is involved, and stakes can rise very high very quickly. Practice and observation are recommended before you try playing high-stakes poker.

  List of casinos with Poker:

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