Winning at Texas Holdem’

Winning at Texas Holdem’

Winning at Texas Holdem’History of Poker The history of poker is a matter of some debate. The name of the game likely descended from the French word poque, which descended from the German word pochen (‘to knock’), but it is not clear whether the origins of poker itself lie with the games bearing those names. It closely resembles the Persian game of as nas, and may have been taught to French settlers in New Orleans by Persian sailors. 

Poker is commonly regarded as sharing ancestry with the Renaissance game of primero and the French brelan. The English game brag (earlier bragg) clearly descended from brelan and incorporated bluffing (though the concept was known in other games by that time). It is quite possible that all of these earlier games influenced the development of poker as it exists now.

English actor Joseph Crowell reported that the game was played in New Orleans in 1829, with a deck of 20 cards, four players betting on which player’s hand was the most valuable.

Jonathan H. Green’s book, An Exposure of the Arts and Miseries of Gambling published in 1843 described the spread of the game from there to the rest of the country by Mississippi riverboats, on which gambling was a common pastime.

As it spread up the Mississippi and West during the gold rush it is thought to have become a part of the frontier, pioneering ethos.

Poker initially was played with one round of betting. Players were dealt five cards face down and there was no drawing of cards. Professional gamblers later modified the rules to increase the profitability of the game to them. After 1850, wild cards and bluffing became common practices and drawing cards were introduced as well.

The addition of the draw was especially helpful to professionals because it included another round of betting and thus another chance to cheat their opponents. It also introduced the necessity for more skill in playing the game.

Soon after this spread the full 52-card English deck was used, and the flush was introduced. During the American Civil War, many additions were made, including draw poker, stud poker (the five-card variant), and the straight.

Further American developments followed, such as the wild card (around 1875), lowball and split-pot poker (Around 1900), and community card poker games (around 1925). Spread of the game to other countries, particularly in Asia, is often attributed to the U.S. military.

As we’ve already pointed out, the game and jargon of poker have become important parts of American culture and English culture. Such phrases as ace in the hole, ace up one’s sleeve, beats me, blue chip, call one’s bluff, cash in, high roller, pass the buck, poker face, stack up, up the ante, when the chips are down, wild card, and others are used in everyday conversation even by those unaware of their origins at the poker table.

Modern tournament play became popular in American casinos after the World Series of Poker began in 1970. It was also during that decade that the first serious strategy books appeared, notably The Theory of Poker by David Sklansky, Super System by Doyle Brunson, and The Book of Tells by Mike Caro.

Poker’s popularity has experienced an unprecedented spike in recent years, largely due to the introduction of online poker and the invention of the hole-card camera which finally turned the game into a spectator sport.

Viewers can now follow the action and drama of the game, and broadcasts of poker tournaments such as the World Series of Poker and the World Poker Tour have brought in huge audiences for cable and satellite TV distributors.

Of course, we’re exploring the phenomenon of online poker, so let’s look at the history of that.

Other types of online gambling sites were launched before the first online poker room.

Online sports books were introduced in the mid 1990’s which was also the time of online casinos sprouting up around the web.

It wasn’t until 1998 that the first online poker forum was launched. Planet Poker, which has since become a relatively small poker room, enjoyed the status as the sole online
poker forum for a short period of time.

Other online sites entered the fray soon after. Paradise Poker was launched in 1999 and would soon become the industry leader.

Today, there are many, many sites to choose from. A search for the most popular sites for online poker show over 1,000 matches, and a Google search gives over 50 million matches for references to online poker sites.

The major sites include Poker Stars, Party Poker, Full Tilt Poker, Pacific Poker, and Bodog Poker. Many offer the chance to play with “fake money” or real money. You can accumulate points at some sites that can be redeemed for merchandise bearing the site’s name.

Another feature with most sites includes the offer of bonus cash with a real money deposit. Often, you can receive a code that matches the amount of your deposit up to a certain amount. For example, make a $50 real money deposit into your Party Poker account and you will receive $50 free making your total bankroll $100.

It’s a matter of personal preference as to which site is best. We will remain objective in this book and will not be able to tell you which site to go to. Each one has its distinct features that appeal to the everyday player.

Online venues may be more vulnerable to certain types of fraud, especially collusion between players. However, they also have collusion detection abilities that do not exist in brick-and-mortar casinos.

For example, online poker room security employees can look at the “hand history” of the cards previously played by any player on the site, making patterns of behavior easier to detect than in a casino where colluding players can simply fold their hands without anyone ever knowing the strength of their holding.

Online poker rooms also sometimes check player’s IP addresses in order to prevent players at the same household or at known open proxy servers from playing on the same tables.

The biggest challenge with online poker is you don’t have the advantage of trying to “read” your fellow players. A basic knowledge of the game, of course, is the first step to good play.

While we would like to assume you already know the basics, you might not, our next section looks at general terms used in poker as well as hand rankings. It’s always good to have this information at hand!

Winning at Texas Holdem’

Regards, Coyalita

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