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Poker Guide | Poker Tournaments

Poker as we know it to day is an evolution of a number of different card games originating some 2000 years ago. Its most similar style is believed to come from the French game of POQUE, and the Spanish card game of PRIMERO, in which players used bluffing tactics when holding a poor hand.

When French colonials emigrated to Canada they brought the game with them. The spread of the game in America happened when some of the French colonials went south to New Orleans and it was played on the river boats along the Mississippi. Poker became synonymous with the American ‘wild west’, and saloons across the land were never with out a poker table. This was taken to a whole new level when the movie industry started making western films depicting the ‘card sharps’ and slick gamblers taking a buck off the ‘cow pokes’ who were not so au fait with the game.

Poker has a number of variations, but all linked by the the same betting rules, hand rankings and the ability of the player to bluff when he is holding a bad hand. Rules as to betting, raising and limit are normally set at the beginning of a session by the house/dealer. Dealing is done clockwise and each player will place a bet in turn or fold,(throw the hand in and take no further part of that particular game),if only one player is left holding cards at the end of betting, the pot is taken by that player with out showing their cards, however if more than one player is holding cards at the end of betting, then players will put their cards face up on the table, and the highest ranking will take the pot.

The main four variations of poker are:-

STRAIGHT

This is the oldest form of the game, where players are dealt a complete hand of 5 cards,with raising and re raising allowed and the winner taking the pot.

STUD

This is played with 5 or 7 cards being dealt in a prearranged format with certain cards being face up or face down. Betting takes place after each round of cards is dealt. The 7 card version is normally dealt 4 cards up and 3 face down, with the players selecting the best hand of 5 cards, from the 7 dealt.

DRAW

In this version cards are dealt face down to each player who have the opportunity to discard unwanted cards and get new ones from the dealer in the hope of improving their hand. The most famous variation of this game is ‘five card draw’.

COMMUNITY

This is similar to STUD, where players are dealt a number of cards face down and the dealer then deals a number of cards face up in the center of the table allowing players to select cards to improve their five card hand. Famous versions of this are Texas hold em and Omaha.

Poker has even become part of our every day language with such phrases as, an ace up ones sleeve,call ones bluff, pass the buck, when the chips are down, poker face and so on.

In 1970 casinos introduced a ‘world series’ of poker which gave the game added momentum, and increased its popularity that today there are a number of tournaments played world wide, with winners going through to the finals, normally played in the USA, and with TV now broadcasting internationally it is developing into quite a spectator sport.

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