Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Poker does not need an Introduction?


Poker is a popular form of card game involving two or more players. In this card game, players bet on the value of the ‘card combination’ (or hand) that they possess and the jackpot goes to the one who holds the card combination/hand of the highest value.

Although there are many poker variants (which is usually dependent on the cards used to form a hand – a hand may have all hidden cards or all community cards or make use of a combination of both), the game plan is more or less the same. The number of cards dealt to each player is also determined by the poker variant being played.

The game starts after cards have been distributed among the gamers. In between the rounds, players are allowed to improve their hands by adding new cards or replacing old cards.

Initially, one or more players make forced bets (blind or ante bets) and this is followed by several betting rounds. All bets are gathered into the central pot at the end of each round. If during one such betting round a player bets and his/her call is not matched by any of the other players, the hand immediately ends and the pot goes to the bettor. (Since the players do not even need to show the cards, bluffing plays a crucial role in poker.) Thereafter, the next round begins and the game proceeds with players opting to fold their cards at some juncture or the other.

At the end of the last betting round, when just two or three players remain, players are required to make their cards public and their individual hands evaluated. The player with the highest value hand is declared the winner.

Poker Variants

Some popular poker variants are as follows:

Draw Poker – In this poker variant, the players are given hidden cards; players are allowed to replace one or more of these cards a certain number of times. One universally played draw poker game is the 5 card draw, in which each player receives five cards (all face down).

Stud Poker – In this poker variant, mixed cards are dealt to the players – some facing up (so that others can see) and some facing down. Players, however, cannot change or replace cards in this form of poker. 5 card stud and 7 card stud are two of the most frequently played forms of stud poker.

Community Card Poker – The community card poker games require players to combine individually dealt cards with community cards to make up the best poker hand. (The community cards to be shared by players are dealt face up while the players receive face down cards). Omaha hold’em and Texas hold’em are two of the most common community card poker games played worldwide.

These popular variants apart, other poker forms like three card poker, four card poker, Chinese poker are also played in different parts of the world. Casino games including Caribbean stud and Pai Gow poker too follow poker-like rules.

Online Poker

The game of poker, which traces its origin from a variety of betting games (mostly based on bluffing and deception) of the bygone times, is a great craze these days. Although the brick and mortar poker playing venues are still very much there, it is the online version of the game that has gained in popularity. Actually, the online poker websites have brought the poker-fans this great opportunity of playing poker over the Internet from the comfort-zone of their homes. Unlike conventional casino/poker rooms, online poker rooms allow the players the big advantage of playing at more than one table at the same time and increase ones poker-earnings. These things have clicked very well with the poker-enthusiasts and every day multitudes are joining online poker rooms.

This is not all! Online poker rooms offer much more for poker in the form of poker promotions… poker bonuses for signing up with a site or for playing a certain number of raked hands, organizing poker freeroll tournaments and even accepting very low stakes from players to attract beginners and veterans alike. The success-stories of Chris Moneymaker and Greg “Fossilman” Raymer have inspired millions. (Chris Moneymaker was the winner in the 2003 World Series of Poker and Greg “Fossilman” Raymer won the event in 2004. Both Moneymaker and Raymer entered the main events through poker freerolls organized by the PokerStars’ online poker room).

Poker Reviews

If you too are inspired by the success of others and are raring to go online for some poker fun and excitement, paying a visit to an independent online poker review site will be of immense help. Poker reviews featured in these site are unbiased and provides the inexperienced poker-enthusiasts, the greenhorns the right kind of information to enable them take the initial steps.

Enrol with us at ... for the best poker site reviews and you will no more be baffled over the scores of choices you have in online poker rooms. Go through our rating of the top 10 poker rooms online, read news of all poker promotions being offered by various online poker websites and you will get the clue. To top it, the special entries from our expert strategists – guiding you with poker rules, tools and strategies – you will master poker skills fast. Omaha High, Omaha Hi/Lo, Texas hold’em, the big prize money will not be eluding you anymore!

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