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Definition of Poker

Poker in General

Poker is a card game based on skill and knowledge and to the less extent on luck and chance. Today poker had even became a fashion, a lifestyle and an indicator of style, good taste and high social status. Unlike the other cards games, poker is becoming more of a sports game and starts loosing most of its negative features, like cheating, lack of honor and pure gambling. Poker is different from the other card games, like bridge or preferans, as in poker the players do not play as a team or a pair, they play only for themselves and they cannot share the information about their cards with the others.

A very important part of poker play is poker strategy: bluff, semi-bluff and various other techniques which help the players win. The whole process of the poker game is rather simple and convenient: the chips represent the amount of money each player holds in their disposition, therefore there is no need to keep notes or follow the score.

Benefits of Poker

Poker is a suitable pastime for people of any age, occupation or income. If taken seriously, poker might become a way of meeting a lot of like-minded people, making new friends and even earning a lot and constantly, despite the financial crisis or the political situation. Just imagine – no going to the office every morning, working at home whenever you feel like it, having a constant vacation by the seaside and still being able to work. No need to take holidays or make excuses to the boss for being late, having a higher income than the one of the top-class manager – this is the life of a poker pro.

The game of poker is rather simple and easy to learn. Getting familiar with the main rules and the playing process may only take several minutes, whereas to become a winning poker player and to ensure a solid income one has to learn all the time. Poker has a number of game variations which employ different strategies depending on the limits of the game, position at the table, the number of players in the game, etc. So it is not enough just to learn the poker rules in order to become good in the game, as strategy is the key of winning in poker.

Live and Online Poker

As poker can be played both live and online, there are certain pros and cons to each of the variants. Online poker has definitely made the game more accessible for the general public. Now everyone is able to play the game at any time, anywhere with thousands of opponents and poker tables available to play. With online poker there is no longer a need to go to a casino or a poker room in order to enjoy the game. Moreover, special bonus offers and freeroll tournaments allow poker players to play the game without even making real money investments.

Poker Variations

Poker is a game that has over a hundred variations, which can be basically divided into two groups: classic and non-standard poker games. The most popular is Texas Hold'em, followed by Omaha Poker along with 7-card and 5-card Stud and Crazy Pineapple poker. The non-standard games include Pinatubo, Iron Cross, Badugi, etc. Mixed poker games, with different variations played one after another, are also possible, for example H.O.R.S.E., H.O.S.E., H.O. etc.

The game of poker is becoming increasingly popular all over the world. International poker tournaments have already become world-class events with thousands of participants and millions of TV viewers all over the world. The biggest poker tournaments are WSOP, WPT, WSOPE, EPT etc.

Poker History

Poker is known and played all over the world. The true story of how and when had poker developed is still unknown, therefore there is a number of theories trying to explain it.

Card games had first appeared in China and then spread to Persia where the 25-card deck with 5 suits was used while at the same time four-suited cards of hearts, spades, clubs and diamonds had appeared in France.

Different Poker Birth Theories

One of the theories states that poker had been born in China in the XVII century, the other says that it was much earlier – in the X century. There is also a theory that poker had evolved from a local game of domino.

However, it is known for sure that in the Middle Ages people in Europe had played a game that was very similar by its rules and variations to the present game of poker.

Another theory is that poker had originated from the card game “primero” played in Italy and Spain or “la prime” as it was called in France. The game included betting and its goal was to collect the best card combination. However, unlike the modern poker, this game had only three possible combinations: a pair, three of a kind, and a flush of three suited cards.

There is also a guess that poker might have evolved from “Brag” - a card game which had appeared in England in 1700's and included betting rounds and even bluffing. It was almost at the same time that the games “Pochen” in Germany and “Poque” in France had been introduced. The game rules were very similar: it had only one betting round, but the card combinations, showdown and bluff were already there. The combinations were the following: four of a kind, three of a kind + a pair (full house), three of a kind, a pair and a high card. It is believed that the name Poker originated from the German and French names of the game.

Poker Expansion

In America poker was introduced by the French colonists and had first appeared in New Orleans. Poker spread rather fast throughout the country and was first mentioned in written sources in the XIX century. At first, different poker games where named after the alcohol drinks, such as “whiskey”, “gin”, “rum” etc. Later on they have all acquired the name “gin rummy”, which had then been shortened to “rummy”.

Poker, in its present form, has been first mentioned in 1829 in memoirs of Joe Cowell, an actor traveling across America. Since 1834 a 52-card deck was starter to be used for playing poker games. A lot of new poker variations, like Stud, Draw Poker and Straight Poker, have appeared in America during the Civil War. At some point, poker had even carried the status of being the national game of America and nowadays is the most popular card game is the U.S. In 1870 poker had started its journey back home to Europe. It was Colonel Jacob Schenck who had introduced the game to the court of Queen Victoria. However, it was not until the World War I that the game had spread throughout the whole continent with the help from the American soldiers. Poker was the first card game to have been played in a casino. At the beginning of XX century poker had again gained even more variations, women had also started playing the game. Texas Hold'em, Omaha, 5-card and 7-card Studs became the most popular poker games.

Poker Today

Nowadays poker is very popular all over the world. Thanks to the wide spread of the Internet, poker had gained global recognition with millions of poker players playing online poker 24/7. Now everyone is able to enjoy the game just by downloading the poker software and playing at home, in some cases even without making a deposit. An already huge number of online poker rooms is constantly increasing and the growing competition results in generous bonuses, promotions, freerolls and diversity of qualifier tournaments which all come in benefit of the online poker players.

Poker Popularity

Being a poker pro is now considered a respectable occupation, which requires intellect, knowledge and skill. The most famous poker pros are now well known celebrities who attract attention from the media, there are articles and even biographies written about the professional poker players.

Poker is also a profitable business: most of the online poker rooms, websites and affiliates receive significant income. Therefore poker has become associated with big money and almost unlimited opportunities. Online poker tournaments are now much bigger both in the number of players and the money involved, no body's surprised to see a $15,000 freeroll or a $1,000,000 Guaranteed tournament.

Poker also receives a lot of support from the media: the major live poker events are broadcasted on TV, poker advertisements are seen both on the internet and television, poker websites provide the latest poker news, poker books and magazines are being published, even moves about poker are filmed and, of course, the songs are created. It was not long ago that poker appeared on the mobile devices: cell phones, smartphones, iphones etc. Online poker school services are also provided on the internet, employing the most famous poker pros as teachers.

Women in Poker

Women are also taking part in the world's major poker events alongside with men and sometimes even come out victorious. There are even poker websites and international live tournaments meant only for women. Poker rooms are full of players of different age, from 16 to 60 and even more. Having conquered the world's major capitals ant the largest cities, poker now spreads towards the further parts of the world. Online poker rooms are full of players from little towns and even villages who may be better poker players than the metropolitan residents. Thanks to the expansion of online poker you may now play against the people from all over the world, socialize with them, find new friends, or even poker teachers. Science professors, professional chess players, businessmen and managers, mathematicians, physicists and engineers, students and teachers leave their jobs and hobbies in order to become professional poker players. A lot of smart people all over the world make solid profits just by playing their favorite game. Join them, poker is waiting for you!

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