The Origins of Poker: A Game That’s Played Around the World

The game of poker is considered one of the most popular card games in the world. People around the world play the game with family, friends, and at the casino. Despite the game of poker is a popular card game, the origins of the game cannot be confirmed. But in terms of the actual gameplay and the earning of money, the origins are two different things.

The origin of Poker’s gameplay

There are many theories out there that presume a “truth” to the origins, but none have been confirmed. In terms of the gameplay, the way that the game was played originated from the Persian game called As-Nas. Historians have presumed that this game is the origin of the Poker that is played around the world due to the similar style of play and how the game works. Other games from other countries have also been presumed to be the origin. Poque from France, Poca from Ireland, and Brag from Britain are some of the examples. The only clues about the true origins that are to be found eventually are that it’s from an English-speaking country and the game also used Antes.

Poker, Money, and Texas Holdem

Back in the 1800s a town outside of Corpus Christi called Robstown, Texas, was where the game was born. The game was invented around 1925. The state of Texas is actually known for having many poker legends come out of the state. Some of the most notable people are Amarillo Slim, Johnny Moss, and Doyle Brunson.

The style of this game is the most played style in the United States. However, without it going to places such as Vegas, the game wouldn’t have become a popular form of Poker played. When the game style reached Vegas, the popularity of the game increased. More styles were also brought to the city.

Tournaments are played in Vegas since it became the new capital of playing Poker among the Poker legends.

Without the game of As-Nas from the Persians or the other games from countries such as France and Britain, Poker would not be where it is today. The legends who brought Texas Hold’em to Vegas are also the people who are responsible for its popularity.

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Some people may think poker is a game where success is fueled entirely by luck. However, professional card players who play in tournaments often utilize homebrewed strategies to work towards that jackpot. How can you generate such a strategy? Read on to learn the basics of planning for luck.

Develop A Consistent Strategy

Many of the most world-famous poker players adopt a consistent strategy. Such individuals do not adjust their playstyles after a bad hand or disappointing result. Instead, they’re in it for the long-haul. Short-term failures are not indicative of long-term results. So, holding and folding under similar conditions becomes second-nature as the strategy is fine-tuned.

Think

Gambling can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially with the prospect of winning whatever jackpot is on your table. That said, successful poker players always think long and hard before the game even starts. They do not let huge pots, strong opponents, or underlying stress influence bad plays. This is why having a strong poker face is only half the battle—players also need calm minds.

Understand When To Fold

The mentality of many accomplished poker players is the thought that few hands are unwinnable. However, occasions arise when the cards are not great and the stakes are too high. In such instances, the great ones know when to fold up the tent and live for the next hand.

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How to Mentally Prepare For a Game of Poker

When one thinks of card games and casinos, the rush of a poker game likely comes to mind. However, there’s a second, lesser-known game that happens behind the scenes; the mental game that poker players play.

Poker is as much about strategy as it is about the luck of the draw or hand. Without proper preparation, a player can fall behind in the strategic elements of the game, especially if competitors have mentally prepared. This could result in poor performance, one made even poorer if the gamble wasn’t worth the risk. Over my years of playing, I’ve developed a few tips on being mentally prepared to take on this game.

Cast Aside Doubts

Before the cards are dealt or the chips divvied up, any poker player should take time to put aside the day-to-day stressors that have been weighing them down. It may be difficult, but it’s important to cast aside business or family matters, should they be ones that have not yet been taken care of. Not only is it important to be fully concentrated on the game, but it’s vital to use card games as hobbies, opportunities for fun and strategy. Poker is by no means a gateway to destructive behavior; rather, it’s a chance to try your hand at a fun hobby.

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Card Game Spotlight: Texas Hold’em

In this new series, I’ll be spotlighting different types of card games. They all fall under the poker family, but have unique differences and rules that can be equal parts fun and challenging to learn. This month, we’re starting simple with my favorite: Texas Hold’em. In this popular game, each player receives two cards and has access to five community cards the dealer presents face-down in the middle of the table. Let’s take a look at how the game is played.

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Counting Cards in Texas Holdem

Counting cards in Texas Holdem is much different than counting cards in blackjack. The key difference lies in the fact that the deck isn’t shuffled after every hand in a blackjack game, but it is during Texas Holdem. This shuffling prevents Holdem players from knowing card positions at a given moment. However, players can still determine which cards will give them the best chance of winning. Though this strategy may help a player win games that they may have otherwise not won, it isn’t a great strategy for every type of poker game—if you’ve seen Rounders with Matt Damon, you’ll know that blackjack and card-counting don’t mix!

Counting

Counting cards during a Texas Holdem game involves a player calculating the probability that their strategy will work based on (1) the number of cards that are left in a suit and (2) the number of cards that have yet to be seen. When learning how to count outs, it is important for a player to avoid counting cards twice, also known as “double counting.” It’s actually easy to make this error, as you are likely not 100 percent sure which cards your opponents have, and these calculations must be made in your head. The only way for a player to gauge the cards of their opponent is to observe their reactions, words, previously played cards, the situations in which they played those cards, and how much money they are betting. If you’re good at reading bluffs, you’ll likely excel at this part!

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An Overview of Poker Variants

While Texas Hold’em is the most widely-known variant of poker, several other forms of poker exist. Each has slightly different rules, which can make learning these variants easy for those who already know how to play Hold’em. If you’re interested in branching out to a new type of card game, try one of these poker types!

Seven and Five Card Poker

There are several sub-categories of this type of poker, including standard, High-Low, Russian Roulette, and Baseball. High-Low Poker gets its name because players can win if they have either the lowest or highest hand when a showdown happens.

The Russian Roulette version of poker is meant for three to five players. Stock cards are dealt face down. Each player gets one stock card, followed by two cards that are active. One card is then laid out by the dealer so everyone can see it. Players must turn over their own cards and find a number or a suite that is the same as the card everyone can see. Matching cards are then placed in a pile with a single card.

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When to Bluff in Poker

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It takes a skilled poker player to understand the ins and outs of a proper bluff. Bluff too much and opponents become suspicious; bluff too little and you may become too readable. Like many other aspects of poker, bluffing is an art. Perfecting this art requires practice, patience, and plenty of time. However, with these tips, players new to the poker scene can learn the best times to bluff.

When You’re in a Late Position

The point of a bluff is to encourage another player to fold, or lay down their hand. The idea is that, should you have a weak hand during one round, you can feign confidence to encourage other players to back out, even if they perceive their own hand as strong. While it seems sensible that a good bluff would happen in an early or middle position, that’s not the case. If several players have opportunities to act, these opponents may see right through your bluff. If they call it, you’re done for that pot. That’s why a late position is best for bluffing—putting in a late raise can make the remaining players more anxious.

When You’ve Got Some Chips

Bluffing on a bet, especially when your winnings are already slim, is about as risky as it gets. There is no sure-fire way to ensure a bluff will go through. The best you can do is time everything correctly and hope you’ve got a good poker face. That’s why bluffing is so enticing—it’s equal parts dangerous and rewarding. A bluff implemented too early into the game or during a short-stacked period is pretty obvious to opponents, and will get called out faster than you can even consider it. Wait until you’ve got enough chips to serve as leverage against your opponents, and then pull out the bluff.

When You’ve Got a Read on Your Opponents

Just as you don’t want to bluff before you’ve earned some stacks, you also don’t want to bluff until you understand your opponents. This is easier said than done, as poker face and different play styles can complicate attempts to read everyone at the table. When it comes to knowing when to bluff against certain opponents, you should try and verse yourself in their confidence, habits, and willingness to take risks. A risk-taking opponent with plenty of confidence will likely see through your bluff, while a more anxious player could call incorrect bluffs or simply not call at all. As you continue playing poker, you’ll improve at reading players early on in a game.

When You’re Confident You Can Pull It Off

At the end of the day, your self-confidence in executing a bluff is your greatest strength. It’s reasonable to want to try a bluff early on in your poker career, but sometimes it’s better to wait a bit until the perfect time comes. Until then, do your research, practice your poker face, and learn to read other players’ bluffs. Do that, and you’ll learn what makes a successful bluff versus one that falls flat.

This blog was originally published at JenniferPowersNYC.com.

Poker Strategy: How to Read Your Opponents

jennifer powers - poker strategy how to read your opponents

Poker is more a game of skill than it is the luck of the draw. If a player can learn the art of reading their opponent’s hand, it will give them a great advantage. With card reading, it is possible to win a round of poker with what seems to be a losing hand.

While it is impossible to know the exact cards your opponent holds, this article will curate a few tricks and techniques that get at the heart of hand reading.

Know Your Opponent Like the Back of Your Hand

When sitting down to play poker with a new player, it will take time to understand their playing style. Study the opponent to learn their playing tendencies. Without this understanding, you will have great difficulty reading the range of your opponent’s hand.

As the game progresses, adjust your playing style to feed off the strengths and weaknesses of the opponent.

The Early Bet Gets the Worm

A person’s position in the betting order will tell a lot about an opponent’s hand. For example, if they place their bet before the flop, you can be reasonably confident they are holding a narrow range of cards, like a pair.

The Range is Where the Buffalo Roam

A player should be looking for the range of cards their opponent is holding — not the exact cards. The actions the opponent takes will reveal that range. If he places a bet or raises, he probably has a range of cards that will support the flop.

Don’t Put Your Opponent in Your Shoes

When trying to guess the range of an opponent, be careful not to make decisions based on presuppositions about how you might play the cards. Refer back to tip number one. Study your opponent before jumping to conclusions about how they make playing decisions.

Never Underestimate Your Opponent

When studying a new opponent, never assume he is a novice. Assume he knows the game and understands as much as you if not more. If they are betting high or low, it is for a reason. Try to figure out what it is. Ask yourself, “What’s in their hand to make them bet that way?”

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Poker Strategy: Knowing When To Fold

Poker is often thought of as a gambling game, but most gambling games are games of chance. While there may be some element of chance to poker, by and large, it is far more a game of strategy than chance. Certainly, there is an element of chance to how the cards fall, but the best poker players are more akin to chess players than gamblers. Folding is one tactic that can be used as a strategy and knowing when to fold is critical to playing the game. Here are three strategies to help you know when to fold.

Fold Often Early On

Most players fold too often, which can actually be used as a great strategy. Starting out by folding early and often can help set you up as a weak player, which can also set you up for a monster bluff on a large pot. If you fold too often, however, you take away the element of doubt. You need your opponents to be unsure if you have a good hand or not. If they believe you have a good hand every time you don’t fold, they will fold before the pot reaches peak capacity.

Aim to Fold No More Than 30% of the Time

If you are playing against novice players that fold often, they are setting themselves up to be bluffed time and time again. If you are playing against more experienced players, however, you want to set up your bluff and save it for when you really need it. If you start out folding early and often when you are chip heavy, then you can settle into a more respectable fold percentage. You want to be the one to set up a bluff, not be set up for consistent bluffs by another player, which means your sweet spot should be right around 30%

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Popular Poker Games

When you hear “Poker” you may automatically start thinking of the popular game, Texas Hold’em; it’s the variety of poker that is played at the World Series of Poker, and it manages to be both accessible for novice players and complex enough for professionals. However, Texas Hold’em is far from the only poker game out there. There are several other varieties of poker that are played all over the world, and we’re going to take a look at some of them today.

Texas Hold’em

Before we go any further, we should probably discuss Texas Hold’em and how it’s played. In Texas Hold’em, each player is dealt two “pocket” cards that they don’t reveal to the other players. A round of betting occurs, and the dealer deals three community cards. Another round of betting then occurs, and a fourth card is added to the community cards. After another round of betting and an addition of a fifth card, any players that haven’t folded reveal their pocket cards. The player that can make the strongest hand from their pocket cards and the community cards wins the pot.

Omaha

Omaha is similar to Texas Hold’em in that there are four rounds of betting and players must put together the strongest possible hand from their community cards and pocket cards. The differences are that each player has four pocket cards and the five community cards are immediately revealed. Players make hands from two pocket cards and three community cards.

7-Card Stud

In 7-Card Stud, each player is dealt three cards face down and four cards face up. They must make the strongest five-card hand from these cards…

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