Card games have been around since the 9th century when they first appeared in China. However, it was only during the 15th century that a card game was played that slightly resembled a game of poker. Initially established in France, the card game was called Poque. The French-inspired card game was played with a deck of 52 playing cards, just like we use today, and showed several other similarities with modern-day poker when it appeared in the United States four centuries later.
The game of Poque was created from a range of other card games, developed long before Poque came into existence. Brelan is one such card game that originated in France. This card game managed to spread all the way to England, where it transformed into Brag. Once it arrived in England, it offered a bluffing feature that is still immensely popular to this very day.
Even though poker and Poque have loads of similarities, most of the betting, raising, bluffing, and gameplay are more associated with a game of poker as opposed to a game of Poque. Therefore, it’s nearly impossible to determine whether poker has any true descendants. When features like betting, raising, and bluffing come into effect on the Mississippi River Delta during the 18th century, we really witness the inception of modern-day poker.
During the 1800s, poker spread even further across the United States, stretching from the Mississippi River to California during the Gold Rush. It was also immensely popular during the Civil War in America as soldiers would frequently turn to this exciting game when there was nothing better to do. During the 19th century, more variations of poker added a new level of sophistication to the popular game. The flush concept was introduced in 1850, followed by the invention of the straight.
It wasn’t until 1875 when a wild card was added to the game, allowing players to experiment with lowball versions and split-pot concepts. During 1925, community cards started to surface, which further assisted the evolution of the game into the modern-day poker version we’ve all come to love.
The Inception of Poker Tournaments
During the 1900s, poker managed to expand in popularity even further. However, it failed to develop beyond saloons, gambling halls and riverboats. Thankfully, this all changed in 1970 when Benny Binion decided to invite the world’s best poker players to compete against each other in his land-based casino in Las Vegas.
When the first poker tournament got underway, it wasn’t called the World Series of Poker as we all know it today. Instead, participating cash game players had to cast a vote to determine the first poker champion of the world.
The World Series of Poker played a significant role in the history of the game. No-Limit Texas Hold ’em became the game of choice for WSOP as it was extremely entertaining to watch and very easy to understand. It was due to its simple game rules and viewing pleasure that Texas Hold ’em transformed into one of the most popular poker variants in the world.
On New Year’s Day in 1998, people enjoyed the very first real-money poker game online. Even though the popular card game was available online long before 1998, it wasn’t played for real-money until that day.
Online Poker Development
Game technology and payment options grew steadily alongside online poker. Before anyone could wipe their eyes, online poker was considered one of the most popular card games across the globe.
During 2003, Chris Moneymaker managed to qualify for the WSOP Main Event by merely playing poker online. He only paid $86 to participate in the tournament and went on to win the main event, where he walked away with a whopping $2.5 million.
When Chris Moneymaker was crowned the first champion of poker, it injected even more popularity behind the game. The fact that ESPN covered the WSOP Main Event also helped the game to expand around the world.
Both live dealer poker and online poker enjoy immense popularity around the world. Even today, the game is making a comeback in America as more and more states are once again legalizing the game online. You can also see a poker boom in places like Asia, Russia, and South America.
Texas Hold ’em is considered the most straightforward flop-based poker variant to learn, the most popular of all poker forms, and the most straightforward as well. It allowed poker to become a phenomenon around the world and created poker stars like Phil Ivey.
Table: The Best Ranked Hole Cards
*Pocket = two of the same card.
The game starts with each player receiving two initial playing cards, referred to as hole cards. The game also comes with five community cards dealt in sequence in the middle of the table. The community cards are shared amongst all players at the table to help create the best possible poker hand.
Once each player has placed a bet, three community cards are dealt in the middle of the table, called the flop. After another round of betting, a community card is added to the middle, also referred to as the turn. Following a further round of betting, the fifth and final community card is dealt in the middle of the table. The last card is also known as the river. You will effectively go through four different betting rounds during a single game.
The first round takes place before the flop, while the second occurs directly after the flop. The third betting round occurs after the turn, while the final round happens after the river. After completed bets, a showdown will occur to ultimately determine which player has the best poker hand to claim the pot.
The primary objective of poker is to create the best poker hand from five cards. You will always need to use either one or both hole cards along with the community cards to form a poker hand. Since poker comes with four betting rounds, you will immediately notice that there is loads of room for strategy in poker. The strategy aspect is also one of the main reasons why newcomers favour Texas Hold ’em above all else.
You will come to find that there are always two aspects that remain constant at the start of each hand, namely the dealer button and the blinds. The dealer button is always located in front of the person whose turn it is.
There are two blinds in a game of poker: the big blind and the small blind. Blinds are essentially forced bets that need to be placed by the two players situated on the left of the dealer button. The small blind is always half the value of the big blind. After a completed hand, both the blinds and the dealer button move to the next available person in a counter-clockwise direction.
After you receive your two hole cards, you will need to decide whether you want to continue playing or not by evaluating your two initial cards. The player located on the left of the dealer button will decide first, followed by the rest of the players in a clockwise direction. If you choose to continue playing, you will need to match the big blind amount. However, if any player raised the bet amount before you make your decision, you will need to match the raised amount instead of the big blind.
The flop refers to the three community cards that are dealt in the middle of the table. Once completing the first round of betting, three community cards will be dealt out. You are allowed to use any number of cards from the flop to form a poker hand. After the dealt flop, the second round of betting will commence.
During each betting round, each player can choose between raising, calling, checking and folding. You are only allowed to check when there are no bets involved during your turn.
Upon completing the second betting round, a fourth community card will be dealt in the middle, followed by another betting round. Finally, the fifth community card is dealt in the middle, followed by the final betting round. It is here where a showdown takes place between the remaining players.
Table: The best poker hands
|Rank||Hand name||Hand description|
|1||Royal Flush||10, J, Q, K, A of the same suit|
|2||Straight Flush||Five consecutive cards of the same suit|
|3||Four of a Kind||The same card in each of the four suits|
|4||Full House||Three of a kind and a pair|
|5||Flush||Five random cards in one suit|
|6||Straight||Five consecutive cards in mixed suits|
|7||Three of a Kind||Three of the same cards|
|8||Two Pairs||Two pairings of the same card|
|9||One Pair||One pairing of the same card|
|10||High Card||No matching of either card or suit|
Every remaining player at the table will be required to show their hand during a showdown. The player that has the best poker hand will win the pot. Whenever there are two players with an identical poker hand, they will divide the pot.
There are several poker variations worth your time and money. You will notice that some are far more popular than others, which means that you won’t find every one of them at online poker sites. Texas Hold ’em is by far the most popular poker variant followed by Omaha, Seven Card Stud, Five Card Draw, and Razz.
Omaha is considered the second most popular poker variant in the world and shares some similarities with Texas Hold ’em. You may also notice that there are several versions of Omaha, including Omaha High and Omaha Hi-Lo. If you are interested in trying Omaha, the recommended starting point is Omaha High, as it’s much easier to understand than Omaha Hi-Lo.
Before the Texas Hold ’em phenomenon, 7 Card Stud was considered the favourite among players around the world. The reason it’s so popular is that it requires more strategy and skill as opposed to only relying on chance. The explanation for this is that you receive more valuable information during the game when compared to the other poker variants.
Five Card Draw is considered the most natural poker variant to play, involving far less strategy when compared to other poker variants. Most people will learn how to play poker with Five Card Draw, hence why it remains a household favourite to this very day.
Razz is considered one of the lesser-known poker variants. However, it still attracts loads of online players daily. This poker variant can be quite overwhelming at first as you essentially need to win with the lowest-hand value, known as lowball. Apart from this rule, you will find the rest of the rules rather simple.
Mixed Poker uses several poker variants in one exciting and somewhat confusing game. Every round will use the rules and gameplay of a different poker variant, making it the ultimate test for poker enthusiasts around the world. Every round will test your skills and abilities for a wide range of poker variants, so it’s not exactly an ideal choice for beginners.
Apart from the various poker variants in the world, you can also differentiate between poker formats. For instance, you will notice that most online poker sites offer cash poker and poker tournaments. Enjoy Cash games with real money that can be won or lost after each hand, while tournaments give you a certain number of chips and the aim of winning all chips from other players. You will also find a format called speed poker that effectively moves along at a lightning-fast pace.
You can also distinguish poker variants by betting limits. This fact greatly influences the amount you can bet in each round, allowing you to benefit from a poker strategy more than usual. The most popular betting limits include a fixed limit, pot limit, and no limit.
If you consider yourself a newcomer to the world of poker and want to play the simplest and most straightforward variant of the game, it’s recommended that you start your journey with Texas Hold ’em. Not only is it considered the most popular poker variant in the world, but it’s also the easiest to learn.
Enjoy this widely available variant in cash games and tournaments, and you’ll be able to try your hand at No Limit Texas Hold ’em, Pot Limit Texas Hold ’em, and Fixed Limit Texas Hold ’em. Once you have a good understanding of how Texas Hold ’em works, you can go ahead and test your skills on Omaha.
Both video poker and poker use the same game rules, and there have been loads of discussions surrounding the subject of which one is better. There are tons of differences between the two, even though they draw inspiration from the same game.
Online poker is usually played between strangers in an online gaming environment and can even be played against a CPU. It allows newcomers to learn the fundamentals of the game without having to spend their own money thanks to free chips and freeroll tournaments. Most poker variants come equipped with a strict set of game rules that players need to adhere to at all times. It dictates the direction of the game, which can be quite unappealing for most players that are just beginning with poker.
Video poker can be enjoyed at both land-based casinos and in an online environment. Most video poker variants use the Five Card Draw poker variant, which means that there’s no need to use an advanced poker strategy. Video poker is considered a single-player game, whereas poker is more of a multiplayer game. With video poker, you will have the opportunity to win massive jackpots, and you can choose between a single hand variation or a multi-hand variant up to 100 hands at a time. You don’t need to know much about poker to enjoy this thrilling game.
Poker can be played with a variety of different strategies, especially when you jump from one poker variant to the next. It’s the perfect game to test your skills and attributes against other players. You’ll be required to come up with a plan, make quick decisions on the fly, and be quick on your feet under pressure. It required loads of critical thinking in a short space of time.
Video poker, on the other hand, does not require the same level of strategy as poker. The only aspect that you will need to understand is the different poker hands in the game. You will also need to be aware of which cards to hold and which cards to fold to ensure you have the best possible chance of obtaining a decent poker hand.
Both poker and video poker come with a list of advantages. At the end of the day, it all boils down to personal preference. Both of them offer different game styles, and you can find both of them in land-based casinos and online environments. It all depends on your mood and the game you are interested in playing. If you want something more relaxed with the least amount of strategy, go with video poker. If you’re keen on chatting to players and testing your wits against others, online poker will be perfect for you.
Mr Green Casino has managed to claim an extraordinary range of prestigious awards over the years, including the Best Casino Brand of the Year in 2014 and Socially Responsible Operator of the Year in 2012. One of the most impressive aspects of Mr Green Casino is its poker platform. The company provides an assortment of poker variants, including Three Card Poker, Caribbean Stud Poker, and Casino Hold ’em. Players at Mr Green Casino can treat themselves to both video poker and live casino poker.
The live casino poker offering at Mr Green Casino is a major attraction for online poker enthusiasts. Live dealer poker comes with real live dealers along with HD streaming capabilities that will allow you to play live poker from the comfort of your own home. This ability provides a genuinely immersive poker experience where you’ll also be able to interact with the dealer and other online players in real-time. What’s even more impressive is that you can play live poker 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
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There are lots of exciting video poker variants available at Mr Green Casino. Some of the popular video poker variants include Jacks or Better, Joker Poker, All American, and Deuces Wild, to mention but a few. Each of these video poker variants come with plenty of potential winning opportunities and provides an easy-to-understand and enjoyable gameplay experience around the clock.