History of Poker
The roots of Poker find their way straight to the sixteenth century where germans used to play a sort of bluffing game that was called ‘Pochen.’ This game later found its way to the streets of France and came to be called its French version ‘Poque.’ This game then travelled to New Orleans and was played on the riverboats that eventually plied the Mississippi.
Making a switch in time, during the 1830s, this game was further developed, refined and began to be called as Poker. During the time of the civil war, the key Poker rule of drawing the cards in order to improve one’s hand was added to the game. A variation of the game, known as stud Poker, also appeared and was played around the same time. Today, there are hundreds of versions of Poker that are played across the world depending on different regions. Poker is also not just restricted to private homes anymore. It is played in countless famous Poker rooms at popular casinos.
Money in Poker is also a significant aspect. Poker can be played among a specific close set of people or socially for just pennies, or it can be played professionally at casinos for thousands of dollars. Luck is another big aspect that comes into play during this game. You sure do need plenty of luck in order to win a Poker game, but it requires outstanding skills as well. After all, each player is the master of his own fate.
Basic Poker Terminology
While there are innumerable forms of playing poker out there, there is a basic terminology used in all of these different forms. A player who understands the basics of the games, especially the values of varying Poker hands and the basic principles of betting, will be able to play without any difficulty and bet some. Leaving out a few versions of the game, a Poker hand consists of five cards. The multiple numbers of combinations of Poker hands that rank from five of a kind (highest) to nothing or no pair (lowest) are as follows:
Five of a Kind – This stands as the highest hand possible and only occurs in games where at least one of the cards is wild, for example, the joker, the four deuces or the two one-eyed jacks. Some examples of five of a kind would be two queens and three wild cards or four 10s and a wild card.
Straight Flush – This stands as the highest possible hand when just the standard pack is used, and no wild cards are included. A straight flush would consist of five cards of the suit but in a sequence such as 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 of clubs. A, K, Q, J and 10 of a single suit stand as the hightest-ranking straight flush. This combination is also given a certain name and is called the Royal Flush or the Royal Straight Flush.
Four of a Kind – This stands as the next highest hand. It takes the place right below the Straight Flush. An example of this kind can be four Ks or four 5s. The fifth, unmatched card doesnt matter.
Full house – This is known as the colourful hand and is made up of three cards that consist of one rand and two cards that are of another rand; an example can be three 7s and two 3s, or three 2s and two 5s.
Flush – This consists of five cards, all of the same suit; however, they are not in a sequence. An example of this can be K, 4, 5, 6, and 2 of hearts.
Straight – This consists of five cards in a sequence, but not all belong to the same suit. For example, 10♥, 9♣, 8♠, 7♦, 6♥.
Three of a Kind – Three cards of the same rank and the remaining two cards of another rank, make Three of a Kind. An example can be three Ks, one 6 and a 5.
Two pairs – This consists of a pair that belongs to one rand and another pair from a different rank and any fifth card. K, K, 6, 6, 2.
One Pair – This is a frequently occurring combination that consists of just one pair and the remaining three cards are just from a different rank, for example, 9, 9, K, 2, 5.
No Pair – As the name clearly indicates, this hand stands for ‘nothing.’ None of the five cards in the combination pair up, nor are they from the same suit or consecutive in the ranks. When more than a single player has a No Pair, the hands in the game are rated by the highest card that each of them contains. This is so that an ace-high hand beats a king-high hand, and so on.