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Draw Poker

draw pokerThe game of Draw Poker has become popular during the last several decades, and is now known in almost every civilized land. I have seen it played by the donkey boys in the streets of Cairo and by the Pi-Ute Indians on the plains of Nevada. I was present on one occasion when a poker party was made up of a reigning monarch, a future king, and three princes imperial. That might well be called a “royal flush.”

That the game which could hold such competitors must be a fascinating one cannot be denied. It is indeed held by some to be the most dangerous of all games of cards, since it can only be played for stakes; but it must be remembered that this is true of all games in which the player conceals the value of the cards he holds.

To the objection that poker is an unsocial game, since it admits of no partners, each participant striving for himself alone, it is to be said that for this very reason poker absorbs its players with a deep fascination. Since one object of the game is to mystify your adversaries as to the value of your hand, and as all sorts of chaff and badinage are permitted, it cannot, after all, be termed an unsociable amusement.

Nonsense may fly from tongue to tongue, fast and furious, to any extent, providing it does not delay the game. Then, where a hand shown down detects its owner’s late futile attempt to mislead the table a rousing laugh usually follows, so that the fun is always kept up. Of course one may have a bad-tempered or a churlish companion at table; but such a one usually gets the worst of it when he betrays his peevishness.

As in any game of chance or speculation, there are in poker opportunities to cheat. Long before poker, however, was even invented, cheating at chance games was practiced by the unprincipled. I have seen loaded dice taken from the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum and now preserved in the Government Museum at Naples; so poker is not responsible for all the charges brought against it.

It is well, however, to be careful about, going into a game of poker on an ocean steamer, in a railway carriage, or a western hotel without some knowledge of your companions.

But with a party of gentlemen and for limited stakes, poker is a fascinating and harmless pas¬time. While a number of books have been written about it, none can claim absolute authority, though the rules of the game are really simple. The deviations, alterations, and amended allowances, and the fact that almost any party sitting down to play may and often does make its own rules about certain matters, render poker a by no means easy game.

Such rules, for example, as those relating to the value of a “straight,” playing “around the, corner,” “passing the buck,” “blazes,” and “jack-pots,” are predetermined according to the desires of the players. It is to fix the positive and long-accepted statutes of the game that this book is written, the rules herein set forth having been sanctioned by the best custom wherever draw poker is played in its integrity.

An authority on poker says:

“Of all methods of livelihood or dissipation or amusement, perhaps there is none about which so much untruth passes current as about gambling. Every now and then the newspapers take to a run of gaming stories, and it is the exception when one of these has the least element of fact to sustain it.

To the mind of a certain crude reportorial youth, in whose eyes the race¬course is a paradise and every turfman a hero, all games of chance possess a peculiar fascination, and if he can fasten to a game of hearsay some individual particular or personal anecdote, he fancies that his fortune is made, and neither thinks nor cares to discriminate in the matter of accuracy or propriety.

That there are degrees in card-playing, or varying sensibilities among those who with differing aims play at cards, or any virtue in sticking to the truth, does not occur to him, and as in this, like other fairy tales, it is as easy to speak of millions as of pennies, the amounts at issue are only limited by the imagination of the recountant. Thus: ‘The Colonel went him a thousand dollar’s, and the Judge raised him five thousand better, and the Colonel called, and the Judge only had a pair of deuces, and’ – when, if there was any such passage at all, the figures might be reduced to mills – still largely to exceed the amounts actually at stake.

“Again, the writers of these gaming stories seldom have any knowledge of the subject, and, writing at second-hand, fall into the most egregious errors; and their readers, being for the most part equally ignorant, form the most fantastic notions of gambling and of the gambler, both professional and amateur.

“The reputation for gambling long survives the abandonment of the habit of gambling. It is not generally known, though it is a fact, that the most famous of the nonprofessional gamblers of history, Charles James Fox, did not play for money after his forty-third year, devoting the most of his life to a useful, eminent, and brilliant public service, but never eradicating his early reputation.

Indeed, it can be set down as a rule that nothing does its work so quickly and so surely as high play. He who persists in it, no matter how deep his pocket, will soon find the bottom of it; for the essential principle of gambling is that it shall reach at least the measure of the player’s capacity to lose. In most cases it exceeds this, and in all, where it is continued; it outlasts the capacity to pay, involving debt and ruin. Where these are not the finalities among amateurs and men claiming to be gentlemen, the abatement is to be found in an ever-increasing conservatism, narrowing down to merely nominal stakes or counters, and this is the history of every game that does not end in more or less of hardship and disgrace.

Of professional gambling it can be said that no avocation involves so much of despotism, fickleness, and squalor. Rare, indeed, are the instances where the professional gambler would not be glad to lead a different life. He will tell you, and truly, that he was not born a gambler; he did not take to gambling for its own sake; that he drifted into it, as it were, sometimes by mischance in business, sometimes through the encroachments of half-unconscious dissipation, and sometimes from sheer indolence and love of easy and idle pleasure. A murrain on’t!

The capacity for real and steady work diminished or gone; the means of recuperation squandered, confidence forfeited, and reputation tarnished, what was left? Nothing but the card¬table, no longer a magic circle of diversion and abandonment, but the grimy, back-breaking actuality of a defeated life, indefinite, endless, without any beginnings, or objective points, or ambitions that are not vulgar, venal, and corrupt, or victories that are not brutal and base.

“Yet of all the vices, none is so easy of amendment, as none shows so many illustrations of reform. In the great cities most men have taken a turn at some form of gambling; few who have not either thrown it off or brought it under regulation and control. Gaming is largely a habit, and a habit of association. It does not, like so many other vices, communicate directly any poison to the blood, though too often leading to those that do. In its origin it is not with¬out a certain manhood and humor, and hence in all ages and among all classes it has had an existence. But at the very best it is open to the gravest objections.

“It is too absorbing, detaining players beyond their time, and often from the most honorable motives. It is too confining, lacking the pure air and light of day, and permeated by the fetid atmosphere of midnight and tobacco, where it does not descend into the health-destroying fumes of drink. It completely deadens the money¬sense, and, in fact, the sense of all values; and, where carried to the least excess, is a moral crime in exacting something for nothing.

I will not add that it is provocative of a great talent for domestic lying, and an incalculable amount of it, because it may be doubted whether the loving wife who listens with moist eyes to the sad story of the sick friend is deceived as much and as often as she pretends to be. Assuredly not in Kentucky, where be sure the women of two or three generations have not lived wholly in vain, and where, in every case, it would be well for the recusant husband to pay no heed to the counsel of the Kentucky journalist, of whom tradition relates that, on a certain occasion, lie observed to the friend with whom he was about to separate at the street corner which divided their respective homes: ‘I have always made it a rule, Isaac, to go to my wife and tell her the truth; it is much the best way, believe me; and so, as soon as I get in, I mean to put a bold face on it and frankly say that the press broke down!’

“Fictions like these, however ingenious and maintained, have no power to mislead such ladies as the astute Bluegrass matron, who, after allowing her husband to disrobe in fancied security, and to sit rocking the cradle on the edge of the bed until nearly frozen by the cunning attempt at deception, at last exclaimed “Oh, come on to bed; the baby ain’t in that cradle!”

“When old Jediah Suggs, the father of the illustrious Simon, having discovered that young hopeful playing cards, undertook to impress the boy with the idea that gambling is a waste of time and money, the embryo Captain of the Tallapoosa Volunteers asked, with more pertinency than depth of thought: ‘Well, whar does the money go, daddy, that everybody loses?’ In spite of the inability of the elder Mr. Suggs to answer this inquiry, he builded wiser than he knew, and was in the main right in his original proposition.”

A prominent theatrical manager tells this story:

Henry Wagstaff is breezy, and has a flashy way that no one can resist admiring. I heard of a game of poker he played where he was sadly caught on a big bluff. He was at the table with Mr. John Dougherty, and several other first-class players. The mere fact that Wagstaff was in the game was sufficient to indicate that big stakes were now and then placed on the table. It was jack-pot poker, and now and then the pot became alarmingly large. But ‘Wag’ did not grow dizzy, and he bet with cavalier sangfroid.

The fact is, the great editor’s poker nerve is the admiration of thousands of players. His face does not change, no matter if he is betting high on a bobtail flush. Some one opened the jack-pot and W agstaff and Dougherty came in, each drawing three cards. When it came ‘Wag’s’ time to bet he coolly put up $100. The jack-pot contained several hundred besides, and no one wanted to give up at once. But the assured way in which the editor put up his bet caused all to drop out except Dougherty.

“He saw the bet and raised it another hundred. Wagstaff never hesitated but went an¬other hundred better. All the others at the table began to feel sorry for Dougherty, for they imagined that the editor had a big winning hand and was drawing his opponent on. After three one-hundred-dollar bets had been made, Dougherty, to the astonishment of those present, called Wagstaff.

The latter put his hand on the table and showed that lie had been betting on a pair of deuces. Dougherty raked in something like $1000 with a pair of sevens. Every one present admired the editor’s bluffing nerve, but great praise was bestowed upon Dougherty for his unbounded confidence in a pair of sevens. No one can tell when ‘Wag’ is bluffing or betting on a big hand, and that is one reason why he is such a great player.”

Category: Texas Holdem

Online Poker Rooms

online poker roomUnless you’ve been living under a rock for the past five years, you know about the incredible growth that poker has undergone. Most people who care to analyze these things (and you’ll notice that anal is the root word in analyze!) credit the explosion in the popularity of poker to a few things.

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Among them are the broadcasts of major poker tournaments that can now be seen on television, the fact that in 2004 an amateur player (Chris Moneymaker) took the Big Prize in the World Series of Poker, and of course the birth of online poker rooms.

Online poker rooms are not something that has just come into existence in the past few years, in fact poker has been played on the internet since the web has been around in its current incarnation. Most of the time, though, poker took a backseat (the backseat in an extended station wagon, really) to other forms of gambling, particularly casino games.

People still continued to play poker in their kitchens and garages in informal get togethers, but it wasn’t until poker really started to take off as a sport that online poker rooms really started to thrive in cyber space.

Today, of course, you can find online poker rooms on dozens of different websites, and almost all of them can boast a huge number of regular members. What this means for the poker enthusiast is that you don’t have to wait until Friday or Saturday night, when all of your buddies (or enough of them to make a good game) are available to play. You can log into a web site on cyber space that has an online poker room or several online poker rooms, and there will be people ready to play.

The great thing about this is that you can play poker for as long a period or as short a period of time you want. Just have a half hour at the office? Log onto a poker site on the web, find a good room, and play a couple of hands. Are you one of those incurable insomniacs who can’t get to sleep until 3 or 4 in the morning? Most online poker rooms have an international membership, so you can not only find other insomniac poker players, but people from other time zones as well; you never have to stay up bored again!

There are online poker rooms for fans of any type of poker game, from Hold ’em (and that’s the most popular version out there) to seven card stud and Omaha, in all their many variations. You can choose to play for free or play for real money in an online poker room and many offer tournaments with some great prizes, such as trips to the World Series of Poker and other great non-cash prizes in addition to the big jackpots available.

Online poker rooms are great for anyone with even a passing interest in the game. They are less intimidating than playing people face to face for the first time, so beginners can learn the ropes. That’s not to say that the skill needed to win consistently isn’t present at an online poker room, because it most assuredly is.

Category: Texas Holdem

Casino Poker Games

Casinos online where you can play poker games

Anyone who likes to play the game of poker will eventually make their way over to a casino in the hopes of winning some money at a hand or two. Casinos actually house a couple of very different styles of poker. The first kind is likely the poker variation you were expecting to play when you came to the casino; you against some other players, a professional dealer in the middle, and you’re trying to take the pot with the best hand. The other version, casino poker, is a little bit different.

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play casino poker games

The two types of poker are usually split into two different areas of the casino. Bigger casinos have poker rooms for players looking to playing against other players. The casino makes their profit off of the game by taking a percentage of the pots as their rake. The casino poker games that you can find in the regular casino room, on the other hand, are not played against other players.

Instead, they are played against the house. If the house has a better hand than you do, you lose your ante and your bet, and it all goes to the casino. This is very similar to your odds when playing games like slots and bingo available at

The biggest difference between casino poker and regular poker is that casino poker games have a house edge; a player does not stand to gain money in the long term. Think about it this way; when you are playing against other players, odds and luck as well as skill will all come into play; you can bluff and read their bluffs, and players familiar with the game have a good chance of winning money in the long run.

The rules in casino poker games, on the other hand, mean that you are unlikely to win match after match at the hall. Even skilled poker players will lose money to the casino in the long run, because the payouts do not match the odds.

Casino poker is still popular with those who enjoy games of chance, so we will take a quick look at some of the most common versions of poker that can be found in casinos.

Caribbean Stud Poker. This is a version of five card stud. Casinos will pay out not only for a hand that beats the dealer’s, but also odds on the hand that a player has. The rarer the hand, the higher the payout.

Chinese poker. This form of poker is getting more popular as it takes a bit of concentration and a lot of luck to win. And luck of course is where the casinos make their money; payouts are lower than odds.

Pai Gow poker. The same as the game pai gow, but played with cards instead of dice. Two hands are created out of seven cards, and both must beat the dealer.

If you like casino games and poker, then playing poker in a hall might not be such a bad idea. Remember, though, that playing casino poker games isn’t the same as playing regular poker games; you’re playing the house against the odds, and won’t rack up a good bankroll in the long run.

Category: Texas Holdem

Texas Holdem Overview

Texas hold ’em (also hold’em, holdem) is the most popular of the community card poker games. It is also the most popular poker variant played in most casinos in the United States. Its no-limit betting form is used in the main event of the World Series of Poker (WSOP), as seen on ESPN, and the World Poker Tour, seen on The Travel Channel, and is widely regarded as the premier poker game.

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play texas holdem poker

Although it can theoretically be played by up to 22 players (or 23 if burn cards are not used), it is generally played with between 2 and 10 people. It is one of the most positional of all poker variants, since the order of betting is fixed throughout all betting rounds. Hold ’em is commonly played outside of the United States, but seven-card stud, Omaha hold ’em and other games may be more popular in some places.

There is no precise information on where or when Texas hold ’em Poker was first played. According to legend, the earliest game played was in Robstown, Texas, in the early 1900s and it first came to Dallas, Texas in 1925. Texas hold ’em was introduced to Las Vegas by a group of Texan gamblers and card players, including Crandell Addington, Doyle Brunson, and Amarillo Slim. [1] The game was later introduced to Europe by bookmakers Terry Rogers and Liam “The Gentleman” Flood.[2]

The descriptions below assume a familiarity with the general game play of poker, and with poker hands. For a general introduction to these topics, see Poker, Poker hand, Poker probability, and Poker jargon.

Like most variants of poker, the objective of Texas hold ’em is to win pots, where a pot is the sum of the money bet by oneself and other players in a hand. A pot is won either at the showdown by forming the best five card poker hand out of the seven cards available, or by betting to cause other players to fold and abandon their claim to the pot.

Category: Texas Holdem