Poker is not just a pastime, it’s a passion that’s developed centuries and continents over, and will always hold its place in popular culture, art, and history.
The exact origins of the five-card draw are difficult to trace, but arguably variants of the poker game have been around since as early as the Renaissance. However, it was Vegas, baby, that gave it the notoriety that it carries with its name today.
The differences between the numerous types of poker ‒ Community, Stud, Draw and Straight ‒ all come down to the celebrity-like popularity of the poker game; however, essentially the key aspects remain unchanged.
That said, newbies to the game should stick to the standard draw. Whilst poker may take an evening to grasp, it can take years to master, and the myth that you either have it or you don’t, is just that, fantasy. The truth is, many of the best of the high rollers put in countless hours into the discipline to get where they are today.
Poker is like a language, so ultimately it all comes down to syntax. The best way to become a real star is to grasp the very basics and progressively develop into the variants from there.
Blackjack is a classic casino game that you will find at almost any casino. It may come off as quite simple, but next to Poker it is probably the casino game that has one of the most advanced strategies.
Rules of Blackjack
Usually Blackjack is played with four or six decks of cards, although it is possible to play single deck Blackjack. The object of the game is to get closer to the number 21 than the “house”, however, not going over 21.
Cards from 2 to 10 have the same value as indicated and face cards have a value of 10. An ace is usually your best card in Blackjack because it can either be valued as 1 or 11.
After placing your bet, the dealer will hand you two cards face up. You have several options on how you would like to respond. You can “hit”, getting another card, trying to get closer to 21. You can “stand”, which means you don’t want any more cards. You can “double”, which means you get one more card, doubling your bet. And finally, you can “split” and receive a new card on your split cards. Then “hit” or “stand” as you wish on either one of them.
Check the casino before playing
Choose the right casino for you! Different casinos have different terms and conditions. Do some research before spending your hard-earned money.
Card counting is a common problem in Blackjack. Strategy charts can be found all over the Internet about this controversial subject. For experienced players it’s easy to tell if any of the other players are counting cards. Many casinos hire professionals to observe the game in order to expose card counters.
Once you’re familiar with the ins and outs of Blackjack you’ll find that it’s one of the most entertaining and gripping games on offer.
Texas Hold’em is one of the most popular variations of poker played today. Available on many casino sites as well as all of the poker websites, it is a fast, dynamic game where the balance of power can change in an instant.
Let’s get started
Play begins with each player being dealt two cards called “Hole cards” which are hidden from the other players.
The first player to the left of the dealer is the small blind, who must post half of the blind value (i.e. if the blind is £5 then the small blind is £2.50). The second player on the dealer’s left is the big blind and must post the entire blind.
Other players then bet based on their hole cards, or may fold if they chose to do so.
The lies begin in earnest. Or: Bluffing – time to start!
Once the initial round of betting has sorted the wheat from the chaff and the men from the boys, the flop is dealt. 3 cards are dealt which players combine with the cards in their hand to make the best 5 card hand they can. (See below)
Now there is another round of betting where you are encouraged to bet outrageously if you think you can bluff the other players into believing you have a great hand. (Note: If there are terrible cards on the flop, it might not be a great idea to bet too much!)
Without a paddle
The next card dealt is called the river. Then follows another round of betting before the final card is dealt.
The final card is called the turn. This is your last chance to attempt to either drive the pot up so your phenomenal hand can crush your opponents, or frantically raise the stakes in the hope that your opponents all fold.
- Royal flush
- Straight flush
- Four of a kind
- Full House
- Three of a kind
- Two pair
- High card