Like Online Poker? Wary of how or where to play? Learn the secrets & safe way to play.

Poker is a popular and time-tested card game, and one of the oldest known forms of gambling. Although it is essentially a simple game, there are various versions.

There does not seem to be a clear indication regarding the origins of poker. It is thought that it is the result of a variation of games, and its basic principles indicate that its origins are old. There are differences in opinion with regards to the name of the game: some think that it is derived from the eighteenth century French game, Poque; others think that it could be from the German game, Pochspiel; and some think that it could be linked to the Hindu word, Pukka. Whatever its origins, this game has evolved and grown in popularity over the years, and has been played all around the world over the centuries, from Wild West saloons and backstreet bars, to state of the art casinos and online gambling sites. There are now poker competitions and championships, attracting professional players from around the globe who hope to win money and titles.

Most poker games are played with a 52 card deck, and the cards are split into suits…

Diamonds, hearts, clubs and spades. The cards are ranked from high to low, with aces being the highest and 2 being the lowest. The simplest variation of the game is 5-card draw, where each player is dealt five cards and aims to have the highest valued hand by the end of the game. The best hand is a royal flush: a 10, Jack, Queen, King and Ace of the same suit. Then a straight flush: five cards in numerical order and of the same suit. Next, four of a kind: four cards of the same number or rank (e.g. four tens or four Kings), with the fifth card being random. The full house follows this: three cards of one equal value/rank, and then two cards of another matching value/ rank (e.g. three Kings and two Queens). Next is a flush: five cards of the same suit. Then it's the straight: five cards in numerical order, regardless of suit. Three of a kind comes next: three cards of the same value/rank, with the remaining two cards being random. Next is the two-pair: two sets of pairs with the fifth card being random. One pair comes next: one pair, with the remaining three cards being random. Finally, we have the high card: the holder of the highest value card wins if no player has a better hand.

Gone are the days when you had to find a shady backstreet bar, stroll into a saloon, or even go to a casino to play a few hands of poker. You can now learn and play the game from the comfort of your home. There are numerous online casinos where you can take part in poker games. Many of these sites offer virtual poker lessons; tips, advice and strategies; and provide a facility to play for fun whilst you get the hang of the game: in fact they provide a variety of facilities for the novice poker player to help them to get a feel for the game before placing any serious bets.


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