Aussie Holdem Poker
Currently and probably for the foreseeable future, poker remains the world’s most popular card game with legions of poker players, casual and dedicated, amateur and professional. Poker has literally hundreds of variations of which stud, draw and hold’em are most often played. The basics of poker games are pretty much the same. Players are dealt concealed cards or a combination of concealed and face-up cards, or concealed cards to the individual players and face-up community cards for all players use as in hold’em poker games. Traditional poker hands in order of importance are: Royal Flush, Straight Flush, Four of a Kind, Full House, Flush, Straight, Three of a Kind, Two Pair, One Pair. Wagers are made into a central pot to be awarded to the player with the best hand.
The game of poker goes back a long way. Many people believe that card games played in Germany (Pachen) and France (Poque) around the 17th century may have been the very beginnings of the game we all know and love. What we do know for sure is that an early developmental form of poker was being played in the United States before the Civil War. The game was played with only Twenty cards, aces, face cards and tens (A-K-Q-J-10) and was gaining popularity over the then favorite card game of three card monte. Around the 1850s, the full English deck of fifty-two cards was introduced.
A larger deck meant more players could participate and the pots would be larger – a gambler’s dream come true! Within a few years, inventive minds developed the flush, the straight, games such as draw and stud and wild cards. But even more importantly, the draw of additional cards and the ability to change the value of one’s hand, changed poker from a game of chance to a game of skill. From the saloons and gaming parlors of New Orleans to the river boats plying the Mississippi, poker’s popularity spread. After the Civil War, the game of poker followed the settlers, drifters and gamblers to the unknown frontier of the early west. It was there in the town of Deadwood, in Dakota Territory on August 2, 1876, that a poker hand became a legendary symbol of western lore. The hand was aces and eights (two pair) and was held by none other than the storied gunfighter James Butler, better known as “Wild Bill” Hickok. He was shot from behind while playing a round of poker and that hand of aces and eights became forever more known as “the dead man’s hand”. The popularity of the game continued to grow and was spread worldwide by the United States military in the two great wars. Although poker remained popular after World War II, it was not a big money maker for the casinos in Las Vegas. However, thanks to a Texas cowboy named Benny Binion, poker is now the world’s most popular game.
Benny owned a casino on Fremont Street in what is now referred to as “downtown” Las Vegas. In 1970, the Binion’s Horseshoe played host to a poker tournament that has morphed into the gargantuan World Series of Poker that today is entered by thousands and watched on television by millions.
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