Category Archives: Poker

Draw Poker VS Seven-Card Stud

Draw Poker 
To begin, two players at the table make a small bet, or blind wager, before receiving any cards. Each player seated in the game takes a turn at placing such a wager.

Players first receive five cards dealt face down. Players pick up the cards and look at them and then decide if they wish to stay in the game. If so, a bet must now be placed.

Once all bets are called the first round of betting is complete.

Players may now choose to exchange with the dealer any number of cards from their hand. This is known as ‘the draw’.

Once the draw is complete a second round of betting takes place.

If all bets are called there is a showdown.

The winner is the player with the highest ranking hand.

If only one player remains (ie. no showdown) they will win the pot without having to expose their cards.

Seven-Card Stud 
Seven-Card Stud is easy for beginners to learn, yet challenging enough to hold the interest of seasoned players. In Seven-Card Stud, each player receives two cards face down and one card face up. The player with the low card opens the betting. Each player in turn must call, raise, or fold. On all subsequent rounds, the player with the best hand open the betting.

Each player is then dealt 3 cards face up with a betting round following each card.

The last card dealt to each remaining player is face down with the final betting round following.

Players remaining in the hand will then show their hands and the winning poker hand will be awarded the pot. Suits are not used in determining the winning hand, and tied hands will split the pot.

Seven-Card Stud High/Low Split 
High/Low Split differs from the high-only game in that the player with the highest card must open the betting.

At the showdown, if a qualifying low hand (five cards of 8 or below with no pair) exists, it will be awarded one half the pot and the best poker hand is awarded the other half.

In the absence of a qualifying low hand, the best poker hand wins the entire pot. A straight or a flush, 8-high or lower, may be both the highest and lowest hand, in which case it wins the whole pot.

Poker Game History

There seem to be differences of opinion on the origin of Poker. Moreover, there seems to be no clear or direct early ancestor of the game. It is more likely that poker derived its present day form from elements of many different games. The consensus is that because of it’s basic principal, its birth is a very old one.

Jonathan H. Green makes one of the earliest written references to poker in 1834. In his writing, Green mentions rules to what he called the “cheating game,” which was then being played on Mississippi riverboats. It wasn’t until this time that he realized this was the first such publication and that American Hoyle, then current did not mention the game, and he called it Poker

The game he described was played with 20 cards, using only the aces, kings, queens, jacks and tens. Two to four people could play, and each was dealt five cards. By the time Green wrote about it, poker had become the number one cheating game on the Mississippi boats, receiving even more action than Three-Card Monte. Most people taken by Three-Card Monte thought the 20-card poker seemed more a legitimate game, and they came back time and time again. It would certainly appear, then, that poker was developed by the cardsharps.

The origin of the word poker is also well debated. Most of the dictionaries and game historians say that it comes from an eighteenth-century French game, poque. However, there are other references to pochspiel, which is a German game. In pochspiel, there is an element of bluffing, where players would indicate whether they wanted to pass or open by rapping on the table and saying, “Ich Poche!” Some say it may even have derived come the Hindu word, pukka.

Yet another possible explanation for the word poker, is that it came from a version of an underworld slang word, “poke,” a term used by pickpockets. Card sharps who used the 20-card cheating game to relieve a sucker from his poke may have used that word among themselves, adding an r to make it “poker.” The thought was that if the sharps used the word “poker” in front of their victims, those wise to the underworld slang would not surmise the change.

There are those who also believe that “poke” probably came from “hocus-pocus”, a term widely used by magicians. The game of poker later evolved to include 32 cards, and eventually the modern day deck of 52, not counting the two Jokers.

The game of poker has evolved through the years, through many backroom games to the present day casinos around the world. Its history is rich with famous places and characters. For example, during the Wild West period of United States history, a saloon with a poker table could be found in just about every town from coast to coast.

Today, poker is carefully regulated by gambling laws, and saloons have given way to casinos and cardrooms, but poker is played more than any other card game in the world. It has grown into a sporting event, with competitions and tournaments all around the world. Tournaments take place almost every week of the year somewhere in the world.

If you compare the prizes of major sporting events around the world, you will find that the monetary outcome of any given event in poker would (pardon the pun) stack up. Poker today is one of the fastest growing, but hardly recognized sporting events. The pinnacle of the poker world, The World Series of Poker, attracts players from all over the world every year to compete for money and titles as the world’s top poker players.

Poker will always be around and will continue to grow and flourish like so many other past times. There will always be a game to play, money to be won, and crowns to be worn.

Video Poker Glossary Part 2

Table Stakes 
A rule in a poker game meaning that a player may not go into his pocket for money during a hand. He may only invest the amount of money in front of him into the current pot. If he runs out of chips during the hand, a side pot is created in which he has no interest. All casino poker is played table stakes. The definition sometimes also includes the rule that a player may not remove chips from the table during a game. While this rule might not be referred to as “table stakes”, it is enforced almost universally in public poker games.

Tell 
A clue or hint that a player unknowingly gives about the strength of his hand, his next action, etc. May originally be from “telegraph” or the obvious use that he “tells” you what he’s going to do before he does it.

Tilt 
To play wildly or recklessly. A player is said to be “on tilt” if he is not playing his best, playing too many hands, trying wild bluffs, raising with bad hands, etc.

Time 
(1) A request by a player to suspend play while he decides what he’s going to do. Simply, “Time please!” If a player doesn’t request time and there is a substantial amount of action behind him, the dealer may rule that the player has folded.
(2) An amount of money collected either on the button or every half hour by the cardroom. This is another way for the house to make its money (see “rake”).

Toke 
A small amount of money (typically $.50 or $1.00) given to the dealer by the winner of a pot. Quite often, tokes represent the great majority of a dealer’s income.

Top Pair 
A pair with the highest card on the flop. If you have As-Qs, and the flop comes Qd-Th-6c, you have flopped top pair.

Trips 
Three of a kind.

Turn 
The fourth community card. Put out face up, by itself. Also known as “fourth street.”

Under the gun
The position of the player who acts first on a betting round. For instance, if you are one to the left of the big blind, you are under the gun before the flop.

Underdog 
A person or hand who is not mathematically favored to win a pot. For instance, if you flop four cards to your flush, you are not quite a 2:1 underdog to make your flush by the river (that is, you will make your flush about one in three times). See also “dog.”

Value
As in “bet for value.” This means that you would actually like your opponents to call your bet (as opposed to a bluff). Generally it’s because you have the best hand. However, it can also be a draw which, given enough callers, has a positive expectation.

Variance 
A measure of the up and down swings your bankroll goes through. Variance is not necessarily a measure of how well you play. However, the higher your variance, the wider swings you’ll see in your bankroll.

Video Poker Glossary Part 1

Scare Card 
A card which may well turn the best hand into trash. If you have Tc-8c and the flop comes Qd- Jd-9s, you almost assuredly have the best hand. However, a turn card of Td would be very scary because it would almost guarantee that you are now beaten.

Second Pair 
A pair with the second highest card on the flop. If you have As-Ts, and the flop comes Kd-Th-6c, you have flopped second pair.

Sell 
As in “sell a hand”. In a spread limit game, this means to bet less than the maximum when you have a very strong hand, hoping players will call whereas they would not have called a maximum bet.

Semi-bluff 
A powerful concept first discussed by David Sklansky. It is a bet or raise that you hope will not be called, but you have some outs if it is. A semi-bluff may be correct when betting for value is not correct, a pure bluff is not correct, but the combination of the two may be a positive expectation play.

Set 
Three of a kind when you have two of the rank in your hand, and there is one on the board.

Short Stack 
A number of chips that is not very many compared to the other players at the table. If you have $10 in front of you, and everybody else at the table has over $100, you are playing on a short stack.

Showdown 
The point at which all players remaining in the hand turn their cards over and determine who has the best hand – i.e. after the fourth round of betting is completed. Of course, if a final bet or raise is not called, there is no showdown.

Side Pot 
A pot created in which a player has no interest because he has run out of chips. Example: Al bets $6, Beth calls the $6, and Carl calls, but he has only $2 left. An $8 side pot is created that either Al or Beth can win, but not Carl. Furthermore, any more bets that Al and Beth make go into that side pot. Carl, however, can still win all the money in the original or “center” pot.

Slow Play 
To play a strong hand weakly so more poker players will stay in the pot.

Split Pot 
A pot which is shared by two or more poker players because they have equivalent hands.

Split Two Pair 
A two pair hand in which one of each of your cards’ ranks appears on the board as well. Example: you have T9, the flop is T-9-5, you have a split two pair. This is in comparison to two pair where there is a pair on the board. Example: you have T9, the flop is 9-5-5.

Spread Limit 
A betting structure in which a player may bet any amount in a range on every betting round. A typical spread limit structure is $2-$6, where a player may bet as little as $2 or as much as $6 on every betting round.

Straddle
An optional extra blind bet, typically made by the player one to the left of the big blind, equal to twice the big blind. This is effectively a raise, and forces any player who wants to play to pay two bets. Furthermore, the straddler acts last before the flop, and may “re-raise.”

String Bet 
A bet (more typically a raise) in which a player doesn’t get all the chips required for the raise into the pot in one motion. Unless he verbally declared the raise, he can be forced to withdraw it and just call. This prevents the unethical play of putting out enough chips to call, seeing what effect that had, and then possibly raising.

Structured 
Used to apply to a certain betting structure in “flop” games such as hold’em. The typical definition of a structured game is a fixed amount for bets and raises before the flop and on the flop, and then twice that amount on the turn and river. Example: a $2-$4 structured hold’em game – bets and raises of $2 before the flop and on the flop; $4 bets and raises on the turn and river.

Suited 
A hold’em starting hand in which the two cards are the same suit. Example: “I had to play J-3 – it was suited.”