Despite the phenomenal growth in online poker, did you know that game actually originated nearly a thousand years ago? Historians have traced the roots of the game all the way back to the 10th-century domino card game played by a Chinese emperor.

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Poker underwent several changes over hundreds of years and eventually became ‘Poque’. It was a game played with three cards, and bluffing formed an integral part of the game. The French then brought the game to America, and by 1834 the modern game had been invented, featuring a five-card hand and a 52-card deck.

Despite its huge popularity, it wasn’t until the age of the internet that Poker became a game available to the masses, any time, day or night. The game had largely been confined to professionals, but in 2003, Chris Moneymaker qualified for and won the World Series of Poker.

What makes this stand out as a pivotal point in history is that Moneymaker qualified as an amateur through an online poker tournament. His rise to superstardom was followed by an unprecedented rise in the game online.

Sixteen years later, every bookmaker in the land has a live casino where you can play poker. There are even specific rooms where you can learn the ropes without fear of being hustled by far more experienced players.

But if you are still not sure exactly how the game is played, then here are the basics for you to follow:

Poker Facts

  • The game uses a 52-card deck and sometimes may include two jokers.
  • Ace is the most valuable card in the deck.
  • Two has the lowest value of all the cards in the deck
  • The cards descend in value from Ace, through King, Queen, Jack…all the way down to 2.

Poker Hands

There are many different poker hands that you can have in the game. They also rank in value as follows:

Royal Flush
This is the best hand that you can have. Ace, King, Queen, Jack and 10, in any suit but must be all the same suit.

Straight Flush
Any five sequential cards of the same suit.

Four Of A Kind
This is four cards of any specific ranking. For example, 9-9-9-9-2.

Full House
This is where you end up with three of a kind plus a pair. So you may have K-K-K and 2-2.

This is where you have five random numbered cards but all of the same suit. So they must all be diamonds, clubs, spades or hearts but in any order.

Five cards in numerical order but all from different suits. You may end up with 7-6-5-4-3 but a mix of diamonds, clubs, hearts or spades.

Three Of A Kind
You may end up with three cards of the same value and two that do not help you. E.g. 8-8-8 and then a random 2 and 10.

Two Pairs
An obvious one. You have two pairs and a fifth card which doesn’t help form a better hand.

One Pair
Again, not a great hand when you only manage one pair. It does get better if it’s a high pair like Aces, but it is not so good if the pair is two’s.

High Card
You essentially don’t have much to work with here. A high card may be an Ace or a King, but that’s all you have. No other pairs or cards of value to make up a better hand.

So they are the basics of poker and learning about the hands that you need to form in order to play the game. For more strategies to help you improve your game, check out our guide here.

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