The Basic Principle of POKER GAME

We are all familiar with the prototype (and stereotype) of the Mississippi River steamboat game which was introduced in the 1830s and flourished at least until the Civil War. The rules were simple. Each player was dealt five cards face down, and after the deal everyone could bet on whether or not he had the best hand. There was no limit, and either of two customs governed the betting (it is hard, here, to differentiate between fact and legend): A man could bet anything he wanted to, and his oppo­nent, according to some stories, could always "call" ("have a sight") for as much money as he had with him; or, according to other versions, his opponent was always given 24 hours to raise the money required to call.

The entire history of online poker game since that time is the history of repeated efforts to pep up the game, to encourage players to "stay in" and bet. Mathematically, a man playing straight online poker (no draw) in a two-handed game should bet against his one opponent if he has some such hand as a pair of fives. Psychologically, it doesn't work out that way. The hand just doesn't look good enough. So, first the element of the "draw" was added, giving a venturesome player the hope of "improving" when he wasn't dealt a good hand originally; then a few extra winning hands, such as the "straight," were added; then the "ante" was added, so that there would always be something in the pot for a poker player to shoot for; then came wild cards, and then stud poker game. Next came "freak games" of all kinds, and now it has reached a point at which there are probably thousands of different games called poker game.

The beauty of online poker game is that on the surface it is a game of utter simplicity, yet beneath the surface it is profound, rich, and full of subtlety. Because its basic rules are so simple, anyone can learn online poker game in a few minutes, and novice players may even think they're pretty good after a few hours. From the expert's point of view, the veneer of simplicity that deludes so many poker players into thinking they're good is the profitable side of the game's beauty. It doesn't take long for pool players or golfers to realize they're outclassed and to demand that a match be handicapped, but losers in poker game return to the table over and over again, donating their money and blaming their losses on bad luck, not bad play.

It's true that in any given session the best of poker players can get unlucky. Going into the final day of the 1981 world championship of poker game, Bobby Baldwin of Tulsa, Oklahoma, had a substantial lead over the eight other surviving players. Within a couple of hours he had two hands beat when his opponents outdrew him on the final card on 21-to-1 shots. Suddenly he was out of the tournament. Coincidentally, in both hands Baldwin's opponent needed one of the two remaining queens among the 44 unseen cards, and he got it.

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