When one thinks on poker, it is so easy to imagines those dusty saloons, the horses tied up outside, the cowboys sitting drinking their whisky with their Stetsons pulled low over their eyes to avoid any tells, the revolvers not being far from hand, and the ladies of the night draping themselves decoratively around the saloon.
However it was not in such places that Poker was born, it is reported that this game was first played in New Orleans in the 1820 from which it then spread to the Mississippi Riverboats where gambling became a common pastime.
Poker has been a part of Australian culture since the earliest European settlers arrived. Oline poker in Australia followed the Interactive Gambling Act (IGA) in 2001 by the Australian Federal Government. Although foreign poker websites were banned, local sites already in operation were allowed to continue. The last Australian online gambling site “Lasseters Online” however put paid that that when they ceased their operations in 2008
Australian players in spite of not having Australian Online websites available, can still play online at sites located outside of Australia. It is not an offence under the IGA for a person to access an interactive gambling service, thus it is legal for Australians to play poker online.
There is no certainty about what the future of holds for the Australian Online Poker player, but there are some solid indications that it may be move forward in favour to Australian players. On March 12th, 2013, the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy released a final report on the review of the IGA. While no changes to the existing Internet poker laws have been made as yet, the review recommended the regulation of online gambling giving online poker players living in Australia a possible step towards opening doors to the Aussie gambling industry and the opening of Australia’s first legal poker sites.
The game of Poker has certainly grown since its inception, and now there are a myriad of different poker variations such as Omaha, Omaha hi-lo, Texas Hold’em, 3 card stud, HORSE, Rave and many more that can be played. Taking the basics of all these games into consideration, there are definitely certain rules that apply to each and every one of these poker games.
A card game is normally played with one pack of 52 cards. Players are required to fold, call or raise each time that there is a round dealt, but a player can also check, which means that he can miss a betting round if no other player has placed a bet before him/her.
In Poker, although the games may differ the Hands remain the same. The following are the hand rankings going from the highest ranking hand to the lowest:-
- A Royal Flush – A straight from a ten to an ace with all five cards of the same suit. In poker all suits are ranked equally.
- Straight Flush – Any straight with all five cards of the same suit.
- Four of a Kind – Any four cards of the same rank. If two players share the same Four of a Kind (on the board), the bigger fifth card (the “kicker”) decides who wins the pot.
- Full House – Any three cards of the same rank together with any two cards of the same rank.
- Flush – Any five cards of the same suit (not consecutive). The highest card of the five determines the rank of the flush.
- Straight – Any five consecutive cards of different suits. Aces can count as either a high or a low card.
- Three of a Kind – Any three cards of the same rank.
- Two Pair – Any two cards of the same rank together with another two cards of the same rank
- One Pair – Any two cards of the same rank
- High Hands – If a Poker hand contains none of the above combinations, it’s valued by the highest card in it.