The history of poker goes back to the beginning years of the 18th century and has changed form and grown in popularity at a steady rate. Once the Internet was born it took little time for the game to make its way online. Having the game available to play online definitely gave more people the chance to learn how to play and play without the need to visit a land based poker room. This brought poker into even more homes and helped it see a faster rate in the increase of its popularity.
Even with the Internet opening the game to more players who may never have been subjected to the game otherwise; it still carried a bit of a stigma to it. Many people still associated the game with cigar smoking men sitting around a table drinking liquor.
In 1995 the “hole cam” was patented by Henry Orenstein and it would play a huge part in the rapid increase in the popularity of poker. The hole cam is a cam which allows home viewers to see the cards players in a tournament are holding. This adds more excitement to watching poker as a spectator sport and led to people tuning in to view more tournaments. The hole cam made its first big appearance in 1999 on the show “Late Night Poker.” By 2002 it was being used in the 2002 WSOP.
Land Based Poker Meets Online Poker
Another huge turning point for poker was when Chris Moneymaker won his seat into the 2003 WSOP Main Event through an online poker satellite tournament. Moneymaker won the first prize of $2.5 million and would capture the attention of viewers everywhere. Moneymakers win and the introduction of the hole cam came together to cause the entrants in the WSOP to go from just 839 to more than 2,500 the next year. Nevada also saw an increase in their poker revenue of more than 30 million from 2003 to 2004 and another increase of more than 70 million the following year.
While there were a few poker rooms online, no one could expect the boom that would take place online. New poker rooms were showing up at a rapid rate as it seemed everyone wanted a piece of the action. People who have never played the game were now going online and becoming full time online players, some actually making a decent living.
Online Poker Rooms of Today
Today, there are some fantastic online poker rooms that have done what it takes to make a good name in the industry and prove themselves as the best for online players to spend their time at. There are many types of poker players can choose from online and added benefits such as bonuses, promotions, online tournaments, VIP programs, and much more.
The online environment not only offers a more convenient way for players to enjoy poker when they otherwise wouldn’t be able to, but it also offers new players a less intimidating environment for learning the game and getting their feet wet. Plus, there are online tutorials, many free tools and resources, and free play practice games they can participate in while they learn.
Although each online poker room runs independently from the others, most of them do offer players the chance to enjoy the same types of real money poker games. Most also offer players access to spectacular tournaments.
Types of Poker Games Available
Texas Holdem has become the most favored poker game and can be found at just about all of the online poker sites. Holdem is played with 7 cards. Players are dealt two hole cards and share 5 community cards. The first three are referred to as “the Flop”, the fourth is “the turn” and the fifth and final community card is “the river”. Players will use the five shared community cards and their two hole cards to come up with the best hand using five cards of the seven. All players are required to ante up to play. There are small and big blinds and betting occurs after the dealing of the hole cards, flop, turn, and river.
5 Card Stud
This game is played with the players being dealt two cards with one down and the other up. The rest of the cards come facing up one at a time with a betting round taking place between each deal. The player must ante up to play in the game. Players will use all five cards to make the best hand. This is another popular game easily found on the online poker sites.
7 Card Stud
This game begins with players receiving two down facing cards and an up facing card. A fourth card will be dealt and it is referred to as ‘fourth street’. The ‘fifth street’ card comes next and then the sixth. The seventh and final card is dealt out to the players in the face down position. Players will use their cards try to make the best five card hand. Players need to put forth an ante to play and rounds of betting take place after the dealing of each card. This is just one more of the games that can easily be found online.
5 Card Draw
This card game is the game most peoples have played at their kitchen table and now it can be enjoyed at the online poker rooms. In 5 card draw players will be dealt five cards which are all face down. Once the cards have been dealt a round of betting will take place. Now, the players will have the option to discard cards and replace them with new ones. After players have received their new cards there will be another betting round and the showdown.
7 Card Draw
7 Card draw is virtually the same game as 5 card draw, except it is played with 7 cards instead of just 5. This is one more poker game that you will find to be easy to locate online. In card draw each of the players will be dealt seven cards which are all face down. Once the cards have been dealt, a round of betting will take place. Now, the players will have the option to discard cards and replace them with new ones. After players have received their new cards there will be another betting round and then players will show their cards. The goal will be to make the best five card hand out of their seven cards.
This is one of the more interesting poker games which can be found at many of the online poker sites. A lot of players enjoy this game because it is very exciting and keeps things changing. This game consists of rounds of play based around Holdem, Omaha, Razz, 7 card stud, and 7 card stud hi/low split-Eight or better.
This is a poker game in which the best Ace to Five low poker hand wins. Players will initially be dealt three cards with two of them facing down and a third facing up. In this game the player showing the highest card starts the action. Players will then be dealt four additional cards, one at a time with rounds of betting taking place between each one. Players showing the strongest (lowest) hand start the action. Three up-facing cards and one down facing will be dealt. The player with the best five-card Ace to Five low hand wins.
Omaha is a poker game similar to Holdem. The players are dealt four cards face down and five shared community cards are dealt facing up. In the game of Omaha the player is required to use two of their own cards and three of the community cards in order to form the best five card hand. There are also variations of this game.
There is more types of poker games available but a majority of the popular ones are listed above. We have noticed a growing trend of casinos located in the United States preparing to offer online poker to residents in the states. It’s a good move as you will be better protected but keep in mind it will be important to pay all the taxes from so called winnings each year. The prediction is by 2015 you and your family over the age of 18 will be able to play from local land based casinos rather then the ones currently offered from poker sites outside of the United States.