Posts Tagged ‘History’

A Brief History of Poker’s Texas Hold ‘Em

May 19th, 2010

Even though not much is known about beginnings of the game of Hold ‘Em, or poker in general, it is said that it started at around 1900s. It has spread throughout the state of Texas and was embraced by many as their prime poker game for gambling. And it has been introduced to the bright lights of Las Vegas on 1967 by a group of Texan gamblers and card players, notably Crandell Addington, Doyle Brunson and Amarillo Slim.

Its magic has enthralled many, with players ranging from crack-heads to more sophisticated players. But in the 50s, only a few casinos offered the game of Hold ‘Em, and they had shabby poker rooms for it. With that, many professional players tried valiantly to find a better location for their cash games, and they finally found it in the now-defunct Dunes Casino on the Las Vegas Strip and with its prominent location, Hold ‘Em’s popularity simply took off.

In the late 60s, poker tournaments for Hold ‘Em were now being held, notably by the Gambling Fraternity Convention and it helped the game gain more recognition. The Convention was then bought by Binion’s Horseshoe Casino and has taken up Hold ‘Em as the main event due its leanings on psychology rather than pure odds. The game simply rose to the top after that, with merely eight entrants in its nascent stages to 100 in 1982 and that has doubled a decade later.

With the surging popularity in place, one of the top No Limit players, Doyle Brunson, started the advent of Poker Literature with his book, Super System, which has revolutionized how people played poker. Also, it has brought the game to a wider audience and had put it into the mainstream. It even influenced more poker books to be published, notably by David Sklansky and his ‘Theory of Poker’ and Dan Harrington’s ‘Harrington on Hold ‘Em’. This made the game’s learning curve a lot shorter and made every tournament more exciting and challenging.

This has carried on until the late 90s and the first decade of the 21st century, when the popularity of the game went into another level and went worldwide. It started with the film Rounders (1998), which starred Matt Damon and gave the Hold ‘Em a romantic feel.

One also has to take into account the influence of the internet and gave everyone on what was years of experience in a short amount of time. Online poker rooms paved the way for that. It is said that current stars like Phil Ivey and Gus Hansen fined tuned their game in the internet.

And from there, what was only 200+ 1991 WSOP grew to 800 in 2003 and an unbelievable 5000 in 2005.

Texas Hold ‘Em is definitely here to stay, given that it leans more on strategy and psychology rather than strict mathematical analysis and probability, which has been the case of other games like Blackjack. Its appeal stretches to far reaches, not only in terms of regions but also of social class. It has hit popular culture, with it being considered more and more as a sport rather than gambling. It has even changed how people think of the game, with works like the The Poker MBA sitting in bookshelves. Truly, Texas Hold ‘Em has grown to a new level.

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Blackjack History and Rules

May 7th, 2010

Blackjack, Twenty-one or Pontoon, is the most popular table game in casinos. This goes for both land based and online casinos. The game can be played with a single deck of 52 cards or, with several decks. In traditional casinos 8 decks are generally used. The more decks that are used the less chance of an accurate count. The object of the game is to add the value of the cards in your hand in hopes of getting twenty one. If the value of the cards in hand is less than twenty one the player may choose to receive individual cards that are added to the value of the hand.

This may continue until they reach a value of twenty-one, the player is confident he has a winning hand or the cards reach a value that exceeds twenty one. The winner is the player or dealer that has a hand with a value nearest to twenty one without exceeding it. Twenty one is the best possible hand. There are many variations of blackjack in casinos with different table rules. Online casinos offer even more variations. The popularity of blackjack is due to the mix of chance and skill. This offers the player more control than games of complete chance.

Blackjack is derived from a game called twenty-one. Twenty-one was played in France and Spain since the 16th Century. Twenty-one introduced in the United States in the 1800’s. It was originally not popular so local casinos began offering bonus or progressive payouts to get players to try the game. One of these bonuses was a 10 to one payout if the ace of spades and a blackjack were dealt to the player. This became known as Blackjack. The name stuck although the bonus did not.

In casino blackjack there may be anywhere from one to seven players plus a dealer. The game is played at a horseshoe shaped table. Each player plays against the dealer and not each other. Before the hand is dealt, each player places a bet. They then receive their initial hand of two cards. The object of the game is to get a hand that totals more than the dealers hand without going over twenty-one. If a players hand does total more than twenty one they automatically lose no matter what the dealer does. Going over twenty one is called breaking or busting. In totaling the hand the jack, queen and king each have a value of 10. Cards with the numbers two through ten printed on them hold that same value.

The ace can be either a one or eleven according to the player’s choice. The player to the dealers left goes first and can either hold pat with the cards that he has been dealt or he may take additional cards. If the additional cards bring his hands total to over twenty one, he busts and loses his initial bet. The deal goes around the table and each player has the same options as the first player had. The dealer then plays his hand. The dealer must hit on all hands under 16 and stand on all hands over 17. If the dealers hand totals more than 21, he busts and all remaining player hands that have not busted win. Ties count as a push or tie and the original bet is returned to the player.

For more information on Online Casinos and Online Gambling

The Rules and History of Blackjack

March 8th, 2010

Blackjack History

It’s widely accepted that Blackjack originated in a French game called Vingt En Un in the early 17th century, though card playing began as early as 900 AD in China. Gamblers, scholars and people of all walks of life have enjoyed trying their luck at a hand of cards or two. Once confined to the casinos, Blackjack is now played at parties and in other casual settings, through video games, even on the computer. This is one card game which can be learned by everyone, and with a little basic strategy anyone can become a master of 21. Even before you could play Blackjack online free, this game was enjoyed by many different gamers.

Basic Blackjack

The objective for all parties in Blackjack is simple: reach 21 without going over. You’ll be dealt two cards right away, and can either accept more cards or stay with the cards you already have. Within this very simple structure, lots of different strategies can be employed in order to achieve a win.

In all forms Blackjack, online or otherwise, all face cards (the royal family of King, Queen and Jack) have a point value of 10. All the numbered cards, from 2 to 10, are worth the same number of points as their numerical value (for instance, the 2 is worth 2 points and the 10 worth 10). The Ace is a special card in the Blackjack deck, as its worth either 1 point or 11 points depending upon what other cards you have in your hand. Using these point values, your goal is to get as close as you can to 21 without going over. If you do go over, even only to 22, you’ve instantly lost. If you get 21 with your first two cards, however (a face card or 10 and an Ace), then you’ve instantly won.

There are some other, lesser known blackjack rules that you should get to know if you are going to play at the casinos, so get to know your game!