The Basics of Poker
Poker is a game of chance, but there is a bit of skill involved, as well. The “luck” factor plays a smaller role than in other games. As you play the game, you’ll need to learn how to balance your bluffs and ranges, and how to analyze the other players.
Poker originated from a game known as pochen, a type of bluffing that was played by the Germans. Pochen means “knock,” and its English translation is “poker.” It was later called “poque” in New Orleans and spread to towns and ports. After the Civil War, soldiers began bringing the game home.
Players are required to contribute to the pot before the game begins. This is done by “betting” one or more chips. Players may also be required to contribute to the pot prior to dealing the cards. The first player to “bet” is known as the “bettor” and the player who matches the previous bettor’s bet is called the “caller.” The player who raises more than the previous bettor is called the “raiser.” If a player doesn’t bet, the game is called “checking.” If a player checks, they forfeit the pot and must put the same number of chips into it as the previous player.
While poker is still illegal in many states, its legal position is changing. The International Mind Sports Association formally recognized poker as a mind sport at their congress in Dubai, UAE, in 2010. There’s still a long way to go before poker will be included in the Olympic Games, but there’s no telling.