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The Popularity of Poker

With the possible exception of bridge, the game of poker has probably eclipsed all other card games in terms of popularity. Poker has always been an intrinsic part of American culture, especially in popular depictions of the American West, thanks to increased exposure in recent years it has made a huge imprint on the modern, international consciousness. Nothing attests to the huge popularity better than the fact that major tournaments including the World Series of Poker enjoy popularity on sports channels such as ESPN in the United States.

Although there are several variations of poker played in casinos, through clubs, and in poker rooms all over, the hands down international favorite these days is Texas Hold ‘Em. People play many variations in huge numbers both online and off, at any kind of party, and in specific game rooms in many land based casinos. In fact, the surge of popularity has meant the re-opening of once defunct game rooms in major gambling cities such as Las Vegas. No matter whether your preference leans towards video poker, online poker rooms, or land based games, the odds are pretty good that you will be able to find a game.

With the insurgence of this popular sport there has been a high demand for free no download type games, which makes it easy to access these games virtually anywhere and play poker instantly.


Different Poker Games


While the rising popularity of poker in recent years is attributable mainly to the version of the game known as Texas holdem, there are several different games that at one time or another have enjoyed their time in the sun as a card player’s favorite pastime. This versatile card game actually has four broad categories of play to choose from, including the popular holdem, 7 card stud, and Omaha. The fourth category is generally miscellaneous, and includes games where players draw five cards and variations change ups of rules regarding wild cards and game play. For many professional poker players, a key to success lies in mastering several different poker games in order to have a chance at the money in any tournament.


Why Poker is Popular


There are several reasons why playing poker has become one of the most popular forms of recreation among adults in North America today. As a game of chance, poker has always meant that players have the opportunity to feel the rush as they court lady luck with every wager of every match. Poker also adds a measure of insurance that is usually lacking in a gambling sport; namely, there is an element of skill added to the fun. Most pro poker players will tell you that the game is only truly understood when you actually engage an opponent in a battle of wits; the pot will often go to the player who has the best read on the others. It is this combination of chance and skill has led many Americans to play poker during their times of relaxation.


The Advantages of Free Poker


In a world that has truly gone crazy for poker, it can be hard for a newcomer to the game to stay afloat while engaging the learning curve. One great way to learn the game without having to handout a lot of money in losses is to find a place to play poker for free. Most poker sites will actually include a lot of different tables offering freebie games, where a player uses complimentary token money that is not available as a cash out. Using this handout is a great way to practice not only your poker acumen but also your batting strategy; you’ll gain a lot of skill with nothing on the line to lose. If you’re not a seasoned player, the best advice is to get some practice with free poker before you start to lay down real money!


Can’t Find a Few Friends? Go Online!


Poker is truly one of the great American pastimes, but a few years ago you would have had to make sure a few of your buddies were available in order to get a good game going. With the advent of the internet age and the rise in popularity of poker today, though, it’s totally possible to enjoy a great game of poker even if you have no friends (or only a couple) available to play. Gambling has come to cyber space in a big way in the last five years, and you only have to type “play poker” in one of the major search engines to realize just how many opportunities are out there. You can play any variation of poker you want on the web, and you can play for money or play for free. The huge variety of sites dedicated to playing online poker mean that you’ll never have to worry about being  a couple of bodies short for a game again!


Trying Computerized Poker


Many people interested in playing poker don’t have the analytical social skills necessary to compete for the pot in a real life game. For some, computerized games such as those offered at terminals in most casinos and on the internet are the only ways they have a chance at winning a game of poker. These terminals came into being alongside the first slot games and computer games in the lat 1970s. In addition to incorporating basic game play, video poker terminals offer additional entertainment through graphics, and some may also include a short movie for players.


Get Bragging Rights


If you’ve ever played poker – either online or off –  you know that emotions tend to run high and that often a full blown competition will emerge as to who is truly the best player at the table. The popularity of poker today means that the individual player has many chances to enter tournaments and claim the mantle of best poker player through any number of championships. There is a tournament for players of virtually any poker ability, right up to the national and international levels. Most of the time, a tourney will take on a playoff style format. The players begin by meeting at tables for anywhere between five and ten players. A couple of players emerge from each table and move on to the next round. Eventually there is one table left, with the winners from the previous round vying for the championship. Tournament poker is definitely one way to establish yourself as a player to be reckoned with, no matter what level you play at!


WSOP is not a One-Game Event


Because of the huge exposure gained from the final table, many poker fans believe that the World Series of Poker is a single tournament involving no limit Texas holdem. In fact, the WSOP today includes several different tournaments encompassing more than forty different poker variations. They way in which the different tournaments are played is very similar to that used for the holdem game. Professional players hold a rank based on their play the previous year, and are seeded at tables in order to ensure an exciting competition. After each match, the winning player at the table moves on to the next table, right up until the final event. This progression holds true whether one is playing in the big holdem tournament or the smaller Omaha games. The fluid progression of the World Series of Poker make it an easy tournament to follow, even if you are interested in thirty of more different game styles.


Getting Your Game On


Poker fans everywhere have benefited from the big boom of online poker rooms. It used to be that a good poker game had to be planned in advance, a good thing to include at parties and so forth but you had to make sure there were enough people available. If you wanted to play a game for a challenge or for entertainment during a brief down period in your day, you were pretty much out of luck. Online poker rooms overcome the difficulty of planning ahead, as there are any number of people online to engage in a match. If part of your idea of fun when it comes to poker is the carousing that goes on at a table, you’ll still find games to suit your taste. Sites such like Party Poker offer chat features that allow you to visit and even taunt your opponents just as you would in a face to face game.


If it’s on a Sports Channel, it’s a Sport!


One of the major contributing factors to the rise in the popularity of poker in the 21st century has been the extensive coverage the game has received on major sports networks. Included in the group of cable and satellite stations that provide live poker games to their TV audiences are ESPN in the United States and the Travel Network, based out of England. Both networks offer exclusive coverage of certain big events in the world of poker. The Travel Network airs the World Poker Tour, a series of Texas Hold ‘Em tournaments held in locations all over the world. The big highlight of ESPN poker is the TV station’s annual coverage of the huge World Series of Poker.


If you’ve ever sat around for an hour or so with nothing to do and bored out of your tree, you might be interested in trying your luck at a game of poker. There are several internet sites that offer free poker games, money poker games, and tournaments based on several poker variations, and claims to be the largest and oldest of them all. On this site, you’ll find many different poker rooms featuring games like 7 card stud, Hold ‘em, and Omaha among others. The poker community that has been built up around the site is extensive, and you can take advantage of the provided lounge features to strike up new friendships or create new rivalries. Sites like Pokerroom offer all of the advantages provided at casinos all over the world, but without the need for a costly trip. That poker community is available to anyone anywhere with an internet connection, an interest in the game, and a curiosity about what a poker room really is.


Poker Comes Back to Casinos


It wasn’t very long ago that poker was an endangered species in casinos everywhere. A house take based only on a percentage of the pot combined with the waning popularity of the different poker games meant that poker rooms all over the world were shutting down. A major revival took place as poker surged back into the popular mindset through television coverage and online, and now poker can be found in almost any casino. In fact a few years ago, poker came back in a big way to the famous Strip in Las Vegas, with hotel casinos up and down the famous street refurnishing their old rooms and opening them to the public once again. Today poker rooms are again a major feature in gambling establishments across the world as gamblers once again demand poker be present among their gaming options. Casino poker involves a lot more strategy than a game of pure chance like bingo but there are many different sites that offer people a chance to win at any poker game. Using these strategies means that you can feel confident playing casino poker even in a poker room at a hotel in a place like Las Vegas or Reno.


Where to Play Poker


Poker is one of the world’s most popular card games (if not THE most popular card game) but traditionally it has been hard to find a game whenever you feel like playing. Poker requires anywhere from five to ten people in order to have a truly exciting game, and most people can’t gather up that many friends at a moment’s notice. The internet has brought a new reality into the lives of poker enthusiasts everywhere by taking the game out of land based casinos and making it available to anyone, anywhere with a connection to the web. Poker rooms on the internet are great places for meeting opponents and can be used as a hangout for any poker fan with a little time to kill. In addition, playing in the privacy of your own home will allow you to avoid any unwanted association that can come to poker players, and will also mean that there is no risk of betting your wedding ring when you are down to your last dollar. There are several online casinos and poker rooms that act as a hangout for poker players from all over the world. These include big names like Absolute Poker and Poker Club as well as smaller players.


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