Poker is a distinctly American game. It can be traced back at least to 1829 in New Orleans, Louisiana, but that’s just when we have the first record of it being played. The folks in New Orleans may have been playing the game for years before that. But it was the Mississippi riverboats that spread poker up and down the US and then the gold rush that helped it move west. Now, these first games were played with a 20 card deck but soon the 52 card deck was adopted and in then during the Civil war, variations to the game were added.
Poker soon spread to the rest of the world and in 1970, the first World Series of Poker was held. It was in these tournaments that poker pros proved their status by winning tournaments against other pros. But the world of professional poker was one that most players had little access to until the 21st century and the introduction of online poker rooms.
Those first online poker rooms were regarded with a bit of suspicion until Chris Moneymaker won an entry to the WSOP by playing in an online tournament at PokerStars. This online win would have gone unnoticed if Moneymaker had taken that entry and won the WSOP Main Event. Suddenly the world was paying attention to online poker. The pros took to the online sites and began playing against one another in high-stakes games that could run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars a night. But the majority of online poker player are amateurs who play in the micro-stakes and low-stakes games.
Since players in a poker room, either online or in a live casino, are playing with their own money against each other, the poker room makes its money from the rake, which is a percentage of the pot. Players choose the table stakes they want to play for then must buy-in to the game. This buy-in process ensures that all the players at the table have enough chips to actually play and aren’t just taking up a seat.
One of the advantages to playing in an online poker room is that by gathering a number of players together in a virtual environment, the poker room can offer a broader range of both buy-ins and games. Currently Texas Hold ‘em poker is the most popular game played, but there are other games, including Omaha, stud and draw poker. Players at an online casino choose both the game type and the table stakes that they want to play for.
Another advantage some players find to playing online is that many online poker sites allow them to play more than one table at a time. Now, it is important to remember that a player can only have one account at any poker room, but they can use that account to play at multiple poker tables. This is popular with many of the very skilled players because it means that if they get a bad hand at one table and fold, they are still in on the action at another table. However, it’s not recommended for novice players to follow this strategy since it does require a player to keep track of fast paced action on various tables and remember which table they are currently playing at in their browser.