Playing the Cards Right

The game of poker is in the midst of a surging renaissance, whether that be in the live scene, where record numbers of players entered the European Poker Tour (EPT) events in Paris this year, or in the online world, where the global player pool seems to be growing daily.

The Poker Boom

The initial boom occurred between 2003 and 2006, sparked by a WSOP Main Event win by amateur player and full time accountant Chris Moneymaker. He won the $10,000 buy-in event after qualifying by playing an $82 satellite tournament. Moneymaker indeed made the money, claiming $2.5 million for winning the 839 entrant event. 

This win, in combination with the Main Event being televised across the world, inspired a new generation of players who believed they had what it takes to make it big and beat the best. 

How to play

Texas Hold’em remains the most popular variant of poker. It is commonly played with between six to nine players and also heads up or one versus one. The game is a no limit game, meaning any player can wager all of their chips whenever it is their turn to act. Each player has the option to call, raise or fold. For those who enjoy a variety of gaming options, Amazon Slots Casino offers an excellent platform to experience not only poker but a wide range of other exciting casino games. 

The first player to act is known as being under the gun or first position and is situated to the left of the big blind. This player in the big blind has to post a mandatory amount of money, i.e. if the blinds are $1/$2, the big blind has to put in $2. After the under the gun player has acted, play continues in a clockwise rotation.

Each player has the same options to call raise or fold, and their actions will be dependant on what has happened before them and in relation to the strength of their hand. The positions that proceed under the gun are known as early position, middle position, hijack, cutoff, button, small blind, and then the big blind in eight handed play. 

The small blind, like the big blind, has to post a mandatory amount, which in this example would be $1. After each player has acted, the flop is dealt, which is the first three community cards. The player which is to the left of the button acts first and can either check or bet. Action continues in the same order as it does before the flop across the fourth card known as the turn, and the fifth card known as the river. 

Whether you are a complete newcomer to poker hands or looking to learn a new variant, it is never too late to get to grips with one of the most popular past time activities. Enjoyed by millions of players globally, professionally and recreationally, poker is accessible to all. Online, stakes can start as low as $0.01/$0.02, and you can even play for free with play money. 

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Other US Markets

It isn’t just poker that is booming in the online space. The art world has migrated from the physical realms into the online sphere, with physical pieces being sold at online auctions and with the introduction of non-fungible tokens (NFT’s) which can be traded on the blockchain. The increased accessibility to the stock market and cryptocurrencies through exchanges and trading platforms has led to a drastic rise in retail investing in the US and around the world.

Sports betting has also increased in popularity in the US. Online sports betting is now legal in 26 states and more are looking to offer legal and regulated sports betting.

However, poker is the outlier of the pack as it is only available to play online in eight states: Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Connecticut, Michigan and Rhode Island.

Like sports betting, more states are looking to pass legislation in order to get online poker legalised and regulated so that businesses and the states themselves can capitalise on the ever increasing popularity of poker.

New York, Illinois, Kentucky and Massachusetts are currently looking at regulating and legalising online poker and it may not be too much longer until its available across the States.

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