Atlantic City Poker
The game of poker has been around for centuries and is arguably the most popular of card games after bridge.
It engenders scenes of wild cowboys quaffing neat bourbon out of cracked whiskey tumblers, sweating profusely while handling their colt specials under the table – it epitomises gambling, and even though we don’t see too many dead bodies lying around the card tables today, it still gets the blood boiling and the tempers frayed, especially in the high-stakes poker rooms!
In traditional poker, players bet on the combination of cards they have been dealt by placing the bet in a central pot or kitty. The winner is the one who has the best combination of cards according to the pre-determined ranking – a pair, three of a kind, full house and so – or the player who remains in the game once all other contenders have ‘folded’ or thrown in their cards. There are a number of variations of poker which are popular with visitors to Atlantic City casinos:
Pai Gow Poker
This variation of poker is a very effective synergy between the ancient Chinese game of Pai Gow and the All American classic of poker. It is played with a normal deck of 52 cards and one joker, which is, in effect, an extra ace. The joker cannot be substituted for anything else except an ace. Each player is dealt seven cards and from these seven cards two separate hands of five and two are arranged according to the traditional poker rankings. The highest two card hand would be two aces, and it follows that the highest five card hand would be five aces. The whole point of the game is to get the five card hand to rank higher than the two card counterpart.
Let-it-ride Stud Poker
Let-it-Ride is an innovative variation of the ever-popular 5 card stud. Each player is dealt three cards and the dealer’s two cards, dealt face down, are used by all the players, as community cards. They have the option of placing three bets – 1, 2 & $. In the first round the dealer can either let his bet ride, or may take back his first bet. Once all the players have reacted to the round, the dealer reveals the first of his cards to the table. Again each player either lets his bet ride, or takes back bet number two. The dealer then exposes his second card, and all five cards play on the $ bet. The table does not play against the dealer – all bet decisions regarding the players’ hands are predetermined by a pay chart listed at the table.
Texas Hold ‘Em
Texas Hold ‘Em is possibly the most popular version of poker in the States and Europe today. It too is a community card game, and each player may utilise the five community cards, as well as the two cards dealt to them, to make up a winning combination, based on the traditional ranking of poker. The unprecedented popularity of this game of poker is that it allows for strategic planning, and is not reliant on luck alone.