When the big bookmakers first introduced the idea of online gambling very few people would have predicted just how successful it would become. The first sites were of course aimed solely at sports gambling fans, and they were quickly persuaded of the benefits of placing their bets online instead of having to go to their local betting shop. The next stage in the development of online gambling was probably even more of a case of the bookmakers testing the water as they decided to try adding a few gambling games to their online sports gambling sites. No one knew whether their sports gambling enthusiasts would take to playing gambling games online, let alone that such a move would appeal to a whole new audience. It quickly became apparent however that the idea of being able to play casino gambling games from the comfort of your own home was to prove very popular indeed, so the online gambling site operators all set about increasing the range of gambling games they offered on their sites and allocating more and more space to what were now online casinos. Most of the major online casino gambling sites now offer at least 200 different gambling games on their sites and we also now have several new specialist online casino gambling sites aimed specifically at casino games enthusiasts with no sports gambling at all. It is reasonable for us to assume that the first customers for these online casino gambling games sites were already playing traditional casino games at a real casino, but most of the operators also offered online bingo which obviously attracted many of the bingo fans who for one reason or another had stopped going to their local bingo club. These two groups of gambling fans gave the idea of online casino gambling the start it needed to encourage the expansion we have since seen. Most of the gambling games we can now play online are of course slots games in one form or another, but there is one gambling game which has benefitted in terms of popularity far more than any other game as a result of online casino gambling and that is poker. There are now far more people playing poker in Ireland than ever before, and most observers believe that this surge in popularity undoubtedly the result of the introduction of online casino gambling. Playing poker is of course not new and 5-card draw poker in particular was definitely the game of choice for professional gamblers on the Mississippi river boats and the gold fields of 18th century America, but the popularity of gambling on poker on this side of the Atlantic had waned considerably over the years. This was mainly due to the fact that very few if any of our casinos offered the opportunity for gambling on poker, and the major poker tournaments had become the preserve of serious poker professionals. Nowadays all the poker tournaments are seriously oversubscribed and many have qualifying events before entry to the main event.
Not everyone who enjoys poker gambling wants to play in the big tournaments however, most of the new group of enthusiastic amateur poker fans are happy to play at one of the many online poker forums which have come on stream as a result of this surge in popularity for gambling on poker. There are also a large number of people who enjoy playing a variety of poker games for fun against the house, and all these various groups of poker fans are now catered for online.
Almost every major poker tournament in the world is now played using the Texas Hold’em poker format, so this is also the version of the game usually played by serious poker enthusiasts around the world. Texas Hold’em is a version of poker which uses community cards to increase the number of betting rounds for each hand and hopefully also improve the quality of the hands through being able to make up the final 5-card hand from seven cards instead of five. There is one common feature of every version of poker, and that is the betting round. A betting round usually starts with the player immediately to the left of the dealer who opens the betting. Each player in turn clockwise around the table can fold, call or match the bet, or raise. Each betting round is only complete when every player has either folded or matched the highest bet. When playing Texas Hold’em each player is initially dealt two cards face down in front of them, and this is followed by the first betting round. Five community cards are then dealt one at a time, face up in the middle of the table with a further betting round after each card is dealt. When all the community cards have been dealt there is a final betting round after which all the remaining players can use any of the community cards along with their hole cards to form their best showdown hand. Texas Hold’em is popular with serious poker fans because it usually produces good pots and better hands, but less experienced players should be aware that it can be expensive to stay in the game through all the betting rounds and have a chance in the showdown.
Most online casino gambling sites offer a range of poker formats which can be played against the house for fixed odds, including that old favourite 5-card draw. Most people will have seen how this particular poker format is played from watching the old westerns, but here at gambling.ie we have detailed the rules of all the versions of poker you are likely to find at any of our online casino gambling sites on our casino gambling games pages.
If you want to try a version of poker gambling using community cards, but feel a little nervous about playing Texas Hold’em against other players most online casino sites also offer the Omaha poker format which can be played against the house. Other gambling games available online and based on poker include Red Dog and Pai Gow, both of which are great fun and a good introduction to poker gambling.