When the bookmakers first began to add a few gambling games to their established online sports gambling sites they created a whole new gambling scene which we now call online casino gambling. Not only that but they also resurrected widespread interest in one of the oldest traditional casino gambling games, the game of poker. Of all the traditional gambling games which are now available to play at most online casino sites it is the game of poker which appears to have caught the imagination of the gambling public more than any other. Many observers including ourselves here at gambling.ie would perhaps have assumed that it would be the game of roulette or even blackjack which would prove to be the most popular of the traditional gambling games when they became widely available online, but neither of these games have come close to competing with the resurgence of poker. The history of poker is fairly well documented and anyone who used to watch the traditional western films at the cinema or on television will remember that almost every scene in the town saloon seemed to feature at least one group of cowboys playing poker. In those days it was of course the 5-card draw version of poker which was commonly played in those saloons and we also know that this form of poker was also played on all the Mississippi river boats where professional poker players would often be found. 5-card draw poker was in fact still the most commonly played version of poker played in America and indeed here in Ireland right up until the early years of the 21st century. It was only when the online casino gambling sites began to introduce us to some other versions of poker that 5-card draw began to take a back seat in terms of popularity among serious poker players. That was when the Texas Hold’em format of poker began to come to the fore and over the last twenty years or so has become undoubtedly the most popular poker format all over the world. Texas Hold’em poker is now the version of poker used in almost every major poker tournament across the world, as well as being the form of poker played on most of the specialist online poker platforms which have become available since it became obvious that poker was back in vogue among online casino gambling enthusiasts. As we have already said at the beginning of this article, when the bookmakers decided to add gambling games to their sports gambling sites most people assumed that the most obvious target audience would be the customers of our real casinos and possibly the masses of bingo fans who regularly attended their local bingo club. What actually happened is that the idea of playing gambling games online appealed to a completely new section of the public, many of whom had never been to a casino but were attracted to the idea of being able to play poker on their computer or tablet.
The appeal of the Texas Hold’em version of poker lies in the fact that it is played using five community cards plus two hole cards from which each player can form their best five card poker hand at the showdown. The availability of seven cards instead of five to make up the final hand should in theory lead to better quality hands at the showdown, but that is not the only reason why Texas Hold’em has become so popular. The five community cards are dealt one at a time face up into the middle of the table, and immediately after each of those cards has been dealt there is another betting round before the next card is dealt. That clearly leads to much bigger pots for each hand because there are five betting rounds before even reaching the final showdown round. At this point we should also point out the much bigger pots available to the winner also means that the players who have staked sufficient money to remain in the game until the showdown hand have committed and therefore lost far more than they probably would when playing any other versions of the game. Any of our readers who do not know how Texas Hold’em poker is played can find all the rules on our individual casino gambling games pages, together with all the other relatively new versions of the game which have been introduced since the advent of online casino gambling.
There are nowadays a number of different types of online poker players, ranging from those who simply enjoy playing against the house for relatively small stakes to those who would almost call themselves semi-professional poker players. It is this more serious group who have driven the surge in interest in playing poker online and encouraged the introduction of the specialist online poker platforms where these players can compete with like-minded serious poker fans all around the world. Most of these specialist poker sites operate 24 hours a day so that there is never a time when a serious poker player cannot find a game. This rise in popularity of poker online has also created a renewed interest in all the international poker tournaments which used to be mainly the preserve of the professional players. Many of the major poker tournaments including the Irish Open now need to run qualifying rounds to decide who will get a seat at the main event, as the new breed of semi-professionals want to have a go.
Texas Hold’em poker is a very exciting gambling game to play but it is also a game in which the advertised minimum table stake is almost irrelevant in terms of the investment necessary to compete at the showdown. Potential new poker players do not need to risk a huge amount of money to enjoy the game however, and every online casino gambling site offers a wide range of different versions of poker all of which can be played against the house for fixed odds and for small stakes. We would always advise that this is the way to learn how to play poker rather than going straight to the online poker platforms.