Introduction to Poker for Dummies

poker for dummies

Poker has always been America's game, but poker is changing these days. In a big way. Ask a friend or neighbor with only a casual knowledge of the game to offer an image of poker, and one of three pictures is likely to appear:

Poker is a game played by Mississippi riverboat gamblers with pencil-thin moustaches, fast hands, and a derringer hidden up their ruffled sleeves, or it's played by gunfighters of the Old West (men like Doc Holliday, Wild Bill Hickok, and Bat Masterson). Welcome to Dodge City, pardner. Check your guns at the marshal's office and pull up a chair.

Another picture of poker comes right out of the movie, The Sting. Imagine 1930s Chicago mobsters, a round table, a low-hanging lamp illuminating the thick cigar smoke rising from the ash tray, guys with shoulder holsters and snub-nosed 38s, a bottle of cheap Scotch on the table, and someone the size of an NFL linebacker stationed by the peep-hole at the door.

There's a kinder, gentler version too. This is a picture of Uncle Jack and Aunt Gertie playing poker around the kitchen table for pennies, and somehow all the nieces and nephews always come away winners.

Poker has been all of these things, and more. Although your authors are far too young to have gambled with Doc Holliday or played cards with Al Capone, both are familiar with the kitchen table introduction to America's national card game.

Since the late 1980s, poker has undergone a renaissance, a greening, if you please. Today's poker is clean, light, and airy, and decidedly middle class. Like bowling and billiards before it, poker has moved out from under the seedier side of its roots and is floIring in the sunshine.

No matter where you live, you probably live within a few hours drive of a public card casino. Poker is all around you. Seek and ye shall find, and these days you don't have to look very far either.

Why you Need to read This Article's series?

If you've never played poker seriously before, you might wonder why you need a series of this article about it. Why can't you just sit down at the table with a few friends, or visit that friendly casino nearby and learn as you go?

Well you can learn poker that way, but there are better ways to go about it. The school of hard knocks can be expensive, and there's no guarantee you'll ever graduate.

Poker's been around for a long time, and it's never been more popular. With the advent of personal computers, a great deal of research about the game has been done in recent years ahd some of the tried and true concepts have been changing. Players who don't keep their knowledge up to date will be left behind.

A reference series of this article like Poker For Dummies explains the basic rules of the most popular variations of poker and provide a sound strategic approach s o you can learn to play Ill in the shortest amount of time.

You'll undoubtedly find many poker players who have never picked up a series of this article on the subject. Some even disdain this new breed of studious poker players. A few self-taught players are quite skilled, but the majority of them are not.

And even if they've been playing for 20 years, that doesn't mean that they have not been making the same mistakes day after day, month after month, and year after year.

Until you are aware of your mistakes it's impossible to correct them. And don't think your opponents are going to point them out either. After all, poker is played for money.

And if you find a leak in your opponent's game, you're going to try to exploit it for all it's worth - literally.

What I Assume about you

I expect that you could be approaching this series of this article from a variety of backgrounds. Maybe you've never played poker before, and you don't even know what a full house is. We cover the basics in this series of this article, so I have you covered.

Or maybe you've played poker since you Ire a kid, and for some reason, you always lose. So you know the rules, but you just don't know how to win.

Well, this article's series certainly can help you. We present all kinds of tips, tricks, and strategies. It's time for you to walk away from the poker table with more money than lint in your pockets.

If you're a poker expert, you still can benefit from what I have to offer. Some of my suggestions may surprise you, and you can certainly learn from the anecdotes I've peppered throughout this series.

How Fo Use This Series

This series of this article is a reference, not a tutorial. By that, I mean that you can read this series of this article in any fashion you wish.

You don't have to read it from cover to cover to understand where you coming from. Say you know all the rules but want to find out what money management is all about.

Jump to Chapter 9 and start reading. If you just want to get to know just the basics and save the advanced stuff for later, just read the first seven chapters and put the series of this article away until you're ready to tackle the rest of the material.

And if you really want to flatter us, go ahead and read the series of this article from cover to cover. We promise that you'll enjoy the ride.

How This series of article is Organized

I try to keep the discussions in each chapters self-contained, and I grouping like chapters into parts. Here's what each part covers:

Part I: How to Play the Games

Poker consists of several games, and I show you how to play almost all of them. From Texas Hold'em to Seven-Card Stud to Omaha/ NL Hold'em, I show you not only the nuts and bolts of how to play the games, but I also discuss effective strategies and offer methods for improving your game.

Part II: Advanced Strategy

Playing and winning poker involves much more than the luck of the draw, and this part covers two pretty important aspects of the game: bluffing and money management.

Chapter 8 offers some guidelines on both performing bluffs and reading bluffs from other players. In Chapter 9, I actually use math to help you decide how to proceed when you are winning, losing, and breaking even.

Part III: Computers, Casinos, and Cardrooms

You can play poker in more places than just the smoky back room of your best friend's house. People are playing poker against computer-generated opponents, and what's more exciting is that you can now use the Internet to join games with real, live opponents from around the world.

Video poker requires special strategies, which I discuss, and I also tell you what goes on in poker tournaments, including the World Series of Poker.

Part IV: More Poker Fun

This short part contains some information that didn't really fit in the previous parts. In Chapter 15, I pull together all of the poker terms, slang, and myths that you're likely to encounter.

And in Chapter 16, I provide you with many resources for honing your poker skills.

Part V: The Part of Tens

Every For Dummies series of this article ends with top ten lists, and this one is no exception. I offer you ten ways to read your opponents, the ten best poker players I know of, and others.