The popularity of poker has grown exponentially in the past fifteen years, due to the increased television coverage of events such as the World Series of Poker. As recently as the 1990s, it was relatively difficult to get involved in this most fascinating of games without travelling long distances to a casino. Fortunately, the increased mainstream acceptance of poker has made it far easier to get involved in this fascinating pastime.
Few hobbies are as enthralling or as intellectually stimulating as a well-played round of poker. At its highest levels, poker is as absorbing as chess, with the added adrenaline kick of white-water rafting.
Many variants of poker are available online, but the most popular is Texas Hold’em, and for many enthusiasts this is the version with which they are most familiar from television coverage. Other varieties such as Omaha High-Low and Seven Card Stud remain popular in ‘real world’ games, but for the interested newcomer, Texas Hold’em is arguably the easiest version of the game to master, largely because of the vast array of online tutorials and books which are available to guide novices through the early stages of the learning curve.
Hold’em comes in two varieties: limit and no-limit. Limit games are ideally suited to absolute beginners, because the amount of chips you can lose in any given round is strictly capped, but more experienced players will appreciate the greater subtly and drama of no-limit games, in which psychology and the art of bluffing comes into play in a far more decisive manner.
There are many superb sources of information which can help you to dramatically improve your gameplay and avoid some of the pitfalls into which unwary newcomers sometimes stumble. New players are advised to search online for bankroll management techniques and read books by world-class experts such as David Sklansky and Dan Harrington, whose incredible insights have helped millions of players to turn poker into a safe, rewarding and potentially profitable pastime.