For poker to have such a broad platform and such a popular following one would have to think that it’s a really good game. And when I say the game I mean poker as in the refined form of the game and not the Wild Card version that is found online. When poker was first played on the internet it was in a monotonous affair. You chose a poker room to play in and after paying your money you proceeded to play the dewapoker round. The first person open raised, then closed, then you just folded, raise, fold, again close, and so on. Then when one of the players left the table he noticed that the player who had been there for 8 straight years, had not a clue what had him covered. In that sense it was poker that had a steady tens-to-aways percentage, like those numbers in a row.

Those who know me might think this isarian, but let me tell you it’s not. Although it lacks the pure unadulterated straight-forwardness of the great classic forms of poker, like Texas Hold-em and Omaha, it has its foundations in strategy. And therefore, is very attractive to the new player, who is looking for something more than just a flashy game.

The game is played with a standard 52-card deck. All the cards are dealt at the center of the table and placed into the center of the pool, face up. The sole objective of the game is to combine a 5-card hand with the 2-card hand of the dealer, by either combining the highest cards in the 5-card hand with the 2 highest cards of the 2-hand, or a 3-card hand and the Player’s hand, with the Player’s Hand being the lowest of the 5-card hands. Player’s hands are 6-card hands composed of either a High Card plus 2, or a High Card alone. Dealer’s hands are of either a High Card plus 1, or a High Card alone. When Player’s hands “go home,” the dealer will turn over his hole card, either keeping the hand he was showing or putting down a new one, to verify the dealer’s hand. If the dealer’s hand is lower than the Player’s hand (known as 23) the dealer will certainly pay the player the amount he stands to collect, even if the dealer’s hand is higher than the Player’s 1-card hand.

The round of each hand is over in just a few seconds, and the game ends with each player having made his highest card hand (except the first player who has to draw 23 cards, which can go over 21). Each player’s hand beats the dealer’s hand on the final round (hence the term – “Blackjack”) wins. When all is said and done, the round of play costs $5 for every $1 bet, so the house edge is the casino edge. Players will agree that an edge is less of a casino edge when the dealer has to hit on any number of deals, but it is really the understanding of basic strategy that allows a player to win even if the dealer has to stand a lot of deals. Good basic strategy will tell a player whether the dealer has to hit or stand on every deal in the long run. The player needs to understand the advantage of the dealer to make sure that the player can at least sometimes beat the house. Contrary to popular belief, the dealer does not always win. Players lose most of the time when they rely on the wrong basic strategy, as most players do. Players can expand the edge of the casino slightly, but they cannot conquer it. And as long as the players are having more back fun than the dealer, then the casino will still be more than happy.