The reason that it’s so popular is that unlike most other forms of gambling, if you are a skillful player you can make money playing poker. Most other gaming bets have a built-in percentage, leaving you little chance of winning long term. There is also the ego factor with poker as you pit your intellect and skill against other players, not against a large corporation.
In a word – YES! There are many bucks nights activities and ideas but if you’re after a sure-fire winner, then you can’t go past hosting your own poker party. Even for those that haven’t played any poker, the dealer will provide a few poker lessons to get them going. Another popular bucks night idea is to include topless waitresses or even topless poker dealers.
The most common way is a vig (vigarish) or a rake, where they take a set amount from either the pot or charge an hourly rate to play. Some casinos charge you an hourly rate to sit and play. You didn’t expect there to be no charge did you?
The bigger venues do try and track down possible cheats (collusion) by analysing which players sit down at which tables together on a regular basis, the opportunity is there and much harder to detect than in a live game. Like any other business there is always a possibility of a company closing shop and not fulfilling its obligations.
Online play can be a great learning tool and partly social but there are some drawbacks. Poker is a social interaction and learning players tells are an underestimated skill that you cannot learn sitting in front of a computer. There is also an increase in “computer” players online who grind out wins by playing automatically to set algorithms.
Poker is only legal at registered casinos in Victoria but may vary depending on which state in Australia you live in. There is a network of home games or try findpokerpal but be aware that these are potentially illegal. See news report regarding illegal poker tournaments in Adelaide on 9th July 2005.
You should only ever bet what you can afford to lose. Unless you are an extremely accomplished player set you sights low. Play with what you would normally spend on a night’s entertainment and never ever chase your losses.
This one is really down to personal choice. There are as many variations as there are days in the year. The most popular game is Texas Holdem so if you learn this one first you are sure to get a game somewhere. Omaha, 7-card and 5-card stud are also popular.
Analyse your play when first starting out, so that you have a better understanding of why you may have lost (sometimes you can do exactly the right thing and still lose – see bad beat) Check out the many resources, on this site, that can give you an understanding into the odds and calculations required to confirm what is a good bet.
If you have never played before we recommend you first purchase a book or DVD€which will show you how to play poker. Check out our Poker Shop page for suggestions on where to buy poker resources. Alternatively sign up for an internet game that offers free play so that you grasp the mechanics and dynamics of the game before spending real money. Please see our list of venues that offer free poker lessons.