Despite its European origins, Poker is considered a truly “All American” gambling game. It is a relatively easy game to learn, but difficult to master. If you are planning a trip to the gambling capital of the world, here are some things that you might not expect, but which you must know. Read on…
If you have played the game of poker at home or with friends in a club, it is not that you stand a really good chance of winning. There isn’t much that you can draw from your experiences of playing poker at these places into your real game at a poker room in Las Vegas. The game here doesn’t resemble what is shown to you on TV or in the movies.
• First off, do not expect to be playing for free. Keep in mind that this is Vegas and someone has to pay for all the food, alcohol, the shining chandeliers and the dealers and the gorgeous waitress’ salaries. The house is entitled to and will take a fee, also known as a “Rake” from every pot. This rake has an upper limit that depends upon the limits you’re playing under.
• Don’t expect a stream of food and beverages to be sent to the people. There are very few poker rooms that allow you to eat at the poker table. If you happen to be playing at one of these, do not set it on the green of the table where it stands the chance of being spilled easily. Use a plastic holder instead.
• Don’t expect to be playing with all the wild cards. That happens only on TV.
• Don’t expect a cheerful and merry environment. Most patrons are serious and brooding. A little joke and some laughter here and there is normal, but do not expect anything more than a light, customary conversation from other patrons.
• Don’t expect that you will be able to cut, reshuffle or deal the cards. A professional dealer is provided by the house, who does this job. It is expected that you tip this dealer if and when you win a pot. Remember that the only time that you will be allowed to touch the cards is when you have to look at your hole cards. Even then, you are not supposed to pick them off the table.
• Do not expect that everyone you play with will either be a tourist or an amateur. Vegas is the hub of experienced, regular poker players from all around the world.
• Beware of some of the cheating techniques which might be used by regulars. For example, suppose you are sitting at the table between two nasty characters who try to gang up on you. One of them bets, after which you call and then the second one raises. Now one of two scenarios may happen. Either the first one might call in the hope that you’ll stay for at least one other round, or he might re-raise to hurry you out of the pot. Eventually, together the two of these cronies might try to raise you totally, or might imply in indirect conversation that he has a full house just to mislead you. Keep your cool, think straight and clear and do not believe in him.
Don’t forget to enjoy!! As they say, there is nothing like the incredible sensual experience of playing poker in Las Vegas.