Poker goes universal

Mar 14, 2006 3:48 AM

Carol, did you know that poker is played by more people than any other card game in the world?

Yes, I know that your bridge group here in Las Vegas plays a lot of bridge; but many other folks like to play other games like golf, dice, slots, blackjack, football, basketball, baseball and all of the other sports games and activities.

Most of these folks that play all of those games also are poker players.

I have been asked many times, "Did you ever think that poker would explode and grow at such a fast rate?"

My answer is always the same: Yes, but I thought it would happen sooner than it has!

But with the Internet, television and the legalization of gaming all over the world, it is easy to see that poker is the world’s most popular card game and that it will continue to grow and be enjoyed my millions of new and old poker players.

Carol, did you know that the word "poker" came from the 19th century French game called poque but some folks insist that the name came from the Germans who call it pochspiel. Others actually contend that the word poker came from the Hindu word pukka!

(We know the Hawaiians have their puka shells, but so far they haven’t tossed their flowered leis into the poker-name ring.)

Believe it or not, I think that the folks who believe the name of poker came from the phrase "hocus-pocus" are probably correct because I believe poker is a game of skill and luck, and that winning poker players are those who stay in the game until "hocus-pocus" (luck or magic) finds them.

In my last week’s column here I gave the outline of one of Carol’s poker lessons that she teaches the folks at the Canyon Gate County Club, and she promised that she would have me mail a copy of my book "The Gentleman Gambler" to all that gave the correct answer to one of her test questions.

Here’s the question: If you are lucky enough to draw three aces while playing Seven Card Stud (you have a pair of aces in the hole and your door card is also an ace), what are your chances of drawing the fourth ace on fourth street?

To all of you who have already mailed me the correct answer I will send you the book.

Here is how it works: The deck of cards holds four aces, of course, of a possible 52 in a standard deck. You have seen only the first three cards. Therefore there is only one ace left in the stub of the deck which now holds 52 minus 3 or 49 cards.

Thus, one of these cards is the final ace and the other 48 cards are not the ace.

So all that gave the answer of 48-to-1 will receive the book.

Oklahoma Johnny’s Poker Tip
of the Week

Thanks to Nadine Williams and Syble Warden — two beautiful lady poker players — for this week’s tip on poker and the playing of it, and yes on life and the living of it.

Nadine and Syble are sisters and live here in Las Vegas. They share with you this wisdom.

"You can’t bluff your way through life. You have to make the most out of every hand of poker and live your life to the fullest of your capabilities."

Thanks, ladies, I look forward to playing a few hands of poker with you soon.

Until next time, remember to stay lucky.