Poker Hands Form the Basis for This Fun Asian Playing Card Game

David Pham, Johnny Chan, J.C. Tran, Scotty Nguyen, J.C. and the list goes on. Three of these poker players, Pham, Nguyen and Tran are ranked in the World Top 10 Poker Players by World Poker Rank. Johnny Chan holds the distinction of being the only poker player to win two consecutive World Series of poker Main event Championships. One reason why these poker players and so many others from Asian countries have experienced success on the World Poker Tour and in the World Series of Poker might be the games that they played as children. Asian children are playing Big 2, Thirteen Card and other card games that involve knowledge of poker hands. These games require recognition of poker hands and developing an aggressive playing strategy. They also teach patience and knowing when to take control and to begin aggressively attacking your opponents. I was recently introduced to Big 2 while visiting with some Asian acquaintances. They taught me a version of Big 2 that is non-competitive and is excellent for family members of all ages.

Let’s begin with the mechanics of the game. The Deuces are king in Big 2. They are the highest ranked cards able to beat Aces. The suits also have strength. Spades are the strongest suit followed by Hearts, Clubs and Diamonds. Therefore, the Deuce of Spades is the highest ranking card in the deck. To illustrate, the Deuce of Spades beats the Deuce of Hearts, Deuce of Clubs and the Deuce of Diamonds. The Heart Deuce beats the Club and Diamond Deuce. The Club Deuce beats the Diamond Deuce. This pattern continues through all the card ranks.

‘Big 2′ is a card game for family members of all ages. The number of players can include as many players as you would like to accommodate. For larger numbers of players simply add more decks of cards. Each hand involves the players trying to be the first to lay down all of their cards. Play continues until there is only one player left holding cards. That lucky person gets to deal the next hand.

The hand commences with all the cards being dealt out to the players clockwise around the table. Depending on the number of players, one or more players may receive an extra card. Players should then sort the cards in their hands arranging them into poker hands in groupings of single cards, pairs, two pairs, triples, four of a kind and five-card groups. Sorting your cards and planning the order in which you might wish to play them is an important aspect of strategy.

The first round of the hand begins with the player holding the weakest card in the deck, the Three of Diamonds, leading that card. The Trey of Diamonds may be played as a single card or in any legal card grouping that is, a pair, two pair, triple, for of a kind, or five-card combination. Play proceeds around the table with each player in turn playing the same number of cards, as initially led, that are of greater value than the previous played card(s). Both rank and suit must be taken into account. For example, a pair of fives, 5 of Hearts and Five of Clubs, would lose to a pair of fives of a higher suit, 5 of spades and 5 of Diamonds. The 5 of Spades is the strongest card in the two sets of pairs. A pair of Fives would also lose to a pair of a higher rank, for example, a pair of sixes beats the pair of fives because the sixes are the higher ranked pair. Cards are played on top of the pile of previous cards played in the middle of the table. Players need not play when their turn comes up, they may pass instead. Passing is either a play of necessity, when the player is unable to beat the previously played card(s), or strategic, i.e. the player is able to beat the previous card, but does not wish to break up a poker hand such as a pair, triple, flush, etc, to do so. However, the player may choose to play if play continues around the table and returns to that player.

The first round continues until no player is able to beat or chooses not to beat the previously played card(s). The player who made the last play now controls play and leads the first card(s) to start play for the second round. This player may lead with any of the one of the legal card combinations. Strategy comes into play in knowing when to split a poker hand or when to make a strategic pass. Having power allows you to proactively control how you play your cards. In some instances, this may require giving up power if you are confident that you can regain power at the critical time. At the critical time, playing first will enable you take control and play a series of strong hands in succession that will allow you to run out your cards. In the final showdown at the end of the hand, the player who leads the final card or cards wins even if the other player is able to defeat the played card or cards.

For each of the ensuing hands, the players who are the first to play all of their cards will initiate play in the next hand whether or not they have the Trey of Diamonds. That player will also be dealt the first card by the losing player from the previous hand. In this fun game, if a new player enters the game, that player deals the cards and the opening play will then revert back to the player with the three of Diamonds initiating play.

This is a fun family game that can continue as long as there are people who wish to play. Scores are not kept so players can join in or drop out as they see fit. This is the family friendly, fun version of Big 2. With slightly different rules it is also a fun adult game that is played for wagers. Whatever your preferences it a fun game that can help the player develop their poker hand knowledge and develop card playing strategies.

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Asian Gambling Resorts

The continent is studded with the casino destinations. It can be called the oriental gambling or the eastern gambling extravaganza. The most happening spots for gamblers can be found all over the continent of Asia. The legalization of gambling in most of the Asian and specially the South-East Asian countries had given a spurt to the industry in this part of the world. Malaysia, Indonesia, Laos, Singapore, India etc. all have superb possibilities for gambling and they are coming up with gambling destination along with all the works.

Gambling might have taken up slow on the Asian grounds because of its importance as a tourist destination. But the answer too lies in the problem. Tourism-Gambling. The hot destination for national and especially international tourists in India is Goa. It offers fabulous outings and exotic beaches to the sun lovers. It is fast coming up with full service casinos and the main attraction is the floating casinos that take the gamblers away in to the sea.

Singapore had not given legal sanction to gambling u till 2005. But looking at the trends in other Asian countries it decided to. The tourist inflow in Singapore is very high and as a shopping destination it attracts people from all over the world. The casinos will now be mushrooming all over the place and the tourists as well as the locals can enjoy the fun betting. Singapore can be called to have adopted a very competent and open policy towards gambling. They are improvising on the gambling services in order to compete with best in the business.

Although Chinese people are mad about gambling, but the practice is completely illegal in china. Having a communist regimen the greater good was seen in not letting the poor into this social vice. However they are into games of chance and they have made popular these games throughout the world. It remains to be seen whether they are ever going to adopt gambling in all its vigor and glory.

The influence of the oriental culture can also be seen on the games that are played in the casinos of Asia. Apart from the usual games like poker, blackjack, lotto etc. there are indigenous games that are played in the casinos of Asia. For example there is “PaiGow” which in Cantonese means nine. This is a very difficult game to play and understand. It is commonly played at the casinos of South East Asia. The use of tiles instead of cards is very common in Asia. For example the traditional gamble of china ‘Maha Jong’ requires a player to assemble the like pairs of tiles to score over the other. Instead of the illegality of gambling in China, it is played throughout China.

Then there is ‘Sic Bo’ which is a mixture of roulette and dice game. Thus it is simpler and thus followed by more people. Asians are thus coming up with fantastic destinations and offers for the traveling gamblers. It is yet to compete with the Las Vegas clubs but the owners of such establishments too are heading towards the more lucrative and virgin markets of Asia. Soon enough the Asians will see the gambling industry loom large.

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Japan Casinos

Japanese people love gambling and all kinds of games of chance, and although Japan casinos are not plentiful due to governmental regulation, gambling is very popular with Japanese and foreigners alike. The Japanese have a long history of gambling, often involving traditional games that are not known outside its borders, and furthermore, they love to bet on sporting events such as horseracing and baseball. Consequently, current political moves to liberalize the Japan casino industry are likely to place Japan at the forefront of the Asian gambling market.

One of the most popular games of chance in Japan is called pachinko, a game like pinball, which is played by millions of Japanese in “pachinko parlors” all through the country. Pachinko machines offer lucky winners the chance to exchange their tokens for goods or money on the premises, and trillions of yen are spent every year on this most popular of pastimes. Indeed, it is estimated that more money is generated by this game than several of Japan’s top car manufacturers combined.

Due to tight government legislation prohibiting casinos as such, Japan casinos are currently obliged to operate online, an industry which is fast growing into one of Asia’s biggest, and also on cruise ships and boats operating in international waters, thus circumventing the restrictions on land-based gambling. There are moves afoot to change the rules on gambling to allow Japan casinos to be established throughout the country, offering not just basic gambling facilities, but also operating as entertainment and retail malls in their own right. This will generate extra revenue and provide customers with a more satisfying leisure experience. Furthermore, many proponents of casino reform in Japan feel that liberalizing the rules on gambling would make the country even more attractive to tourists, especially considering the number of casinos operating in other countries in the Far East.

In addition to traditional forms of gambling, Japanese people love to wager on sporting events, and in particular on horse racing; big races can regularly attract huge crowds, sometimes in excess of 100,000. The Japanese also gamble on cycling and other sports such as soccer, and in addition, there is a government lottery that offers maximum prizes of around a billion yen. Consequently, there is already a thriving gambling scene in Japan, and with the anticipated changes in the rules, it is surely not long before Japan casinos find themselves at the forefront of the Asian gambling industry.

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Smoking Aces – Poker’s Dramatic Rise in Asia

10 years ago, Poker in Asia was a virtually unknown commodity and you couldn’t pick out a poker player from a crowd. Today, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t play the game, or at the very least, doesn’t know how it works.

While it was popular across America — specifically in California — and some parts of Europe, poker remained in the dark among Asian countries. For a long time, land-based companies have expressed interest in pursuing the Asian market but have been largely unsuccessful in part because most of these countries – with the exception of Macau – banned any form of gambling. As a result, poker remained a Western game, completely detached from the East.

10 years later and it’s a different story altogether.

It’s no secret that poker’s popularity experienced an unprecedented surge with the introduction of online poker. Not only that but broadcasts of the World Series of Poker and the World Poker Tour introduced the game to millions of casual viewers.

But most importantly, poker’s introduction to Asia happened because the countries slowly began to open its collective arms to land-based and on-line gambling.

The allure of Asia as a poker crazy region comes as no surprise considering almost half of the world’s population can be found there. China and India alone comprise almost 2.5 billion people when combined and that’s not even counting Indonesia, Japan, and the Philippines — densely populated countries in their own right. With all these people starting to get familiarized with the game and the attraction that comes with it, it was only a matter of time before poker games and poker tournaments exploded in the region.

And now, to say that Texas Hold ‘Em, unquestionably the most popular type of poker, is being played everywhere is a vast understatement. Poker rooms are sprouting like full-blown seeds all over Asia. Macau, a baccarat-dominated country, is slowly beginning to experience the thrill that is poker. In recent years, it has hosted numerous poker tournaments including the Asian Poker Tour Macau 2008. Incidentally, the APT now has its very own poker room at the Galaxy StarWorld Hotel and Casino.

Even in the Philippines, poker is growing faster than you can say, “All-In!” The country has hosted its fair share of tournaments not the least of which is the Asian Poker Tour. As a matter of fact, the success of last year’s APT tournament – which drew well over 316 poker players from all over the world – has resulted in the APT holding another tournament to kick off its 2009 season. The Asian Poker Tour Philippines 2009 will be held from January 27 to February 1, 2009 at the Dusit Thani Manila Hotel and it is widely expected that some of the best poker players from around the world will participate in the event.

Asian poker players have also become instrumental in the propagation of poker in Asia. Some of the best poker players in the world, including Johnny Chan, Men “The Master” Nguyen, JC Tran, Nam Le, Steve Sung, Quinn Do, David Rheem and Kwang Soo Lee all trace their roots in Asia and their impact in the world poker scene hasn’t gone unnoticed.

With the meteoric rise of poker in Asia, it only seems inevitable that more and more of the future top players of poker will come from the region. It’s a testament to a game that only ten years ago was not even an afterthought. From the darkness of obscurity, poker has risen to become one of the most popular games in Asia.

With the way things are going, it’s a safe bet that poker is far from reaching its peak popularity and that’s good news, not only for Asia, but for the entire world.

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Online Casinos Take to Stock Market in Europe

Online gambling already has a place on the London Stock Exchange, and this trend is set to continue boldly as worldwide acceptance of internet gaming increases. The UK online gambling site Betfair is considering a stock float of £1.5 billion in 2010. Founders Andrew Black and Ed Wray, who own 25% of the firm will then realize £375 million, and are likely to sell some of their holdings if the stock increases as expected after the offering.

Another big financial move in the online casino business is the upcoming merger between PartyGaming PLC and Bwin Interactive Entertainment. This will create the world’s largest online wagering empire, leading the market in casino, games, sports betting, and poker. Shareholders of both the entities have approved of the merger, and the deal is expected to be complete in the first quarter of 2011, and the resulting company will be traded on the London Stock Exchange. Before the merger, the companies combined had net gaming revenues in 2009 of 682 million euros.

PartyGaming is based in Gibralter, and Bwin is based in Austria. After the merger, Bwin’s assets and liabilities will transfer to PartyGaming, and the new joint company will be based in Gibralter and at that time will be de-listed from the Vienna Stock Exchange.

The merger of these two online gaming giants is likely to prompt more mergers and acquisitions, particularly when coupled with a worldwide trend of relaxing gambling laws.

Another trend that is likely to improve the fortunes of the internet gaming industry is the increase in the use of mobile devices for online wagering. The value of the mobile online gaming sub-sector is valued at around $20 billion (US) in 2010, and that value is expected to grow rapidly in 2011.

Currently, the main thing holding back the impending surge in mobile gaming is that mobile device brands and media owners are waiting on various international legalities of online gambling to work themselves out, particularly in the US, which would represent an enormous market if legislation is passed by the US Congress clarifying the legal status of online casinos in the US.

Nevertheless, some companies are developing and testing mobile platforms in anticipation of growth in the market, and the UK has led the way in this effort. Other areas of the world expected to contribute significantly to the growing market in mobile internet gambling include Europe as a whole, which currently makes up 37% of the market. The Asia-Pacific region makes up nearly 40% of the market. The biggest contributors to the fortunes of mobile gambling in terms of games are expected to be lotteries, with sports betting coming in second, and casino gaming following in third place.

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Discover Asia on a Cruise Ship

Crystal Cruises is just one of these cruise lines, which offer travel to Asia. It includes cruises, which last for about 16 days, and has several exhilarating adventures in the Asian cruise. Crystal Cruises offer you four distinctive touring packages for you to pick from that does include the Mysteries of Asia, Kingdoms of Jade & Gold, Ancient Dynasties, and the Exotic Asian Odyssey.

The Ancient Dynasties cruise usually is for two exciting full weeks including outing to Beijing, Honk Kong and Shanghai, China, Kagoshima, Japan, Taipei, Taiwan, in addition to offering “Adventures In Beijing” land expedition once the cruise has finished.

The Mysteries of Asia expedition allows overnight visits in a few cities comprising of Hong Kong, Nagasaki, Osaka and Shanghai. There are other land tours which are available a part of this cruise package.

For a grand total of eleven days, you can enjoy the tour from Hong Kong to Singapore with the Kingdom of Jade and Gold with it many stops.

For sixteen exotic days, the Exotic Asian Odyssey will take you to India, Myanmar and Thailand. It offers several land excursions. Although cruising throughout the wide-open sea you will take pleasure in the numerous services offered on board the cruise ship.

It can provide accommodation for 940 guests, and facade a complete service fitness facility, two swimming pools and a Jacuzzi, a teak Promenade Deck, a Caesar’s Palace casino and a broad assortment of live entertainment and superb cuisine.

Whether night or day it does not matter, the entertainment variety gives the impression it is virtually endless. Broadway style shows, jugglers, classical musicians, ventriloquists, live jazz in the piano bar, comedians, a movie theater, which features new and recently released motion pictures, dancing in a choice of lounges, in addition to contributing lectures on akin to subjects as gambling, golf, health & fitness and then some more.

Many of the same Asian Cruises often stop in at Hawaii. They will allow you to take pleasure in island life for at least one day before heading off the Pacific Ocean towards Hong Kong.

Since several of the cruises have, a break in your journey in Hong Kong has a prearranged land tour that includes all the passengers must participate in, while other cruises permit their passengers to map their own daily trips in Hong Kong.

Victoria Peak is a valuable chance at an exciting sightseeing tour. It is a mountain featuring outstanding restaurants, amazing shopping, and is one of the most attractive scenes in Hong Kong. Taking the Peak Tram is the only way to reach the top of Victoria Peak that will offer you the chance to view what the Peak has to offer all the way to the top.

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Online Casino Gambling in Asia

The concept of online casino gambling had actually began in the islands of Caribbean. It was in 1994 when Antilles Island became the catalyst for the industry of online gambling. It was also on that same year when Antigua, an island located in the West Indies, voted in favor of a bill that will regulate licenses for Internet gambling. Looking back at its origins, you can merely see how online gambling has popularized. And now, those casino sites have been around for along period of time, providing you with the best online gambling experience.

Perhaps one of the areas wherein online casinos have been widely opened is in Asia. Since 900 A.D, Asians have been heavily attached to recreational activities. In fact early Chinese is believed to be the first people who invented playing cards. Aside from having a great passion for gambling, Asians were also equipped with skills that works well in casino table games. They are as well one of the fast-developing markets for internet gambling.

Online casino gambling in Asia has been the hottest topic for industry experts nowadays. They even concluded that the region is the best place for online gambling developments in the present and in the future.

Basically, the development of online gambling in Asia started when the first Asian online casino was introduced in year 2000. However, a series of dilemmas have been encountered before the Asians achieved a fully-developed market. This is probably because some professionals in the industry is heavily restricting the implementation of the said concept. But this didn’t make the Asians hopes down. They even strengthened their aim to make online gambling a regulated activity to prove the government that prohibiting their plans will make no good at all.

As online casinos brought more interest to Asian people, a few casino games were being offered as an online game. Like in China wherein their 4,000 year old card game, Mahjong, is now being played in some online casino sites. And although internet gambling is not fully legalized, Chinese Mahjong players can’t help themselves from entering in sites that offer this ancient game. Moreover, another Asian country that is hardly benefiting from online casino gambling is Japan. Japan is currently under an economical crisis. As supported by the Liberal Democratic Party, the country is looking for effective ways on how to lessen their financial problems. And as a result their government is expecting online casino operators to help them in this dilemma.

Many Asian countries today are tending to adopt a Western theme for their areas. In fact, Philippines and Macau are being called as the ‘Oriental Monte Carlos’ and ‘Little Vegas’.

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Poker and Asia

Across the world, we see an explosion of the game of poker.

Australian Joe Hachem’s big 2005 WSOP win inevitably triggered increased interest in the game Down Under, and lifted the attention of people in the Asia Pacific towards poker. Those in the poker industry in established countries see the vast opportunity for bringing poker competitions to Asia.

Already Asia has, in the 6 months prior to the writing of this article, seen at least 3 new tournaments sprouting around the Asian continent. The most famous of these was the Asian Poker Tour held in Singapore.

The APT is a prelude to Singapore’s 2 new integrated resorts, of which casinos formed the highlight component. The integrated resorts are major commercial and residential property developments introduced by the Singapore Government’s as its latest initiative to drive the Singapore economy and to grow Singapore into a major tourist destination for the region.

But Singapore is not the only destination in Asia with a draw for the poker player’s dollar. Macau has, less than a decade after the liberalisation of its casino restrictions, recently surpassed the dominant Las Vegas as the highest revenue generating gambling destination in the world. Perhaps there are benefits to introducing casinos and poker to the Asian region still enjoying rapid economic growth and populated by some two thirds of the world’s population.

Singapore and Macau in the Asia Pacific are sure to provide many more opportunities to play poker in this region.

All the signs are that poker can be bigger here than it could ever be in Europe and North America. Indeed, with the recent passing of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in the US, several major companies have adopted the policy of completely restricting US citizens from playing in the US. The result is that these companies are actively promoting their poker games to Europe, Australia, and soon, you will find, Asia as well. There are no borders in the internet and any individual sitting in Manchester, Melbourne or Macau can play poker online.

Asia will have its challenges in the development of this industry. Many countries are of conservative values or are still staunch in religions or beliefs and hence that may look poorly upon poker. Of course, the starting perception of poker is as part of gambling and betting and gaming.

However, these are no different from issues once faced by poker players in other continents. Indeed, the perception of poker worldwide is changing. There is argument that poker should be seen more as a sport due to the dominance of skill over the element of chance involved in poker. An increasing number of people do not turn professional to play roulette or other casino games – they turn professional to play poker because there are opportunities to influence the course of game with skill.

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