How I First Learned Poker

Casino Gambling

In the 1950s and ’60s, I grew up in the mountains of the southwestern part of Virginia. It is a beautiful and secluded part of the country in the heart of the towering Appalachian Mountains, inhabited by gentle, country folk who are filled with a tremendous sense of family.

In this time and place far, far away, when someone mentioned poker, I immediately thought of an iron rod that we used to poke at the wood burning in the open fireplace, the only source of heat in the house…

A pair was something that grew on a tree beside grandmother’s house; two pairs was enough to share…

Three of a kind usually referred to the Carter triplets while a straight was any stretch of road through the mountains, at least a quarter-mile long, without a curve in it. Invariably drivers anticipating a straight would act foolishly and charge ahead before they actually reached the clearing…

Flush was what my mother did when someone told an off-colored joke, or what we did after we upgraded to indoor plumbing…

A full house was always expected at every Thanksgiving dinner at Grandma’s…

The only card games I played growing up were Old Maid and Rook and now I’m really glad that Situs Slot Deposit Pulsa Tanpa Potongan has launched its online version that I can play anytime I want. Rook is a game somewhat similar to rummy but played with a special deck of cards. I don’t ever remember seeing a standard set of playing cards at home.

In college, some of the girls in the dorm played bridge and canasta. I had a few brief lessons but soon became bored with both games.

As I entered adulthood most of the men I dated played poker. They were always quick to let me know, however, that poker was a guy’s game – their night out. They hastened to let me know there was a lot of drinking, cigar-smoking, joke-telling, swearing, and releasing of various bodily gases. A female at the game would just wreck it. It’s a male bonding kind of thing, I was told.

In the late 80’s I finally found Greg, my true love, who was a Southern California real estate broker. He, like most men previously in my life, was an avid poker player. Greg played in a home game about twice a month and played in the original Gardena, California, card rooms about once a month.

Eventually, Greg moved to Florida and became a Florida real estate broker and full partner in my already thriving real estate business. He gave up his poker outings, not because I objected, but because he was unable to find any games. I knew of no home games in our small town, and there was not yet any legalized gaming in Florida.

One evening I came home to find Greg playing solitaire. I asked him to teach me a card game. He told me in college he relied on the game of gin for spending money. For the next several days Greg coached me on the finer points of the game. I made him promise he would always play his hardest against me. I knew if I wanted to become good at any game, I needed serious and tough competition. Within a few weeks, we were just about equally matched. He’s a super teacher, but he’s always fond of saying I’m a good student.

Years passed and our real estate business grew and prospered. We were engulfed in the business and driven by its success. Greg and I worked in the same business but spent little time together. When we got home, we were so tired we found ourselves zoned out in front of the TV until we fell asleep.

One day in 1996, out of the blue, I told Greg I wanted to learn to play poker. I desperately needed a diversion – a rescue from the humdrum of my never-ending work. This once-loved business had turned into a work-eat-sleep existence.

Greg hesitated for the slightest second. It seemed I could see gears whirling in his head. I could just hear him thinking, “If she learns to play poker and likes it, maybe, just maybe, I will get to play again!”

After a pause, he said, “Sure. I’d love to teach you the game.”

The poker lessons began at the kitchen table. Greg first taught me seven-card stud. In a seven-card stud, if you stay until the end of the hand, you are dealt seven cards – hence, the name. From your seven cards, you play your best five cards

Greg would deal the cards out as if there were six players seated at the table, two cards down and one up for each position. The player with the lowest card showing is required to go first or be first to act. In most casinos, the first to act is required to make at least the minimum bet, which is known as bringing it in.

In turn, I would pick up each hand and decide whether I should stay with that hand or get out. That’s all. Just stay or fold.

After I had played the three cards for all six hands, folding the appropriate hands, he would ask me what exposed cards had been folded. Then he scooped up all the cards and dealt out six new starting hands. Remembering all the folded exposed cards in a seven-card stud is a valuable and critical part of the game.

He only dealt a fourth card to the remaining hands once he was satisfied I was consistently making the right decisions and remembering the folded exposed cards. Then he dealt the fifth, sixth, and finally the seventh card.

This was terrific was to learn poker. It enabled me to make numerous decisions in a short period of time with immediate, rapid feedback.

Lessons went on like this for several months. I was antsy to play live poker. Unfortunately, back then, there was no Poker School at, and the only live poker in Florida was low-stakes poker at Indian Bingo Halls.