are the words of the Smiling Spy, writing about Atlantic
I have been playing full-time for nine months and
have tried many playing styles to remain one jump
ahead of the casino people. Clean-shaven, I have an
image as a friendly "dumb" player throwing
his money away. With a beard, I find I am suspected
before I sit down solely on appearance, even though
I dress well and try to look rich.
the least heat playing the $100-minimum tables where,
remarkably, there are some of the worst players. Playing
a black check ($100) at a low-limit table brings immediate
attention. The dealer calls out "black in action"
and the floorman rushes over to stare at me. At a
high-limit table, purple-check ($500) action does
not raise an eyebrow; the attitude toward big action
there is blase. Winning $1000 at a low-limit table
will create an anxious atmosphere, but winning $3000
at a high-limit table passes unnoticed.
I have been playing $25 to $100. I am afraid if I
up my bets I will have to play more conservatively.
This is common, and I usually opt for a smaller bet
and a greater advantage.
now, let's go over some of the basic rules and concepts
that underlie most, if not all, forms of poker.
ten players can play simultaneously at one table;
the maximum practical number varies a bit from game
to game, depending on the rules and how many cards
each player gets.
52-card deck is employed, usually without a joker.
There are 13 ranks in such a deck, which from lowest
value to highest are 2, 3, 4, S, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, J
(jack), Q (queen), K (king), and A (ace). Each rank
comes in one of four suits: clubs, diamonds, hearts,
and spades. Although it can be very helpful to be
dealt a hand where all your suits match (this would
be either a flush or a straight flush), it's usually
no better to hold cards in one suit than another;
that is, spades aren't inherently stronger than hearts,
or vice versa (with some very minor exceptions that
you'll learn in Chapter 8). If you and your opponent
hold cards of equal rank, you have an equal claim
to the pot and would therefore split it.