Poker is a mind sport, while anything you can find at a casino, online or otherwise, is just a game.
This is one major difference that many outsiders fail to understand, including both poker and casino games into the same category – gambling. This perception is fuelled by the fact that major land-based casinos usually come with an attached poker club, and the fact that online (and brick-and-mortar) casinos always offer their players games similar to (or inspired by) poker.
What “Poker” games can you find in a casino?
Although its name might suggest otherwise, the Australian All Slots Casino is more than just a collection of slot machines, see for yourself: http://www.allslotscasino.com/au. It has many games that are less about chance, and a bit more about skill: blackjack, craps, some casual games – the usual. None of them come even close to the complexity of Texas Hold’em or Stud, of course. And some of the games at the All Slots Casino proudly bear the name of “poker” – think Three Card Poker, Pai Gow Poker, and the eternal Video Poker.
Of all the games you’ll find at the All Slots Casino, video poker is perhaps the closest to a proper poker variant: Five Card Draw. Its hand rankings and gameplay are similar to the real thing, but it has been adapted to the needs of a casino – it’s a single-player game, with a pay table instead of a pot. Otherwise, it’s as close to the real thing as a casino game can be: it’s played with a single deck, and it has a drawing round, too.
Pai Gow Poker is another interesting twist on poker that you can play at the All Slots Casino. It’s a mix between the popular Chinese game Pai Gow and, of course, poker, with an interesting set of rules -it’s worth a look, as it is a fun, fast-paced game.
Why do casinos insist on offering “poker” games?
Well, the reasons are obvious: to attract poker fans to the gaming tables.
Casino poker games rely heavily on chance, with strategy and skill having little to no effect on their outcome. Yet they are similar enough to a real game of poker to attract poker players to the table – and keep them there for a while. Being games of chance, they generate way more revenue than the rake of a normal cash game could, which makes them a profitable choice for the casino, both online and in real life.
Pai Gow Poker, in turn, is a special case. It was designed to attract Asian players to the casino, but to appeal to the American audience as well, through the use of familiar cards and rules. And it’s quite a successful game, both in online and real life establishments.
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