10 Bizarre Gambling & Poker Facts
Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. You see it all the time with the huge wins people have on slot machines when they’ve only played for the first time that day. Or how about the fairy tale ending of a horse coming back from the brink of death to win at Cheltenham (yes, Paisley Park, we’re looking at you)? In the same way, the truth behind the gambling games we all know and love can seem quite bizarre.
What are Some Amazing Facts about Poker?
So, now we’ve looked at general gambling and casino facts, let’s take a look at one of the most popular gambling games around – poker. As far as gambling facts and stats go, there’s a wealth of material to be pulled from the deck.
Artificial Intelligence vs Humans
Claudico the AI computer programme took on four humans in a Texas hold ‘em event in 2014 to test the limits of AI and see whether a machine could beat real-life players. Claudico didn’t do badly, but he didn’t play as well as the humans, often placing small bets of 10% of the pot or going over the top with 1,000% bets. With that level of variance, you might not want to go up against Claudico, even if you do have the edge!
Dead Mans Hand
There’s a hand in poker called the “dead man’s hand” that consists of two black pairs of eights and aces. It’s supposedly the hand that legendary gunfighter Wild Bill Hickok was holding when he was murdered in 1876. How accurate the legend is remains up for debate but watch out if you ever get the dead man’s hand.
8 Year Poker Game
The longest-running poker game in history ran for 8 years between 1881 and 1889 in the Bird Cage Theatre in Tombstone, Arizona. The buy-in was $1000 (a huge amount back then) and it’s said that $10m was exchanged during the game. Not bad for the theatre which kept 10% of the money!
If you’re playing with the standard 52 cards in a deck, there are 2,598,960 potential combinations of 5 cards meaning that you’d have to play for a very, very long time to hit all the possible hands (many of which you probably don’t want anyway!).
The best hand in poker is a royal flush containing the ace, king, queen, jack and ten cards from the same suit. If you’ve never had one, you’re not alone – the chances of getting a royal flush are 649,740 to 1. Better keep trying, right?