You’re at a Texas Hold’em poker table, desperately trying to stay afloat in a sea of competing players when suddenly, a big smile breaks out on one of the faces at the table. You’ve just been saved by the bell!
On the face of it, what just happened at the table has all the appearances of an innocent enough prank. After all, nobody puts it past the Russians to pull a fast one on the world’s best poker players. But nothing in poker is what it seems, and the innocent-looking exchange that just transpired at the table was anything but that.
Instead, what just happened at the table was the beginning of a new way of playing poker. For years, players have been utilizing different methods to gain an advantage over their opponents. In modern poker, we see lots of micro-strategies being employed to generate the slightest of tips to provide the best possible hand for the player. The advent of cryptocurrency has enabled players to make incredibly small, perfectly executed moves with complete confidence in the security of their financial transactions. Thanks to the rise of machine learning and artificial intelligence in the crypto-sphere, we’re seeing smarter, more tactical players emerge, able to devise winning strategies and perform lightning-fast hand-eye coordination.
It would be a missed opportunity not to mention the many well-deserved innovations in poker hardware and software that have enabled us to see the game in a whole new light. It’s only fair to say that we here at Crypto Insider feel pretty lucky to have witnessed the rise of a new way of playing poker and to have had a front-row seat for one of the greatest comebacks in the history of the game.
The Rise of the Micro-Strategists
Block betting, or block holding as it is more commonly known in the Texas Hold’em world, was first brought into existence in the 1970s by professional poker players who either didn’t have the time to sit through the whole game or wanted to preserve the suspense and excitement of making the best possible play at any given moment.
Thanks to the rise of cryptocurrency and the widespread adoption of blockchain technology, block betting has become incredibly popular again. What was once considered a fringe strategy has now been embraced fully by the modern poker community. With players able to make instantaneous transactions with perfect anonymity, there has never been a more appropriate time for block betting. The game itself is a perfect breeding ground for this strategy, which is why we’re seeing lots of innovation and new variations of the classic strategy.
While there are dozens of different ways to utilize block betting, perhaps the most well-known of these is commonly referred to as ‘block walking’. This is when a player bets or raises, depending on whether they’re playing against the dealer or another player, with the intention of having the hand that is best suited to block betting determined by the cards they’re holding when the betting round ends.
Why Texas Hold’em?
To understand why the rise of the micro-strategists has been so spectacular in the poker world, we first need to look back at the basic rules of the game itself. When it comes to poker, Texas Hold’em is the most popular variant among both amateur and professional players alike. It’s not that it’s necessarily better than any other game in the way it plays—it’s just that it’s the most popular one.
In a game of Texas Hold’em, players are typically dealt two cards face-down and then three cards face-up to begin the hand. Face cards are worth more points in the game and are considered ‘high cards’. An ace can also count as the highest card. After the turn, the player can either bet or check. If they bet, this is known as ‘raising’ or ‘calling’ the bet; if they check, this is known as ‘standing’ or ‘checking’ the bet. Each player then has the option to either call, check, or raise the bet based on the five cards they have left in their hand.
The Many Evolutions of Block Betting
As we’ve established, the strategy of block betting dates back to the ‘70s and was initially utilized mostly by professionals and high-stakes players. Over the years, it has gone through many variations, with some poker sites allowing certain kinds of bets that are restricted to specific players. These days, however, with the simplicity and the ubiquity of block betting, it’s available to all comers, and for better or worse, it seems that every poker table in the land has a big grin waiting for a player who decides to try out this strategy.
How Does It Work?
The basic rule of block betting is extremely simple, but the implications are far-reaching. When a player decides to bet or raise, they’re essentially placing a wager on the outcome of the hand. Like any other wager in poker, the size of the bet depends on the amount of money that is being gambled. The only difference is that in a block bet, there is no limit to the amount that can be wagered. With the betting round all but over, the player is free to make as much noise as they like and attract as many onlookers as they can. The fact that their transaction will be anonymous makes this option all the more appealing to players who want to keep their identities a secret.
That being said, it’s not necessarily wise to assume that just because your cards are secret that nobody knows what you’re doing. A savvy opponent, who is aware of your strategy, can still place a strong hand based on the information that is available to them. One important thing to keep in mind is that in a game of Texas Hold’em, the information that is available to your opponent is always a matter of public record. The game is played based on ‘the principle of information transparency’, which essentially means that all of the information that is pertinent to the game is available to all players at all times. This includes what is known as ‘the board’, which is a record of what has happened so far during the hand. It is a running total of all the wagers and wins or losses that have been accruing up to this point.
What Are the Main Advantages?
For years, block betting was considered a fairly low-profile way of playing poker. Thanks to the innovations in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, the game has seen a resurgence in popularity, with all the advantages that this can bring. First and foremost, the ability to execute a trade without having to wait for approval from a bank or regulatory body is both a feature and a selling point in and of itself. Thanks to the speed that is possible with cryptographic algorithms, the verification process for a blockchain-based transaction is practically instantaneous. The fact that it’s confidential makes it all the more attractive to potential buyers and renters, alike. Thanks to all these advantages, it now seems that every poker table in the land is abuzz with excitement at the notion of block betting, and for good reason.
Where Can I Try It Out?
If you are the adventurous type who wants to dip their toes into the world of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, then trying out block betting is relatively easy. You won’t necessarily need to look far, as there are dozens of cryptocurrency casinos, online poker rooms, and blockchain games that you can play right on your laptops or mobile devices.
The Rise of the Machines
With all the advantages that block betting can offer, it’s easy to see why machine learning and artificial intelligence have been at the forefront of its development. Poker is an inherently data-driven game, as players constantly need to assess the value of their hand and decide whether to raise, call, or fold based on the strength of their cards. Thanks to the rise of machine learning and AI in the crypto-sphere, we’re beginning to see innovative new ways for players to gain an advantage over their opponents.
Take, for example, the Uptick Rule. This is where a player is only allowed to raise the bet if at least one of the cards in their hand is a ten or an ace. Thanks to advancements in natural language processing, it’s now possible for a computer program to analyze the situation at hand and come up with a play—even if the rules of the game don’t necessarily lend themselves to easy interpretation.
The Future of Poker
Thanks to the many advantages that block betting can provide, it’s important to keep an open mind as to where the game of poker may be headed in the future. While the strategy is a tried and tested one and seemingly as popular as ever, there is always room for innovation and improvement, as always in the world of poker. With the limitless possibilities that cryptocurrency and blockchain technology offer, it’s hard to predict what the next big development in poker may be—but we’re sure to see something spectacular emerge from this innovative and ever-evolving community!