Just when you think that women can’t possibly love poker as much as men do, Bearing Bar has gone and done something to upset the apple-core demographic. They’ve created a poker skin game called Brag Bucks. What is this game about?

Well, simply put, it is a game where you try to beat your opponent’s hand in poker with cards that contain Brag Bucks. That is all. But, in the game, if your cards contain a fair number of Brag Bucks, you suddenly getcurrencyesteem. In other words, the more Brag Bucks that you have, the more people will call you a telltale underdog. All these calls increase your chips, so once again the house advantage goes right down the drain.

Call me old-fashioned, but I like the old school. I grew up playing gin and poker with my mother. What was I ever after? Another gin flush? Oh, I know, but that’s ancient history and we’re talking in the 21st century. My wife and I are from the new world. We’re not from that part of the world, but we’ve adopted their form of poker. It’s called Texas Hold ‘Em and we’re still practicing it in the basement.

You see, the biggest problem with the game of poker is that it is so easily accessible. Easy to learn. Easy to play. Very little skill or strategy needed to play, which is why more and more people are playing it. But, I’m an old school guy. I like hands of cards. Poker is for those who like wagering money and not necessarily skill based. I’m sure that’s what draws the ratings on ESPN when they come up with those “World Series of Poker” commercials. But there’s nothing like playing in a live game. Except for the old school stuff.

When I was in Prague, Czech Republic, a few years back, I met this wonderful woman who taught me how to play. I’ve never forgotten that. We sat down at the table in the casino and I just started shewing her money around. She lightly touched my knee and I turned my attention to the money she was still holding. I could tell she was very nervous. I’d never seen anything like it before. This was the first time I’d ever seen someone play with all that money and I’d never seen such a reaction. Maybe it was the fact that I was beating her.

Of course it’s not like that at all. There’s nothing like the thrill a win brings. Especially after you’ve lost just a few hands of it.

There’s also the aspect of the game. Poker is tough. Lose and lose hard. It’s exerting pressure on you to win back that money you just lost. Very few people are able to do it.

That’s why I got into the habit of watching poker on TV. It might help me to improve my skills. Let’s see, the best way to learn to play poker is to watch other players. Yes, old school players still play for a living. At the casino, there are a lot of variations. Almost every casino attempts to brand itself as a casino and tries to kill off its edge. You can’t do that in Las Vegas unless you consign a large percentage of your earnings to the casino. You can try to learn a new variant and see if it works for you. You can assign a risk to a deck of cards and then try to break even. You’re never going to win any money at the blackjack table, but you can learn a new way of playing and communicate to your poker buddies what you’re feeling.

That brings me to my third condition for learning to play poker. You need to be patient. The old adage goes, “It’s a hard way to make an easy buck.” And, the dealers know it too. They’ll say to a friend of mine, “This guy really hit it off Seven-Two off Seven, why can’t he hit it off on the Four or Ten?” Yes, indeed. That’s the beauty of gambling.

In a live game of blackjack, you never know what the cards contain. Some people believe a ten can never be in a hand with any other card. If you’re in the casino business, you know that’s nonsense. You can study cards, you can analyze probability, you can determine odds, and you can do the math. Why? Because a card deck contains 52 cards, you just have to remember that. You can’t do any of it in a live game of blackjack. That’s one of the reasons that live table games are easier to learn and live than online.

Perhaps the hardest thing to master in a live game of blackjack is forcing yourself to bet according to the statistics.