The History Of Poker

As with many things invented long ago, it’s difficult for researchers to determine the exact beginnings of poker. Because there are many different versions of poker, there are no clear origins available for historians to claim for the game. If you are still interested in finding out what we do know about the history of poker however, the limited facts are listed below.

The word “poque” from France is said to be the original starting name for the game of poker. The German game called “pochen” in turn was the birth of the French world listed above. As mentioned before, it is not known for sure if these games were the origins of poker or not, but the name certainly does seem to come from it. It also helps this argument that our game of poker has many similar aspects to these games. What we can determine right now is that French settlers learned a game similar to poker from Persian sailors while living in New Orleans. The Renaissance game of “primero” is also a possible starting point for the game of poker. England’s “brag” and France’s “brelan” are also two possible beginning points for poker. As you can see there are many different theories on where it all started. Most of these games are said to be origins for poker because they too use the bluffing skill which is so prominent in poker.

The first game played in New Orleans back in 1829 only used twenty cards in a deck. Only four different players would bet at a pot, trying to guess who had the best hand. Because riverboats were common in these areas, it is no surprise that the game quickly launched from New Orleans outwards. As the riverboats traveled to different areas, more and more people would be able to play the game of poker and increase it’s popularity.

The next step in developing the modern game of poker we know was using a full fifty-two card deck. Then came the flush hand possibilities. After this; straights, draw, and stud games were most likely added to the game during the Civil War in America. 1875 was the year where lowball, wild cards, and even split pots were introduced according to the best estimates by expert historians. The United States military is said to be a deciding factor in the development of the game. Because they had to find some way to pass time, solider’s frequently played the game of poker and soon popularized it. Because they were also traveling all over the world, the military was said to have brought the game of poker to Asia as well.

Poker has also had a big impact on pop culture in England and America. Terms like “calling your bluff”, “ace in the hole”, “blue chip” and many more have became common jargon to both cultures. Even people who have no idea how these terms were originally used still frequently use them during poker matches. Isn’t it interesting how easily the culture of poker was able to embed itself into society?

The information listed above is not definite and is at best a vague history of poker, but it’s about all we know about the origins of the game. Starting with the 20th century we know a lot more about where and how modern poker has evolved. The World Series of Poker has increased in players every year since the first one was played in 1970. Because it was such a big event, the World Series gave birth to the first real superstars of poker. Professional players began to write books on how to play and what methods to use to win money, and the popularity of the game began to rise.

It is not surprising that this game of poker is so popular today. New players are getting into poker everyday. It is easier then ever with many online communities, to play a game of poker making it more popular and playable for the average Joe. Big game tournaments shown on TV only help to popularize the event as well. These events let viewers see all the hands players hold, letting them feel like they are playing in the event and not just watching at home. Almost anytime of the day can a poker event be found on television. Many professional and amateur events are shown all around the networks.

In the past poker was largely considered a mans game, with few female players and fewer still in the public eye. These days there’s lots of incredible female players from around the world participating in the biggest tournaments around, with famous names like Jennifer Harman, Annie Duke, and Kathy Liebert well known to fans.

We may not ever know what the exact origins of the game of poker were, but we do know that the future of the game looks bright. Evolved forms of games played since the 1800’s frequent casinos and homes these days. Some people even play poker for a career! Poker has embedded itself into society and culture and will be here to stay.