Poker History

The game of poker was first developed during the early 19th century in the United States. Since those days, it has become one of the best pastimes games ever. The game of poker was based on a French parlour game called ‘Poque’, which was imported to the United States from French sailors. In this article, we will see the Poke history and how poker developed over time and became one of the most loved card games across the globe.


History of Poker

Poker was based on a game called ‘Poque’, which was played across various French parlours. When the French sailors visited the United States, they brought this game with them. Soon, poker became a regional game in New Orleans and Louisiana, and every parlour over there used to have it before these two places became a part of the United States. Initially, the city was a French colony but came under Spanish rule in the late 1700s before returning to French control under Napoleon in 1801. But in 1803, U.S. President Thomas Jefferson bought the ports of New Orleans and a piece of land from the French because Napoleon needed some extra cash to fund his troops participating in various wars in Europe. The mid-1800s marked the rise of steamboat gamblers.

The earliest origins of poker trace back to China in the late 900s i.e. the 10th century. The members of the kingdoms and most of the people in the empire were fond of this game, where they used some materialistic things to trade. As time passed, it became quite popular in China, and people played by using Leaf, and then the locals called it the Leaf game.

Evolution of Poker

In the mid-1800s, a deck of playing cards ranged from 20 to 52 cards. Five-card poker became a drawing game. The Poker hand rankings included a flush which is all five cards of the same suit that occurred for the first time. In the 1860s, straight (five sequential cards) were also added to the rule books. French sailors always played ‘As’, which was an adapted version of the Persian game ‘As Nas’. In French, ‘As’ meant Ace. ‘As Nas’ was played with 20 decks of cards. The game included four players, with each being dealt five cards. But a common variation in the Persian As Nas included 25 cards with five players and each being dealt with five cards.

Players used their move and won or lost according to the rankings that we normally use now but without straights and flushes. The rankings of the cards were based on classes, i.e., As, aka Ace, depicted as Lion, King, Queen, Soldier, and Dancing Girl. There were two different types of As Nas; one with a single deal of five cards and another one with multiple draws and much betting. This usually begins with a player getting two cards each, followed by a single round of betting. The remaining would draw out two more cards, followed by another round of betting. The remaining players would draw for one final time, which was also associated with another round of betting.

La prime was a version of three card game called ‘Primero’, and the best hands were three of a kind, a pair, and a flux or a flush. It was played in regions of Spain and France. The first version of its debut in Spain was in 1525. In Italy, card lovers refer to a very popular three-card game called ‘Primeira’.

Italian decks contained a total of 40 cards, with suits containing coins, cups, spades, and clubs. They also had some regional games like Briscola and Scopa. The Germans had eventually got up with a bluffing game known as Pochen. That was the first known game in which crafting was rewarded, and bluffing became an integral part of the game. The English took Pochen and then named it Brag. When the British colonized the Americans, they brought Brag with them. The bluffing and crafting part of Brag was mixed with the rules of Pochen, which is how new-day Poker came into existence.

Modern Day Poker

Due to some developments in the methodologies during the 1970s, poker became much more famous than before. Many modern-day tournaments were introduced, which became very popular in American casinos after the famous World Series of Poker began in 1970. Then moving forward later in the 70s, the first book based on strategies for poker, notably the Super System by Doyle Brunson, was introduced in this world. Various books written by Mike Caro also were very famous at that time. Then in the late 1980s, poker was depicted in pop culture. It was featured in at least 10 episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Two significant events occurred during the late 1980s, which caused Poker havoc in the whole country.

In 1987, California legalized the games of holdém and Omaha Poker, but previously only draw poker games were allowed, and this caused a great rise in poker games dramatically in the city. Very vast poker rooms like the Commerce Casino and the Bicycle Club began operating in the Los Angeles area. In 1988, Congress passed IGRA, which legalized casino games on Indian lands. Poker rooms began rapidly opening within a few years. From the late 1980s until 2003, the most widely played game in the East was the Seven-Card Stud Poker. In the 1990s, poker and gambling spread across the whole United States, most notably to Atlantic City and New Jersey. In 1998, Planet Poker dealt with the first real money on an online poker game, and in 1999, Late Night Poker debuted on British television.

Also Check: What is Texas Holdem Poker?

Poker Popularity:

Poker gained maximum popularity during the beginning of the first century, mainly because of the introduction of online poker and hold-card cameras, which in turn converted it into a spectator sport. Even the spectators could not only see the whole drama on their television, but they could also play while sitting at home. Broadcasts of poker tournaments such as World Series poker etc. brought up a huge number of audiences for cable television distributors. Due to this, poker pros became overnight celebrities, with poker fans from all over the world competing with their favourite pros. Following the popularity of poker, new poker tours were introduced, like the World Poker Tour and the European Poker Tours, and gathered many sponsors. One of the sponsors was an online poker company called Poker Stars.

From the beginning of 2003, the major field of holding poker tournaments grew dramatically all because of the growing popularity of online satellite tournaments where the winning prize was to get a direct entry into the poker championship. In 2009 the International Federation of Poker was founded in Switzerland and became the official body of poker that would take any major decisions on poker, and it promoted the game as a mind sport. In 2011 they announced plans for two new events. The Nations Cup and a duplicate poker team event, which was to be performed in the London Eye on the banks of River Thames and the Table, the invitation-only IFP World Championship, featuring 130 best world-class poker players in an event to find 2011 official ‘World Champion’.

After the passage of UIGEA in October 2006, attendance at live tournaments and participation in live and online tournaments initially decreased after a very long time; however, they are still growing and are far more popular today than ever before 2003. Its popularity can be seen in the WSOP, which has a record of 7,319 entrants to the 2010 main event. According to Dagbladet, in 2011, the only nations to prohibit live poker were Norway, Poland, and Albania.

The Black Day of Poker

On April 15th, 2011, The Department of Justice seized the domains of some of the industry leaders in online poker. At that time, many poker players had a large amount of money in their accounts that they left, and they were not sure if they could get their money back, and later on, they announced that the USA players would have an effect, and therefore this shook the whole concept or the world of online poker. This changed the game for millions of people and thus ended with some convictions.

Conclusion of Poker History

Poker history dates back centuries, and according to the reports, it is said that it is going to keep growing for years. There’s no doubt of adding more suspense and some exciting things to poker’s so-called rich history.

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