A Quick History of Poker


Poker is today enjoying enormous popularity, but it took a while to get to this point. Read on for a brief history of poker.

A popular theory is that poker originated in France, but this might not be so. There was a card game in France known as poque, but the game only had three cards and didn’t play like poker. An increasingly accepted theory states that a more direct influence on the development of modern day poker was a Persian card game called as nas. As nas used five suits and only 25 cards, but was very similar to poker in many ways. It featured hand ranking, full houses, flushes, and betting.

It is generally agreed that modern poker was born in New Orleans in the early 19th century. Since New Orleans was a major French settlement, it was widely assumed that poker was a French invention. But what probably happened was that the game itself evolved from the Persian game of as nas, while the name evolved from the French game of poque.

Thanks to the riverboats of the 1800s, poker wound its way up the Mississippi River and into the hearts of North American society. The game started to change in the 1830s with the introduction of the 52 card deck. Other changes included the introduction of jokers, as well as new plays such as draws, and hand rankings like straights. Through the centuries, a wide variety of poker games have sprung up, with the tie that binds them all being the hand rankings.

What was once a game of ill repute has now gained mainstream acceptance, even to the point of being considered entertainment. Poker championships are internationally televised. People don’t even have to go to a casino to play if they don’t want to. They can play online, and they can even play for free. The game is immediately available to both fans and players alike.

The popularity of televised poker tourneys and online poker make it hard to imagine that the attractiveness of poker will ever wane.

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