Poker History

Origin of Poker Gambling

As poker is a kind of vying game in which the player with the best five card hand wins money prize it is possible say about its common features with the French game called Bouillotte. It is believed, that poker could evolve from this game played in the 19th century. The name of the game itself comes from the French “poque” or German “pochen” meaning to knock. But this is only one of the theories.

Really, the history of poker game starts from the 19th century in New Orleans where the card games similar to poker were played at almost all Mississippi river boats and at land-based gambling saloons as well. Earlier, New Orleans was French territory that’s why French settlers are considered to be the pioneers in poker gambling. Moreover, poker might have derived from the game known as As-Nas among Persian sailors that could bring this game to New Orleans.

The first written record about poker dates back to 1836 when J. Hildreth’s Dragoon Campaigns to the Rocky Mountains was published. It was also mentioned in Green's Exposure of the Arts and Miseries of Gambling and Joe Cowell's Thirty Years Passed Among the Players in England and America that appeared in 1843 and 1844 correspondently.  In all the books we can find the brief explanation of poker rules. So, those days in poker games 20 card deck was used and the game was played with smaller number of card combinations that included only one pair, two pair, triplets, full and four of a kind.

Evolution of Poker Rules

In a few years after the introduction and the growth of poker popularity the game underwent a few changes. As the draw was added to the game rules the 52 card deck was introduced. In addition, due to bigger number of cards used in the game now more players could take part in the game. A new card combination, flush, was also used. A new variation of poker game, draw poker if to be precise, had much in common with the modern game of Brag. The first written record of new 52 card poker dates back to 1850 when a new American edition of Bohn’s New Handbook of Games appeared.

Stud poker is believed to be invented in 1864 by the Ohio, Illinois and Indiana cowboys. This game saw the introduction of straight card combination. In a while, a great number of poker variations with more card combinations was recognized.

The wild card in poker games appeared in around 1875, lowball and split-pot poker rules – in 1900 and community card game was developed in around 1925. All poker variations reached Europe due to the U.S. army.

Modern Poker

The modern history of poker is connected with the popularity of poker tournaments and the World Series of Poker in particular. This world-known event started in 1970 and since 1980’s it has been broadcasted all over the USA and soon all over the world. Now poker became extremely popular. The new era in poker history started after the introduction of Internet gambling. Now a great number of online poker rooms, winning blackjack casinos,  slots sites and roulette gambling sites allow millions of people enjoy the world’s favorite game from the comfort of their homes.