Current-day poker fans may be surprised to learn that the 52-card game they know is not the original version of the game.
Where Did Poker Begin?
The first ‘poker-like’ games, albeit with smaller packs of cards, were played in 900 AD China, 17th-century Persia and ancient India.
Modern poker is a game based around a 52-card deck with suits of diamonds, hearts, spades and clubs, and the records show that the first game which used these and involved bluffs and wagers was the French game ‘pogue’, devised around 1480.
Although the Chinese had invented playing cards prior to AD 1000, their first appearance in Europe was via the Egyptians in the late 14th century. At that time the suits were quite different, as each country adapted the images to reflect things familiar to themselves; but it seems that regardless of appearance there were now 52 cards in a complete deck.
Early Versions of Poker
Indians played ‘Teen Patti’, which used 52 cards and shared some key features of contemporary poker, as does the ancient English card game ‘Brag’, which relies heavily on bluffing.
The appearance of riverboat gamblers in 1850s USA saw new versions of the game being developed, including the famous stud poker. Around 70 years later Texas Hold’em was developed to allow for larger groups of players. During this period the smaller 20-card deck was replaced with the now standard 52-card deck.
At the turn of the 20th century regular poker, now classified as a game of skill by the Attorney General, was legalized in Nevada, and the game continued to gain popularity.
Back then casinos hosted most games, and poker went from strength to strength. It was boosted again in the 1970s by the first World Series. Now many people prefer to play poker online for real money, using sites such as http://onlinecasinopokerroom.com/betonline-poker-review/.
From Then to Now
The rapid growth of the internet has changed the way people play poker and made the game more accessible too. Poker may have its origins in games played many centuries ago, but the versions popular now are just as relevant and fun. From seven-card stud and five-card draw to Omaha and Texas Hold’em, who knows what the next few hundred years will bring to the world of poker?