History of Poker

The history of poker:

History of poker in the early days

In the history of Poker, card games had been evolving for at least 1,000 years. Combining different qualities of many games such as the inclusion of “cheating” or “bluffing”. Similar games were available in China, Persia and Egypt, dating back to the 12th century.

What does seem clear is that the actual name ‘poker’ comes from two well-known games in France – ‘Poque’ and Germany – ‘Pochen’. These two sprang from the ancient Spanish game Primero which is the mother of modern-day poker. The ‘Poque’ was introduced to the USA by the French.
English settlers to America brought cards with them and played Brag type games, which eventually became very popular.

The 19th Century – the birth of modern poker

The 1850’s saw the birth of the Mississippi Riverboat gamblers, the early pioneers of poker as we know it. In the old west, almost every saloon had a poker table and attracted not only professional players, but also traders, crooks and adventurers who played just for their entertainment. The game was based on cheating skills more than on tactics and luck. Various forms of poker flourished, including 3 Card Monte and early versions of stud poker.

The 20th Century

Although a temporary decline due to a prohibition in the 1920s, poker flourished in the 20th Century. In 1934, Jonathan H. Green famously described the poker game as a ‘game of cheaters.’ Each player received five cards from the deck (originally there were only 20 cards: 10 to Aces). The Americans quickly learned the new game and began to transform it. They introduced a bigger 52 card deck, new systems and new types of games (poker selected, open).

Advent of online gambling and 21st Century poker

At the end of the 20th century, poker was introduced to the internet community. Bookmakers introduced the possibility of online games and later created the first online casinos. In 1998 ‘Planet Poker’ opened the first network poker rooms.

Poker’s recognition experienced an unprecedented increase at the start of the 21st century. Mostly due to the launch of online poker and hole-card cameras, which turned the game into a spectator activity. Not only can audiences today follow the action and drama of the game on television, but they can also play in the comfort of their own house.

After the passing of the UIGEA (The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) of 2006, attendance at live events along with engagement in online and live money games slowed. Nonetheless, they continue to grow in popularity. This growth and recognition are also reflected by the rise in attendance of WSOP (World Series of Poker) which had a record-breaking 7,319 attendees at the 2010 event.

In 2003 poker tournament areas started increasing dramatically. Simply because of the growing popularity of online satellite qualifier competitions where the prize is an entry into an event.
By winning online satellites the 2003 and 2004 World Series of Poker champions, Chris Moneymaker and Greg Raymer won their seats to the main event.

Broadcasts of poker tournaments such as the World Series of Poker and World Poker Tour earned huge audiences for cable and Satellite Television distributors. Due to the improved TV and online coverage of poker games, poker pros have become famous. With fans all around the world entering into tournaments for the chance to compete with them.

TV added an important new dimension to the expert’s sport, As any hands can be shown again afterwards. Revealing data not just to other players at the table, but to anyone in the world who wants to see.