POKER HISTORY - ORIGIN OF POKER
The origin of poker is still a highly contested issue and nobody truly knows the specific genesis point of this ever popular game. There has over the years been a great deal of research as to the origins of poker, looking back into history for its inception but up until now no definitive answer has been provided. It should be borne in mind, however, that obviously the game itself cannot be older that the deck of cards is and these we can trace back to the Chinese in the 13th century. The earliest version of poker was only played with three cards in hand, but as has been revealed by studying its progression in the early 17th century two further cards seem to have been added to the players hand. There is also evidence that the game itself was known by a name that alluded to its nature of bluffing and the bluff being an all important strategy to success in the game, this however does not explain where the current name of “poker” seems to have come from. The game seems to have grown and grown in popularity, being especially well known in the late 17th and 18th centuries. At the time it was known as “Brag” in England and “Rap” in Germany. In French it was perhaps called something closer to its current name, there it was known as “Poque”. It is now believed that the word poker originated in this French label for the game. Another theory sites its origin in the fact that it was a game very popular among the undesirables and so the word 'poke' from which it derives translated roughly to 'money bag'. The colonial endeavors of the period ensured that the game of poker would travel and so it did, spreading to all four corners of the globe by the 19th century and completely colonizing North America.
Initially poker was played with a deck of 20 cards and it was in 1834 that the modern 52 card deck was introduced. The very first versions featured only a single round of play, with the cards being laid down after this initial round and winner announced. There were only six winning combinations at the time these were as follows: Four of a Kind, Full House, Pair, Two Pair and High Card. It was later on that the Straight and the Flush would be introduced to the game. It has, as can be seen, a long history of development and refinement and as such should be seen as the sum total of all of the permutations it has taken in the past. It has developed today into the supreme game of skill, where what you do with a hand you cannot control and how you read your opponents determines everything. Nowadays the biggest variations of the game are as follows: Texas Holdem , Оmaha, 7 Card Stud Poker, 5 Card Draw Poker.
For more information on this fascinating game refer to our casino games guide where you will find many other articles.
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