Poker is a five-card vying game- which means the winner is the person with the best poker hand. This connects poker history with other vying games such as Bouillotte. The poker history starts with the first poker game played in America. It evolved from previous card games that were available before. One example of these games is Bouillotte, an early French card game from the 19th century. The name "Poker" originates from the French poque, which descended from the German pochen ('to knock').
Poker history starts with the first poker game ever played dating back to the 19th century. This happened in New Orleans, which was a former French territory and was purchased by the US in 1803. The poker games were played in gambling saloons, including the floating saloons, held on the Mississippi steamer boats. Poker is maybe derived from the Persian game of As-Nas, and may have been taught to French settlers in New Orleans by Persian sailors.
The earliest reference in written Poker history occurs in J. Hildreth’s Dragoon Campaigns to the Rocky Mountains, published in 1836. However, poker is said to have been in use earlier, since 1829, in Jonathan H. Green's Exposure of the Arts and Miseries of Gambling (1843), and also in Joe Cowell's Thirty Years Passed Among the Players in England and America (1844). Green and Cowell describe the earliest known form of Poker, played with a 20-card pack. The game had no draw, and bets were made on a narrow range of combinations: one pair, two pair, triplets, ‘full’ - so called because it is the only combination in which all five cards are active - and four of a kind.
After a few years of poker history of gaming, the 52-card pack was introduced, partly to accommodate more players, and also to ensure there were enough cards for the draw, which was added to the game. At that time the flush was also added to the game. Between 1830 to1845, Poker was increasingly played with all 52 cards, enabling more than four to participate and giving rise to the flush as an additional combination. The end of this phase saw the introduction of the draw, already familiar from contemporary Brag. This increased the excitement of the game by adding a second betting interval and enabling poor hands to be significantly improved. The first printed mention of Draw Poker in poker history occurs in the 1850 American edition of Bohn’s New Handbook of Games, p.384.
Because of the start of the civil war poker history experienced rapid changes and reformations. Stud Poker was invented by Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois cowboys during 1864. After much debate and argument, the straight was also added to poker history at that time.
Draw, Stud, and Jack Pots, all appeared in the 1875 edition of The American Hoyle. By this time, too, the full range of Poker combinations was widely recognized.
Further American developments followed, such as the wild card (around 1875), lowball and split-pot poker (around 1900), and community card poker games like Texas Hold'em (around 1925). Spread of the game to other countries, particularly in Asia, is often attributed to the U.S. military.
High-Low Poker, in which the pot is divided equally between the highest and the lowest hands, was added pretty late in poker history and dates back as early as 1903.
The rise of modern tournament play dates from the World Series of Poker started in 1970.
Since the 1980's the World Series of Poker has been televised and broadcasted all over the USA, and the poker history has become much more interesting since then. Being the mostly played game in movies, Poker has become immensely popular and has developed and spread substantially since it was formed 200 years ago.
The introduction of internet casinos in mid 1990's changed the poker history completely and nowadays everyone can play a game of online poker anywhere in the world and any time. As poker is played more and more, it is now considered the most played game available online.
Bilmo Springfield, Editor. 09-11-2005