Recap on the History of Poker

Recap on the History of Poker

Poker is a game that can not really be tracked in the same historical manner as many of the other games that we play today. The reason for this is that there are many different variants of poker and there are some games very similar to poker that might be considered ancestral games to the modern poker rules. However, the history of modern poker is still one that goes back centuries. While the complete history is rather complex, an abridged version of that history is presented below.

Origins, 1500 AD

The origins of poker are squarely rooted in many different games that were not exactly like it. These games however did incorporate betting on the ranking of poker hands which then led to bluffing and therefore introduced societal precursors to poker in many different cultures. Games in Germany, Persia and elsewhere across the world around this time have been identified as having something in common with poker and therefore these games can most definitely be thought of as having something to do with the origins of poker.


Transition to Poker, 1800 AD

The earliest actual recording of a game referred to as poker is in the 1820s. This was recorded by a British subject named Joseph Cromwell who was on a visit to theUnited States in 1829. He viewed a game by this name being played in the city of New Orleans in the American State of Louisiana. However, this game only included about 20 different cards, but the popularity of the game allowed it to spread to other parts of the country.

It was between 1829 and 1860 that the first modern 52-card deck was introduced. This deck not only allowed for many more hand combinations to be made, but also completely changed the ranking of hands. The ranking of hands for the game was therefore revised and changed into what it is today. Pioneers played the game all the time during the years of the gold rush and there are also reports of the game being played by both Union and Confederate troops during the civil war of the 1860s.

Introduction of Tournaments, 1970 AD

The next major development in poker was the introduction of poker tournaments, the first of which was the World Series of Poker inaugural event which was played in 1970. These poker tournaments were a different breed than the cash games that had previously been played and while cash games continued, poker tournaments became the defining method of creating and playing out the major events of the poker world.

Online Revolution, 2003 AD

In 2002, the World Series of Poker was won by a man named Robert Varkonyi. He became the first amateur player to win the tournament. In 2003, Chris Moneymaker repeated this feat, except he parlayed a cheap online satellite tournament ticket into $2.5 million. This inspired millions of people to take poker up and ever since that point it has been one of the most rapidly growing recreational activities on the planet.

May 11, 2011 by : posted in Poker News No Comments