In the article “History of poker” we will tell you about a gambling card game, which is based on the psychology and behavior of players with the main goal of winning money.
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The history of poker stretches back through the ages and spans across cultures and eras. This card game that combines strategy, wit and luck has won the hearts of millions of players around the world. In this article, we will look at the main stages of poker’s development and its impact on culture and society.
Some historians claim that the history of poker begins in the 10th century. It is believed that the game of poker originated from a domino card game played by a Chinese emperor. On the other hand, historians believe that poker originated from the Persian card game As-Nas in the 16th century.
This is the most common belief because Nas was played with 20 cards and bluffing was considered an important component. It was the Persians who invented the Joker card and brought a deck of cards with 4 suits to Europe.
It is believed that card suits equate to 4 classes of people. Spades are the nobility, Diamonds belong to merchants, Trefs are peasants, and Hearts are the church. By the way, the Russian game “Trynka” is the first kind of poker in Europe.
At about the same time, a similar card game called “Primero” originated in Europe. The game dealt three cards each and players bluffed a lot. It was at this time that the expression “Flush” appeared, which meant a combination of 3 cards of the same suit.
In the 18th century, poker came from France to Germany where it was known as “pochen” which translated as “bluff”. On the other hand in England, the game was known as “bragging”. The rules sounded different in each language, but the essence remained the same: the participant who collected the strongest combination of cards won.
Soon after, French colonists brought the game to North America, more specifically to New Orleans. This is where the name poker was coined when English-speaking settlers replaced the word “poque” with “poker”. In Orleans, the game was modified to the modern 5-card hand from a 52-card deck (20-card poker was a 2-player variant).
This game was favored by sailors and preferred to be played on the ship between watches. Because of this, the game from Orleans quickly spread throughout the United States, especially during the Civil War and the Gold Rush. In the wild west, it became a staple of entertainment and part of their culture.
Competitions were played solely for money, which is what distinguishes poker from other card games. According to eyewitnesses, the most gamblers at that time were Mexicans, they made huge bets and remained calm.
Not a single muscle on the face of the Mexicans gave away neither joy nor annoyance. This is how the famous term “Poker Face” came to be used in the game. Mexicans were not stingy, and they needed money to squander. They believed that gold was created to play, silver to dress, and the sword to feed.
At the legislative level, poker was outlawed and many cheats were present among the participants. Very often the games ended in shootouts. There is a legend according to which a caught cheat was necessarily drowned in the river, so the last card opened on the table is called the “river”.
The American version of poker was brought back to Europe during the reign of Queen Victoria and spread widely during the First World War. The game began to be treated as a sport. After World War 2, parlors with special card tables were opened en masse in Europe.
The World Series of Poker (WSOP) began in 1970 in Las Vegas as an invitation-only tournament. The goal of the tournament was obvious – to reveal the best player in the world. At the first event, the winner was announced by vote, and at the second championship the title was awarded to the dominant player. In 1979, the tournament was shown on television for the first time.
The WSOP is still considered the most prestigious poker series in the world. Within the series there are more than 40 tournaments that last for 1 month. In each tournament, in addition to cash prizes, you can win a gold bracelet. Getting such a bracelet is considered the peak of skill in the poker world.
What about Russia? Is it possible to play poker in our country? In 2007, poker in Russia was recognized as a sport, but when the law on gambling was adopted, Russian officials announced that they recognized it as a sport by mistake. As a result, according to the new anti-gambling law, poker clubs are banned and poker can only be played in special gambling zones, such as Sochi.
The widespread popularity of poker has led to the game having its own hall of fame. In the late 90s, the first online poker sites appeared on the Internet. It’s hard to even compare how primitive the first generation of online poker software was compared to what we see today.
Over time, graphics improved, which led to an increase in interest in the game. With the advent of mobile devices online, interest in poker doubled as players could play the game right on the go. Online poker rooms began to attract hundreds of thousands of players daily.
A new type of player emerged who develop their own strategies, study game statistics and analyze game situations. Online poker has also promoted the development of broadcasting and analyzing poker games. Professional players can now stream their games and share their thoughts and strategies with an audience. Major poker tournaments are also streamed live, allowing viewers to follow the game and learn from the world’s best players.
Although online poker has gained immense popularity, traditional poker games also continue to exist. Many people still prefer to get together with friends and play live. Poker clubs and casinos organize traditional tournaments and cash games, attracting both professionals and amateurs.
It is also worth noting that poker has had a huge impact on other areas of life and culture. It has become a popular topic in literature and movies. Many books and movies have been devoted to the history of poker and the strategies of the game. Poker has also inspired popular video games such as “World Series of Poker” and “Governor of Poker”.
Regardless of the format, poker continues to influence society and remains an exciting game that requires strategy, thinking and a little bit of luck. Considering how poker has changed from 100 years ago, it’s hard to predict what the future holds for this card game.