Poker MilestonesHow poker started is still unclear and perhaps can never be known exactly. Some players like to believe that poker descended from the French name "poque", which is a derivation of the German word "pochen", which means "to knock". Other players like to believe that the game of poker descended from the Persian game called "as nas", since the way this game is played has some similarities with poker. Perhaps the Persian sailors taught the as nas game to the French settlers in New Orleans.
Whatever may be the origin of today's poker, the earliest (so far) recorded information about poker was in 1829. This was a description of the poker game by certain English actor named Joseph Crowell, who was, at that time, in New Orleans. Joseph Crowell described this unique New Orleans game as a card game that involves four players. These four players are using a deck composed of twenty cards only. And these players bet on which player has the highest hand.
Then, in 1843, a certain Jonathan H. Green described poker in a book. The book was entitled "An Exposure of the Arts and Miseries of Gambling". In this book, Green explained how the poker game became popular through the Mississippi riverboats. Not many years after the publication of Green's book, the poker game radically changed one aspect. That is, instead of using 20 cards, the poker players utilize the full deck of 52 cards. At the same time, the hand called "flush" (all cards have the same suit) was accepted.
Then, the American Civil War broke out. Such an event has paralyzed many industries, but, apparently, not the gambling business. And the game of poker evolved. During this civil war, there were two variations of poker introduced. These are the "draw poker" and the "stud poker". The hand called "straight" (cards of different suits but have consecutive values) was also included as one of the hands.
In 1875, the concept of "wild card" became popular and was accepted by most poker players. And at the turn of the century, 1900, two more poker variations were created. These are the "lowball" and the "split-pot poker". The former is still being played today, while the latter did not seem to stand by itself. By 1925, the community card poker games are widely practiced.
In 1970, poker tournaments became the latest craze, especially when the famous World Series of Poker began. During the same decade, more books about poker were written. Some of these are "The Theory of Poker" written by David Sklansky, "Super System" by Doyle Brunson, and "The Book of Tells" by Mike Caro.
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