Poker has become an extremely popular game. It’s played in every type of setting and on all types of platforms – from land and sea poker casinos to poker online. There are even variations that allow you to play poker with people around the world.
The most common form of poker is Texas Holdem, but there are other forms of poker available as well. It’s a game of skill, luck and psychology. While some people are lucky, others have skills that can give them a competitive advantage over others.
In the past, poker was played by only a few people in private rooms. But where did poker originate and when was poker invented?
What is Poker?
What is poker and how is it defined. The oxford dictionary definition of the word poker is
A card game played by two or more people who bet on the value of the hands dealt to them. A player wins the pool either by having the highest combination at the showdown or by forcing all opponents to concede without a showing of the hand, sometimes by means of bluff.Oxford Dictionary
Origin of Poker
The dictionary states the origin of poker to be:
1825–35, Americanism; perhaps originally braggart, bluffer; compare Middle Low German poken to brag, play, Middle Dutch poken to bluff, bragDictionary.com
It is not as clear cut as the dictionary seems to believe. There are many beliefs as to when poker was invented. The investigation continues.
When Poker was Invented
When and who invented poker? Poker’s origins are a bit of a mystery. No one knows for sure when it was invented but there are a couple of likely candidates. Poker is a game that has ancient roots that span across several continents and cultures.
The first is the ancient Chinese game of “Pai Gow” played and more closely resembled dominos. It is believed that this game evolved into modern-day poker.
The second Persian card game “As Nas” may be one of the earliest forms of poker which date back to the 16th century.
While it’s true that it’s widely believed that the modern version of poker was invented in the 1850’s by two New York businessmen, we can’t be sure that it’s not much older than that!
History of Poker and Card Games
The history of poker is a vast subject. It has been played for centuries, and in all parts of the world, but in most cases it was only an amateur game until the 20th century. It is not clear when the game was first invented, and is unlikely to be exactly the same as modern poker games.
To play poker you had to have playing cards. When were playing cards invented? The invention of playing cards is believed to be by the Chinese in Tang dynasty around the 9th century 1000AD using wooden blocks.
Playing cards arrived in Europe around 1360 probably from merchants that traded with the Mameluke empire of Egypt rather than from China direct. This meant they were referred to as the “Mamluk” deck but the most significant point is that it was a 52 card deck. They also had four suits but instead of kings and queens were famous military officers of the time.
Cards gradually spread along the inland European trade routes during the 15th century as a favoured pastime of the upper classes.
The first European playing cards were hand-painted, making them luxury goods for the rich. The amazing account book of King Charles VI of France noted a payment of 56 sols parisiens to the artist Jacquemin Gringonneur for hand painting a deck of playing cards “pour le divertissement du roy” (“for the amusement of the king”).
Entering the 16th century, the images of royalty became more standard as we see today because they were referred to as “court” cards which made the popular choice of design and still the standard today. In England they used a design created in France called the Rouen design.
What changed in the 20th century? The advent of card games like bridge and poker were a natural consequence of the growth of leisure time and reduction in costs expanded the social appeal of card games. It opened playing cards to all and the idea of playing for money or gambling.
Pai Gow Poker
It is believed that the mostly likely origins of poker is pai gow the dominoes game created during the Song Dynasty.
The name pai gow is a shortening of “pea-sized” and refers to the small, round balls used in the game. The term was coined by one of the early Chinese poker players. It’s unclear who invented pai gow, but it was probably invented by a Chinese immigrant to Macau named Chao Jui-ying.
“Pai Gow” known as “Chinese Poker”, “double-hand poker” or “Pai Gow Poker” which is still around and played today
Pai Gow and Chinese Poker are played with a standard deck of 52 cards, with each player being dealt 5 cards.
Why Are There 52 Cards in a Deck of Cards?
A deck of cards is one of the most recognizable items in the world. As with just about anything in the world, humans have based the deck of playing cards to be symbolic of their experience in the world. That is to say that the cards in the deck represent the months, the days of the week and the seasons of the year.
52 cards are believed to represent the 52 weeks of the year and the 13 cards of each suit represent the lunar calendar.
First recorded Game of Poker
The first documented poker game was recorded in 1686 when Charles I of England played a card game at Whitehall Palace. He invited his friends to join him, including the Duke of Buckingham.
The original rules were simple. Two people faced off and tried to get the most points. One person would hold cards that had more value than the other, and the player with the higher hand would win.
By the 17th century, there were many different forms of poker. In one version, players held four cards face down and three cards face up. Players had to choose which three cards to play.
Others believe that it was invented in England during the reign of Henry VIII. The name poker originated from the word “pokery”, which meant cheating.
One of the earliest surviving references to the game is in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales 1390. where it is described as being played with cards.
Poker in Europe
Poque was an old game of France played in the early 1800s with the goal of matching pairs of cards. Similar games were played in Germany which they called pouchen and in Spain called primero. All played with three cards and the element of bluffing and betting was a central part of the card game.
German pochen means ‘to brag’ and Pochspiel is the ‘bragging game’.
It was also played in France in the mid-1500s by the Bretons and Basques and was known as Piquet.
The first recorded reference to poker as a card game was also found in the year 1606, in the city of Bologna, Italy. It was the invention of a Venetian named Girolamo Cardano.
It was also believed that in 1871 the game was introduced to Queen Victoria by the U.S. minister to Great Britain.
Poker in USA
In the early 1800s, the French colonists brought the French game Poque with them to settlements in North America and had a significant influence on the American culture in Louisiana and it quickly spread throughout the country, especially to New Orleans and the surrounding areas.
A few of the rules were adopted by American settlers but over time, the game took on the popular name poker and this is evident in the history of Poker, and probably stems from how the french word was pronounced and thus evolved to the word poker.
The term “Poker” has two different meanings in the United States. The term “Poker” means a particular card game that is played with five cards (2-7. and one community card that can be used as a wild card or to replace any other card. The term “Poker” is also used for the popular card game of 21, which is commonly called “Texas Hold’em”.
Today, Poque is played by many people across the world, including in the United States. Poque is played on a board divided into 36 squares and each square represents one point. There are two teams of four players, each playing for a team. Each player has a hand consisting of 5 coloured discs, and each disc has a specific value.
Texas Hold’em is one of the most common forms of poker. There are many different poker games like five-card draw, seven-card stud and— a most recently invented is Texas Hold’em. But history can not state one person who invented Texas Hold’em just like when poker was invented.
One story is about a man who was an employee at a bank and when he realized that he would be laid off, he decided to create his own form of poker. This was an adaptation of the Omaha game (Omaha hold ’em) which was already popular in casinos in Nevada.
Thomas “Blondie” Forbes was a road gambler who is now most widely recognized and credited as having created Texas Hold’em Poker in the 1920s. The state of Texas is officially recognized as the birthplace of the game. Robstown, TX is the place where poker was first played. While Texas Hold’em poker is not the most popular poker game, it wasn’t always that way.
Recently Texas Hold’em has gained widespread popularity. Texas Hold’em is one of the favourite poker games played online now. It’s a game of skill, but it is also very easy to get started playing. If you want to try your luck and play Texas Hold’em for real money at an online casino, you can find many sites that allow you to do so. Just choose one of them, register, and enjoy! What is Texas Hold’em?
History of Online Poker
The evolution of online casinos into a real industry is relatively recent.
In the pre-2000 era, the first “online casino” launched was called Planet Poker and was the very first online poker room offering real money games. This was launched on January 1st 1998 by Randy Blumer into very uncharted territory of online gambling.
PartyCasino is also an online casino launched in 1997 under the original name Starluck Casino before relaunching again in 2006
The first online poker room, PartyPoker, came on the scene in 2001. At the time, online poker was essentially unregulated and pretty easy to get into. It was like the wild west again by 2008 it was getting a staggering 3.6 million visitors annually. In 2016 it was sold GVC Holdings now Entain plc after a bidding war with 888.com.
This page has shown you the most popular beliefs, history and the various theories of the origin of the poker game. No one really knows the true answer, when poker was invented because as history, times, beliefs have changed and documented card games have changed and evolved with different rules.
There is no definite answer as to how, why, who or when poker was invented. But history has many possible inventors for poker and I guess it depends on how you define the word “invented”.
I’m not going to lie to you, if you are new to this game, Poker is still a fun, simple game that can be played and enjoyed by all ages and skill levels. It is very hard to win at the poker table. You will need to learn a lot about the game in order to be successful but poker offers a real challenge to understand more than just playing cards but the art of bluffing.
Even though we don’t really know when poker was invented we know what a great card game it is whether playing poker online, at home or at a casino.