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The History of Poker: Its Origins and Evolution
Few games are considered as exciting as poker as evidenced by its ever-growing fan base and the numerous guides written by experts on how to get the most out of this casino staple.
Tournaments such as the World Series of Poker and the World Poker Tour have further served to enhance its popularity with broadcasts enabling fans to watch the best players on the globe pit their skills against each other.
The card game's status in the gambling sector is also evident in the near celebrity status enjoyed by top players who have emerged the victors at top tournaments with examples including Daniel Negreanu, Bryn Kenney and Dan Smith.
Its popularity is also evident in its numerous variants which exist as well as the different tournament categories available for fans interested in testing their skills against each other.
Poker's Origins and Earliest Versions
No one can quite agree on precisely how or when the card game was created. However, certain experts on the history of poker mostly believe that its origins go as far back as the 10th century when it was played at the Chinese royal court.
On the other hand, there are sources which place its beginnings several centuries closer to the present - 16th century Iran where it was known as 'As Nas'.
However, it is widely believed that the variant responsible for the game in its present form was 'Primero' which was played in 16th century Spain. This early form is credited for giving rise to 'Pochen', also played in Germany during the same period and 'Poque', which was played in the 17th century.
Introduction to America and the World
Experts on the history of poker credit the French for introducing the game to America via New Orleans and other regions in which they settled. By the 19th century, it was already known to the area's residents who played it with a 20-card deck.
It subsequently spread to Mississippi thanks to the river boats which were famed gambling centers and which were also credited for its spread to the West and the nation as a whole. By the late 19th century, it was a highly sought after past time in the saloons which had sprung up in the Wild West.
By this period, it had evolved into a 52-card game and variants such as the draw and stud versions were already known.
The game returned to European soil in its newest form via the English court thanks to a visiting American diplomat who taught the queen and her courtiers how to play it. The game also became especially popular in Britain during the First World War when American soldiers introduced it to the population.
A Steady Rise in Popularity
The introduction of World Series of Poker in 1970, played a key role in the game's entry into American casinos where it became a staple enjoyed by clients.
When the online casino sector was launched in the late 20th century, its subsequent rapid development provided the game's fans with the opportunity to play it at any time and place of their choosing.
The evolution of the industry also made it possible for organizers to hold online satellite qualifier tournaments which are known to provide winners with access to major tournaments.
The popularity of the game has seen it evolve into several variants such as Texas Hold'em, Seven Card Stud and Omaha Hi-Lo. And given its presence on the gambling scene, it does seem as though its popularity is set to continue for the near foreseeable future.