Prestige Casino

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The Origin Of Poker And How It Evolved

In the poker world there seem to be varied opinions of where and when exactly poker originates from. But the general consensus seems to be that the game of poker comprises elements from various types of card games or “vying games” from a variety of different countries and cultures.

The oldest accounts of a game similar to poker came from Ancient China. Stories are told of the Chinese Emperor Mu-Tsung who celebrated the New Year by playing cards with his wife, in 969 A.D. Card games also featured later in history during the 12-13th centuries in Egypt.

After that, it was mentioned again in Persia in the 16th century where “Ganjifa” or “Treasure Cards” were used for a selection of betting games. A deck of “Ganjifa” cards consisted of 96 cards, which was made from thin slices of valuable wood or sometimes even ivory.

The Persians then developed a card game called “As Nas” which is very much like a game of poker as we know it today. Played with a 25-card deck, players had to bet on the probability of making up the strongest hand, subject to a hierarchical hand ranking.

Another nation that is said to have played a poker-like card game in the 16th Century (from 1526) that also involved “betting” and “bluffing,” was the Spanish. They played a game called “Primero,” which is also referred to by many as “Poker’s Mother,” as it was the first game that was officially confirmed to be a direct variant of modern poker.

More card games that resemble poker and that involved betting and bluffing, have been played by the French and the German from the 17th to the 18th century. The game that the German played was called “Pochen” and the French named theirs “Poque.” Poque was even regarded as the national card game of France.

It is reported that the game was then imported to America through the arrival of the French Colonials in Canada. When the French-Canadian settlers founded New Orleans at the dawn of the 18th century, Poque was spread from Louisiana up to the Mississippi River and eventually to all the remaining parts of the country where everyone was enticed to play poker.

What most people do seem to agree on though when it comes to the history of poker, is that the earliest written reference to poker is made in 1834 by Jonathan H. Green in his book titled “An Exposure of the Arts and Miseries of Gambling. In this work, he explains the rules of the “Cheating Game” that was so popular on the Mississippi Riverboats at the time. This “Cheating Game” was for all practical purposes the predecessor of Monte, a 3-card game that signifies the true birth of poker. Monte was preferred over the Cheating Game because it was said to a much more honest game that relied more on skill.

And the rest, as they say, is history… During the wild Wild West period in America, you could play poker in almost every saloon across the country. Since then, poker has spread to almost every other country in the world and its popularity has grown in leaps and bounds. Today, poker is not only regarded as one of the most played card games but has also proved to be one of the highest-paid betting sports in the world.

The History Of Texas Hold’em Poker

According to the history of poker, poker- or similar kind of card games date as far back as 969 AD. But although it is not 100% clear, it is said that texas hold’em poker, one of the most popular poker variants today, seems to have been born in the early 1900s, in a place called Robstown, in Texas. In fact, this is even officially confirmed in legal documents from the State of Texas.

Word has it that a group of Texan gamblers then introduced texas hold’em poker to other card players in Las Vegas in 1967. This included the likes of Crandell Addington; Amarillo Slim; Roscoe Weiser and “The Grandfather of Poker,” Doyle Brunson.

Called a variety of names by different people, such as hold ’em; texas poker; texas hold’em poker; or texas hold’em; Texas Hold’em Poker is a community poker game. The rules of Texas Holdem require that each player must attempt to make up a winning poker 5-card poker hand, using the 2 hole cards that he/she has been dealt as well as the 5 community cards that are dealt face up and shared by all players.

After a betting round, three community cards called the flop, are dealt. Another betting round then follows, during which each player must bet on the strength of his/her hand, pre-empting what the opponents could possibly hold. A fourth card is then dealt, which is called the turn, after which the same procedure follows. Once the fifth and last card, called the river is dealt, a final betting round follows, after which players must showdown. The player that holds the best hand, subject to the standard poker hand rankings, wins the game and takes the pot.

Dubbed “the thinking man’s game,” this game structure of texas hold’em poker makes it possible for players to apply mathematical analysis and base their decisions on calculated probabilities. And it is probably for this reason that it became so popular, so quickly.

Originally texas hold’em poker could only be played at the Golden Nugget Casino in Downtown Las Vegas, which according to rumor was not a very desirable location. Due to demand from professional poker players, texas hold’em was offered by the more prominent Dunes Casino from 1969 and became a very profitable game for serious gamblers. In the same year, Texas Hold’em was also played at the very first poker tournament during the Second Annual Gambling Fraternity Convention.

A year later, in 1970, Benny and Jack Binion seized the opportunity to continue with tournament poker and bought the rights to this convention. They renamed it the World Series of Poker (WSOP) and moved it to one of their own casinos, Binion’s Horseshoe Casino.

It is reported that a well-known journalist Tom Thackrey, soon afterward suggested that the betting structure of hold’em poker should be changed to such an extent, that there is no limit to the amount that one can raise during a betting round. This recommendation was accepted; “No Limit Texas Hold’em” was born and became the game format of the Main Event.

By 1972, the World Series of Poker had 72 entrants. By 1982, it had a playing field of just over 100 and by 1991; it had more than 200 players. During this time, Doyle Brunson published a poker strategy guide titled Super/System, which was the first book ever that discussed texas Holdem rules and strategies.

Texas hold’em poker then started to feature outside of Nevada as well, caught on like wildfire, and soon spread to the rest of the world. The real explosion of texas hold’em though, came when Binions’ Horseshoe was purchased by Harrah’s Entertainment in 2004. Harrah’s sold the original casino, kept the rights to the WSOP, and moved it to their own Hotel & Casino, the Rio, which is located just off the Las Vegas Strip.

Before long, the World Series became the world’s most illustrious series of poker tournaments, with a $10,000 Buy-In No-Limit Texas Hold’em Event as its Main Event. By 2006 a record number of 8,773 people entered the WSOP Main Event alone. And by 2008, close to 7000 players entered, resulting in a jaw-dropping prize pool of more than $64million!

It, therefore, comes as no surprise that today, texas hold ’em is one of the most popular variants of poker and a texas hold’em poker table can be found in almost every poker room in every casino worldwide.