Three Things You Didn’t Know About Poker

The world’s favorite card game has a long history.

From exotic casinos to family game nights, people all over the world love playing poker. The card game has become a major competitive sport, drawing millions of television viewers to watch tournaments and demand prime time television slots. Despite the global love for poker, most folks don’t know the history of the world’s favorite card game.

Persian Roots

It wasn’t until the 1800s that the card game we know today began taking shape. Fat Cat

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Many historians believe that poker’s roots can be traced back to the 16th century Persian card game As Nas. Others say the game only dates back to the 17th century, bearing a greater resemblance to a French card known as Poque. A key part of Poque involved betting and bluffing, much like our beloved poker. French colonists brought Poque with them when they settled in the Louisiana area, which would later become part of America after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. The name would be Anglicized by English-speaking settlers, pronouncing it “poker” as we do now. By 1834, the game had gained the familiar 52-card deck, with five cards dealt to each player, as it is currently.

The Big Boom

It doesn’t take much to be able to play any number of the game’s variations. Homwom

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Poker experienced a huge explosion in popularity in the 1980s. In 1987, California expanded the scope of poker games legal in the Golden State, adding the flop games of hold ’em and Omaha to the already permitted draw games. California already hosted more poker games than anywhere else, and adding these variations really bumped that number up. Soon, giant poker clubs like the Commerce Casino and the Bicycle Club began popping up in the Los Angeles area, attracting players from all over the country.

World Series Explosion

Keep your eye out for fast-handed cheaters! LotFancy

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Though the World Series of Poker has been around since 1970, its popularity exploded when the Caesars Entertainment Corporation (then known as Harrah’s) took control in 2004. The introduction of hole-card cameras took the experience of watching poker on television to the next level, giving viewers an in on the action. Soon, millions were tuning in to watch the action. Around the same time, online poker games spread like wildfire. This allowed folks to always find a game—from the comfort of their own home. The rest, as they say, is history.