Copyright © 2005 - 2014 ThePokerFather.com
By: Anthony Von Ducci
Poker is the most popular card game played worldwide and Texas
Hold'em Poker is the most popular version of Poker played. This
then raises the historical questions of "Where did Texas
Hold'em come from?”; what is the "History of Poker?"
and finally what is the "History of Texas Hold'em Poker?".
To answer this complex question with four words…"no
one really knows,” all we can do is speculate how this game
came to be.
Before we can begin getting into the history and the creation
of Texas Hold'em Poker we need to understand the history of poker,
more specifically, how the game "Poker" evolved. There
are many theories on this topic because people tend to have differences
of opinions when it comes to the history of Poker, or better yet,
the origins of Poker. The primary reason is because there seems
to be no clear evidence of a predecessor of the game. Furthermore,
it is more likely that the ingredients of Poker derived from many
different historical card games. There is, however, an agreement
amongst the different theories, which is its basic principle;
the birth of Poker is a very old one.
Name - Birth - Historic
Evolution - Texas Hold'em History
History of Poker Part 2
The Name Poker
The origin of the word Poker is also a well-debated topic. There
are as many variations regarding the possible birthplace of Poker
as there are of the game itself.
A popular belief is that Poker started forming in China around
900 A.D. Even though cards, as we know them, had not emerged yet.
The Chinese had the game dominoes, which had not only been developed
in this era, but also was becoming very popular. It is written
that Emperor Mu Tsung introduced the game of "domino cards"
to his wife in 969 A.D. which could have been the embryo of Poker's
Our next moment in time brings us to Egypt. Even though the nature
of the Egyptian card games remain buried, remnants of cards have
been recovered and have been dated back as far as the 12th or
13th century. Furthermore, the remaining cards pieces can be linked
to cards used for the eastern origin "Ganjifa" ("Treasure-cards")
in the early 16th century.
Some propose that modern cards originated from the Indian card
game of Ganjifa. The Ganjifa card deck consisted of 96 elegantly
painted cards which were used in a variety of betting games that
were played. The highly stylized cards may have helped pave the
way to the Persian game of "As Nas,"
As Nas is a game that consists of five players which requires
a special 25 card deck that has 5 suits. This game has a meted
deal, has betting rounds, and has hierarchical hand rankings.
This game has the most resemblance to the game of Poker; however,
As Nas only dates back to the 17th century.
The most popular etymological root for Poker comes from the French
game "Poque”. Poque was a card game that involved
bluffing and betting. In addition, it is stated to be the first
card game that used a deck of cards which had Spades, Hearts,
Clubs and Diamonds. Furthermore, the French were one of the most
avid nations for card playing during the early 15th century.
The English may not have been known as a card playing nation until
the latter half of the 15th century; however, the British have
been recognized for their innovation for a number of early card
games, which include: Primero, Brag, and Faro. It has been said
that these games are some of the first known "casino style”
games where an uncertain number of players (called ‘punters’)
would bet against a single dealer (call a ‘Banker’).
Poque was also a pioneer of another pre-poker card game, a German
game, called "Pochspiel” which translates into "knock-play".
This game resembles Poker in a number of ways. Firstly, its name
is derived from the fact that at one stage of the game the player,
in turn, declares the state of their hand by either passing or
opening. Those who pass, signify it by saying, ‘Ich poche,’
or ‘Ich poch.’ This was sometimes shown by knocking
on the table with one’s knuckles. Finally, this game also
introduced the tactic of bluffing into the early stages of the
Poker may possibly come, indirectly, from the Danish word pokker,
signifying the devil. And lets not forget gambling is considered
a sin in some religions!
I. Possible Myth
Another possible explanation for the word Poker could have been
copied from and underworld slang word "poke”. Back
in the days when card games were played on the Mississippi River
Boats this was a term used by pickpockets. Cardsharps (an expert
in cheating at cards) used a deck of 20-card and played a game,
which was formed on the bases of cheating, against contestants
("suckers’) in the street to alleviate them from their
"poke” or "wager”. The cardsharps may
have added the ‘r’ to make it "Poker”
and use the word amongst themselves hoping their victims make
not pick up on the change in the slang word.
With so many claims to the name, the chance of narrowing down
on the exact birthplace of the History of Poker is parallel to
the chance of hitting a Royal Flush!
History of Poker Part 3
The Birth of Poker
Any one of these earlier games, or a combination of them, could
have easily been the egg that Poker hatched from. However, with
regards to Poker’s distinct North American concept, it seems
that the French were the most influential gamblers in the Colonial
In the early 17th century the French colonials arrived in Canada,
with them they brought their beloved ‘poque’ card
game. The game, however, did not become popular until the beginning
of the early 18th century in New Orleans. Furthermore, it was
French-Canadian settlers who planted the population seed of the
blossoming town New Orleans.
To help pass time during the Civil War, poque was played by many
of the soldiers. It was here where the first different versions
of Poker arose from. There were many soldiers all in different
locations across North America playing a game called Poque. Versions
such as "Stud” or "Draw”, which are predecessors
to present day Poker, emerged during this time period. It has
been argued that the proper game Poker took its first breath during
this chaotic time period in America. However, the game did not
receive the Poker title until 1834. The name Poker was awarded
to the game by gambler named Green.
Jonathan H. Green learned how to play cards when he was a young
man in a Cincinnati Penitentiary where he had been imprisoned
for petty crimes. After his release he went to the Mississippi
River, debatably the busiest gambling region of the period. It
is here where he started his career as a professional card player
and where he first came into contact with the many versions of
poque. In his writing he refers to the many versions of poque
as "the Cheating Game", which indicates these games
could have been developed by the cardsharps.
"The Cheating Game" quickly gained popularity over
a former cardsharp game called the 3-card monte primarily because
the new game was perceived by the players to be more challenging
and honest. Green was very intrigued by this new game and discovered
that there was no definition in the American Hoyle (dictionary)
or, for that matter, in any other documentation of his time. Jonathan
H. Green then took it upon himself to officially name and document
the 'Cheating Game' in his book as "An Exposure of the Arts
and Miseries of Gambling: Poker”.
History of Poker Part 3
The Evolution of Poker
Since its birth, Poker has multiplied, changed forms, and has
spread across the globe like a transmittable virus. It has been
crowned the most popular played card game in world. There are
many forms of Poker that is played and the popularity between
each form has also changed.
The first crown was worn by the game 5 card draw or stud. This
game rose from relative obscurity during the time of the American
Civil War to dominate the Poker scene for almost a century. Next
was the game 7 card stud. This game took over the throne prior
to the Second World War and wore the crown for approximately forty
years. 7 card stud’s popularity was, however, aided by the
booming Nevada gaming industry during the 50’s and 60’s.
Presently, Texas Hold’em Poker is the Royal Flush of all
Poker games and has been ever since the 1970’s!
History of Texas Hold'em Poker
Texas Hold'em Poker History – Past, Present, and
As previously mentioned, "no one really knows” where
Texas Hold'em came from. There is no precise information in regards
to where the first game of Texas Hold’em Poker was played.
However, according to legend, the earliest game played was in
Robstown - Texas, in the early 1900s and it first came to Dallas
- Texas, in 1925.
Today, it is unquestionably the most commonly played Poker game
anywhere. Players are not only passionate about playing the game
itself, but also are enthusiastic to access the immeasurable collection
of educational resources in order to improve their game skills
Texas Hold'em Poker gained its popularity from the World Series
of Poker Tournament. The World Series of Poker has been held annually
ever since its opening date in 1970 at the Horseshoe in Downtown
Las Vegas. Every year since then, more and more Texas Hold'em
Poker Tournaments have developed on a global scale, and even more
and more people are all trying to get in on the action.
As the millennium past and the internet industry grew, players
and viewers all over the world no longer have to be in Las Vegas,
Nevada to enjoy the excitement of Texas Hold'em Poker. Modern
day technology has given players the ability and resources to
access ring or tournament games at virtually any point on the
globe. So whether you are sitting at a table in the luxurious
Monte Carlo Casino in France, or using your cell phone to play
while on a ski lift in Whistler - Canada, or an astronaut downloading
ThePokerClub software on the International Space Station, everyone
everywhere now has a the ability to claim their name in the game
of fame – Texas Hold'em Poker!
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