There are many disputes regarding the origin of poker. One of the versions said that poker originated from the Chinese around 900 AD, as a variant of the Chinese Dominoes. In 969 AD, Emperor Mu-Tsung was first seen playing domino cards with his wife on the eve of the New Year.
Another theory states that the poker game originated as a descendant of the Persian card game ‘As Nas’. It was also known by the name Ganjifa or Treasure Card. It didn’t consist of a deck of 52 cards, but rather was played with 25 cards and had rounds of betting and hand rankings.
In French, an ancient game named ‘Poque’ was also highly popular. It was somewhat similar to the present Poker game. Three cards were dealt to each player and deceptions played a vital role to gain higher betting amounts.
The 16th-century Spanish game ‘Primero’ is also similar to the ‘Poque’ game. Primero is known as the ‘Mother of Poker’ as it is similar to the modern poker game. ‘Poque’ was developed keeping in mind the basics of the ‘Primero’ game itself.
While the origin of poker is still being debated, the poker game came into the public eye when the French colonials brought the game to Canada. It was first embarked for New-Orleans and from New Orleans, it was passed on to Louisiana, Mississippi and nationwide.
Because of Mississippi’s participation in trading, the crew members of the trading boats used to play this Primero game to kill time. Soon, this game got famous among the soldiers of the North and South during the civil war.
In 1871, when Queen Victoria heard the US Minister explaining the game to the members of the court, she inquired him about the rules of the game. And that is how the poker game was introduced in Europe. It gained more popularity during World War I, where soldiers used this game for recreational purposes.
The 52 deck poker game became famous due to the Rheinfelden tale where the author mentioned about the game that he had observed in 1377. Also, ‘The Lying Game’, which is basically the early version of poker, was also explained by Joseph Crowell in his script in 1829.
Texas Hold’em was invented in the 1920s when Stud Poker failed to lodge all the Texas breeders who wanted to play, due to lack of cards as all the players had been dealt their cards. Live telecasts in the 20tth century of poker not just allow enthusiasts to watch the game, but it also helps them to learn about the game from the comfort of their homes.
Poker gained a huge popularity in the 21st century due to an introduction of online poker and live poker tournaments. The World Series of Poker (WSOP) helped grab many players and because of the intense coverage, the pros became celebrities and helped append new dimensions to the professional game.
Today, the community of poker is thriving at an unprecedented rate in India and we are surely entering the Golden era of this mind sport that’s captivating the imagination of young and older minds alike.
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