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Poker History-where it all began
 
 
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The poker history

One of the earliest written references to Poker was written by Jonathan H. Green in 1834, where he mentions rules to what he called the "cheating game" which was then being played on Mississippi riverboats. Since there was no known name for this game, he chose to call the game Poker.

European influence of poker ended when the joker was introduced as a wild card in 1875. The origin of the word Poker is well debated. Many of the dictionaries and game historians say that it comes from an eighteenth-century French game, poque.

The game of Poker later evolved to include 32 cards, and eventually the modern day deck of 52.

In 1910, Nevada made it a felony to run a betting game. The Attorney General of California declared that draw poker was based upon skill and therefore the anti gambling laws could not stop it. But stud poker was illegal, as it was based solely on chance. With this decision, draw poker games developed and grew. This caused Nevada to reverse itself in 1931 and legalize casino gambling.

Today, Poker is carefully regulated by gambling laws, and saloons have given way to casinos and cardrooms, but Poker is played more than any other card game in the world. It has grown into a sporting event, with competitions and tournaments all around the world. Tournaments take place almost every week of the year somewhere in the world.

Three games successively dominated poker, particularly as limit-betting games in the USA , during the first century and a half of poker history: draw, seven-card stud, and holdem, with each game cornering over 2/3 of the market during their ascendancy. Draw was far ahead in popularity until sometime in the early 20th century, when seven-card stud took the lead, which it kept until about 1980, thriving in the armed forces during WWII, and then during the rise of the Nevada casino industry in the fifties and sixties.

In the late-seventies or early eighties sometime, holdem overtook seven-card stud in popularity, helped on it's way to the top by the huge leap in status it gained through being used as the world championship game from the early seventies,while holdem's huge success shows that it was an excellent choice as world championship game, it is interesting to speculate how different things might be today if no-limit seven-card stud had been invented in 1960 say, instead of 1998. No-limit holdem was unknown to the vast majority (probably over 95%) of spectators and players in the early 1970's, while seven-card stud was by far the most popular game and was considered by the majority of players to be the best poker form.

Poker has been dominated by games based on seven live cards for most of a century now, and there is no reason to suspect that that will change.


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