The Origins of Poker


Poker is arguably one of the most well-known card games around – featuring heavily in pop culture and the worldwide casino scene. The concept of playing cards was created in Ancient China, just before AD1000. Whilst these forms of card games would have been much more primitive than the games we’re used to today, namely Poker, the essence of modern card games was undeniably born.

But how did Poker really begin? Read on to find out more.

The first game

It’s believed that Poker has been a popular card game since 1829, brought to New Orleans by French settlers. At this time, the focus of the game was around bluffing your way to the win – what would now be referred to as a “Poker face” – by making your opponents believe that you were holding the winning hand, regardless of your actual cards. There were also bets that were referred to as “Poques”, which were most similar to today’s draw Poker.

Going back to that 1829 game, Joseph Cowell reported that there was a total of four players betting on the most valuable hand in play. Fast forward to 1837, and R.F. Foster recorded another instance of the game, being played in the US, with five cards dealt to each player, from a 20-card deck. From this point, the game simply took off, further developing into the 52-card deck that we play with today.

The first online game

Much like all the popular casino games these days, Poker made its way online and is now more accessible than ever. The first online casino debuted in 1996 – with Planet Poker following soon after, offering the very first online Poker experience. In the following years, even more dedicated Poker sites were born, raising awareness for the wonders of playing this classic game online.

Whilst a lot of these initial games were somewhat primitive, the opportunity to play against other Poker fans far and wide was a concept that certainly drummed up excitement and anticipation amongst modern players. Nowadays, you can find a wide range of Poker variants at online casinos like, with the opportunity to play live from the comfort of your own home, making the game more accessible than ever!

The Moneymaker

Moving back towards more traditional media, it was the satellite stream of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event that truly changed the game. However, the ability to play online still had some involvement in the success of this competition. We are of course talking about the Chris Moneymaker, who not only won the online tournament, but then went on to qualify and win the real thing! Moneymaker was the first-ever player to bag themselves a WSOP bracelet from an online qualifier.

Off the back of Moneymaker’s “everyman” personality and background, online casinos saw a boom in players and the number of people entering prize pools. Without that boom in the early 2000s, the Poker scene wouldn’t be as advanced as what we’re used to today – in fact, it is often referred to as the “Golden Age of Online Poker”. Thanks to this era, professional Poker players were able to reach celebrity status, showcasing their personalities as well as their gameplay skills.

Gambling can be addictive, please play responsibly.
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