Poker’s History: from Its Earliest Days to How We Know It Now

The history of poker is full of twists and turns, just like the game itself. It’s almost as if the history of poker shows how complicated the game is, but people all over the world love to play it.

We will try to find out where poker came from and tell you about its history, from the games that came before it to the World Series of Poker tournaments that cost millions of dollars. We will use actual historical facts and dispel any rumors.

Depending on what you think of as a card game, a 52-card deck can play around 10,000 games, especially at zodiac casino Canada on the Internet or offline. Even if you don’t like poker, you must admit it is the best card game.

Who knows, if you haven’t tried poker yet (which we highly doubt), we might even convince you to do so.

When Did Poker Come Out?


In the 1800s, people played poker on Mississippi River boats and in New Orleans bars. Some of the earliest references to the game of poker are found in two books that have nothing to do with each other. One is by American gambler and writer Jonathan H. Green and is called Exposure of the Arts and Miseries of Gambling. It was published in 1843. The other is by English comedian Joe Cowell and was published in 1844.

They say that a deck of 20 cards was split evenly among four players in the first versions of the game. At the time, there was no draw in poker, and players could only bet on a few possible hand combinations. But during the 19th century, poker went through many changes.

The 52-card deck didn’t come out until 1834, in the middle of the 1800s. Gamblers switched to a deck with 52 cards to allow more people to play and ensure enough cards for the draw. Also, when there were more cards in the deck, you could make more combinations, like a straight or a flush.

From one Mississippi steamer to the next, poker grew and changed over time until it became one of the most popular games in the world.

Where Did Poker Originate?


The roots of poker can be found in a game called Poque, played in France in the 1600s. Both Poque and Pochen were based on the game Primero, which was played a lot in Spain in the 16th century. According to historical accounts, each player in Primero was given three cards, and players would bluff to make their opponents think they had better cards than they did.

Then, French colonists brought Poque to their settlements in North America, like New Orleans and the surrounding area, which later became part of the United States of America when the Louisiana Purchase was made in 1803.

Soon after, English-speaking settlers renamed the game Poque to a modern game. They also made it more like the game we know today by giving each player five cards and starting to use 52-card decks in the mid-1830s.

Ancient Games That Made Poker What It Is Today


There are many articles about the history of poker, and most of them talk about different bluffing games. But not all of those games have anything to do with the modern game.

To put things in perspective, we put the games that might have influenced poker into groups based on how many cards were dealt:

Games with 3 Cards

Some games with three cards that came before poker are:

  • Belle, Flux, and Trente-un, which was played in France in the 17th and 18th centuries and Germany as Dreisatz;
  • Post & Pair, which was played in England and America in the 17th and 18th centuries and later changed into Brag, which is still played today, though the rules are different;
  • Brelan, which was popular in France in the 17th and 18th centuries and later became Bouillotte.

Bouillotte and Brag seem to be the ones that have the most to do with how poker came to be.

Games with 4 Cards

People often say that the next four-card games came before poker:

  • Primiera was made in Italy in the 1600s and is still played today.
  • Primero Gilet, its English version, was also made in the 1600s.
  • Mus is a Basque game of unknown age, and Ambigu was made in France in the 1800s.

On the other hand, recent research has shown that none of these games has much to do with how poker got started.

Games with 5 Cards

Here’s the game that seems to be the most likely precursor to modern poker:

A five-card game in German is called Pochen or Pochspiel. It has its roots in the 15th-century game Bocken. Bocken was also very popular in France, where it was called Glic and then Poque.

Of all the European games mentioned above, Poque is the one that most obviously led to poker.

How Did Poker Get Its Name?

One might think that the game’s name, “poker,” has something to do with bluffing, which makes it different from other card games.

But the game that is the most like poker, given its name, “Pochen,” means to hit, strike, or knock on the table. It also means to play, bet, or raise. So, it is a game in which you hit or bet.

How Online Poker Came to Be


Before this game was allowed to be played online, there were a lot of sketchy, illegal places where you could play. But it wasn’t legal for a website to offer real money until January 1, 1998.

From learning about the history of online gambling, we can see that this online card game changed quickly. With the rise of live rooms run by big iGaming developers, players can now play poker online whenever they want, with live dealers always available.

Poker as It Is Played Today

As you can see, the game has come a long way: from one version to another, across several European countries, until it reached New Orleans and then Texas, where it took its final form.

Poker is now played by millions of people all over the world. Its rooms take up whole floors in casinos, and new online casinos are opening every day so that people can play this game all the time.