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History of Poker.

Posted in About Poker on September 17th, 2009 11:20 AM

The history is a matter of debate. One of the earliest known games to incorporate betting, hand rankings, and bluffing was the 15th century German game Pochspiel. Poker closely resembles the Persian game of As Nas, though there is no specific description of nas prior to 1890.[2] In the 1937 edition of Foster's Complete Hoyle, R. F. Foster wrote: "the game of poker, as first played in the United States, five cards to each player from a twenty-card pack, is undoubtedly the Persian game of as nas."[3][4] By 1990s some gaming historians including David Parlett started to challenge the notion that poker is a direct derivative of As Nas.[3] There is evidence that a game called poque, a French game similar to poker, was played around the region where poker is said to have originated. The name of the game likely descended from the Irish Poca (Pron. Pokah) ('Pocket') or even the French poque, which descended from the German pochen ('to brag as a bluff' lit. 'to knock'[5] ). Yet it is not clear whether the origins of poker itself lie with the games bearing those names. It is commonly regarded as sharing ancestry with the Renaissance game of primero and the French brelan. The English game brag (earlier bragg) clearly descended from brelan and incorporated bluffing (though the concept was known in other games by that time).[6] It is quite possible that all of these earlier games influenced the development of poker as it exists now.

Harry Truman's poker chips

A modern school of thought rejects these ancestries.[7] They focus on the card play in poker, which is trivial and could have been derived from any number of games, or made up on general cardplay principles.[8] The unique features of poker have to do with the betting, and do not appear in any known older game.[9] In this view poker originated much earlier, in the early or mid-1700's, and spread throughout the Mississippi River region by 1800. It was played in a variety of forms, with 52 cards, and included both straight poker and stud. 20 card poker was a variant for two players (it is a common English practice to reduce the deck in card games when there are fewer players).[10] The development of poker is linked to the historical movement that also saw the invention of commercial gambling.[1][11]

English actor Joseph Crowell reported that the game was played in New Orleans in 1829, with a deck of 20 cards and four players betting on which player's hand was the most valuable. Jonathan H. Green's book, An Exposure of the Arts and Miseries of Gambling (G. B. Zieber, Philadelphia, 1843), described the spread of the game from there to the rest of the country by Mississippi riverboats, on which gambling was a common pastime. As it spread north along the Mississippi River and to the West during the gold rush, it is thought to have become a part of the frontier pioneer ethos.

Soon after this spread, the full 52-card English deck was used and the flush was introduced. The draw was added prior to 1850 (when it was first mentioned in print in a handbook of games).[12] During the American Civil War, many additions were made including stud poker (the five-card variant), and the straight. Further American developments followed, such as the wild card (around 1875), lowball and split-pot poker (around 1900), and community card poker games (around 1925).

The game and jargon of poker have become important parts of American culture and English culture. Such phrases and clichés as ace in the hole, ace up one's sleeve, beats me, blue chip, call one's bluff, cash in, high roller, pass the buck, poker face, stack up, up the ante, when the chips are down, wild card, hijack, and others are used in everyday conversation, even by those unaware of their origins at the poker table.

Beginning in 1970 a series of developments lead to poker becoming far more popular than it was previously:

Poker's popularity experienced an unprecedented spike at the beginning of the 21st century, largely because of the introduction of online poker and hole-card camera, which turned the game into a spectator sport. Viewers could now follow the action and drama of the game, and broadcasts of poker tournaments such as the World Series of Poker and the World Poker Tour brought in huge audiences for cable and satellite TV distributors. Because of the increasing coverage of poker events, poker pros became celebrities, with poker fans all over the world entering into expensive tournaments for the chance to play with them. This increased camera exposure also brings a new dimension to the poker professional's game—the realization that their actions may be aired later on TV.

Since 2003, major poker tournament fields have grown dramatically, in part because of the growing popularity of online satellite-qualifier tournaments where the prize is an entry into a major tournament. The 2003 and 2004 World Series Of Poker champions, Chris Moneymaker and Greg Raymer, respectively, won their seats to the main event by winning online satellites.[18] After the passage of the UIGEA in October of 2006, attendance at live tournaments as well as participation in live and online cash games initially slowed, however they are still growing and far more popular today than they were prior to 2003.

The Poker Players Alliance was formed in 2006 as a lobbying organization for poker player interests.

The informations about history of poker are from wikipedia.

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