Poker is one of the most popular card games, which is played with standard playing cards. It is a vying game in which players bet on who is holding the best card combination instead of playing the cards out. There are many different variations of the game. It has grown immensely in terms of popularity and from being a recreational activity; it has become the national vying game of the United States.
There are many controversies regarding the origins of poker. Different historians have different opinions regarding the beginnings of this game. Some of the historians say that this game has its origins in China even before 969 A.D.
Other historians consider poker to be the origins of Egypt. These dates go back to the 12th and the 13th century where a similar form of card game was played. There is also much debate on this game being of Persian origin. As the game Nas was the game the Persians played since the 16th century in Persia with 25 cards and with similar rules.
On the other hand, there is also another controversy that seems much closer to the reality. However, it is relatively recent one because it only talks about the origin of the game in America. Most of the historians agree that a form of this game was introduced in United States by the French in the early 19th century. Basically New Orleans was part of the French territory before the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. It is believed that a game called “Poque” was played in France since the 17th century. It became very popular in France and people related to it as the National card game of France. So Frenchmen took this game wherever they went. One of the earliest spread of this game is said to have been in New Orleans which was the first settlement by French colonials.
From New Orleans, it spread to the entire state of Louisiana, up the Mississippi River and then in the entire country. What fascinates me the most is that whoever has tried to tell the history of Poker, in whatever way, they have always agreed on one fact that Poker was played in Riverboats of Mississippi. So whether the game came to America from somewhere else or was originated from America, poker played a key role in the Mississippi River.
The earliest mentions of this game have been done by a number of authors. It was reported by an English actor Joseph Crowell that the game was played in the New Orleans in the year 1829. On the other hand, An Exposure of the Arts and Miseries of Gambling by Jonathan Green reaffirms this fact in the year 1843 that the game spread from New Orleans to other areas through the riverboats of Mississippi, as gambling was played on them to pass time.
The first version of the game was played with 20 cards that were equally dealt amongst four players. No draws were made; instead bets were made on combinations of one pair, twins, triplets or full.