Poker’s popularity has risen greatly in the past seven years or so. It serves as a hobby or passion for nearly half of this country’s population, ranging from high-class businessmen to the average Joe in search of fortune and fame as they try out their luck online on Jasa Bola. A game that previously was seen as fit only for criminals, a way for degenerate gamblers to hustle their way to quick cash, is now televised regularly on the worlds leading sports network ESPN, and weekly on FOX as a game show. The question I have is; while you’ve been standing around the water cooler telling your story about how you cracked pocket aces with a full house on the river, do you possess any true knowledge as to how this game originated? Well, you do now.
Poker seems to have been invented as early as the first or second decade of the 19th century. Originating in the French territory of New Orleans, it spread throughout the south finding a steady home on the Mississippi floating saloons, where no laws currently existed and fun was had by all (except the hookers). The first reference to poker was in J. Hildreth’s 1836 publication; “Dragon Campaigns to the Rocky Mountains”. Hildreth describes poker as a 20 card game in which four players are dealt five cards each, and you play only with those five cards, no draws. This system of rules made poker purely a game of luck. Having only the most basic of hands to play: pair, two pair, three of a kind, full house (called that because it was the only hand that used all five cards), and four of a kind, you could only bet and pray. Which coined the old adage “you play the hands you dealt”.
The advent of the 52 card deck saw a plethora of new options, including the draw. Being able to choose which cards you play and trade the ones that aren’t any good, allowed the game to become more skill-based. In the Midwest right around Illinois saw the invention of stud or stud-horse in which (given the specific game) a certain amount of the cards dealt with you were also visible to the entire table, which made the ability to “bluff”, a very useful skill. Around the same time, players were introduced to whiskey poker that gave a new “wild” card to play with, the card in question was generally the blank card that came with every deck. Stud, specifically 7 card stud, was the most popular form of poker throughout most of the last 200 years. That is until the 2003 World Series of Poker in which everyday-man Chris Moneymaker won the Main Event bracelet, which shifted popularity dramatically to No-Limit Texas Hold’em.
Legend has it No-Limit Texas Hold’em was invented in Robstown, Texas. The popularity of the game spread like wildfire all throughout the Lone Star state but remained principally in Texas. That is until 1967, when the “Texas Rounders” Crandell Addington, Roscoe Weiser, Amarillo Slim, and Doyle Brunson introduced the game to that bright light den of sin, Las Vegas. 75-year-old Brunson is widely considered the king of Texas Hold’em, and with 10 World Series of Poker bracelets, including back to back Main Event Championships, is also considered to be the best player in the history of poker.
There you have it, the history of a game that I’m sure you yourself have spent more than enough time playing. A rich history of the greatest casino game in the world.