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  • A Peek Into Poker’s Colorful Past

    Thursday, July 15th, 2010 by t2admin

Among the most popular casino games in the cards category, Poker has a lot of rich and varied influences down the centuries and history would have us know that Poker has a colorful past, including violence, bloodshed, romance, adventure, debauchery and of course, lots of cinema dedicated to the gains associated with it!

Well, it wouldn’t surprise avid poker fans to know that their favorite card game won the maximum votes for the being the hottest game of 2005!

So read on to find out how poker spread its roots down the Middle Ages to current times and you are sure to find a lot of interesting trivia about your favorite game of skill, luck and strategy!

Historians believe that poker originated from Pochen, which was a German game played in 3 stages during the 15th century using a distinctive staking board. The 3 stages of the game included a fee given by the player who was dealt the best card, a determining for the player who got the best combination and finally, the cards played out normally.

Naturally, the French were not to be left behind and they introduced their own version of poker called Poque, also played in 3 phases but with a deck of 32 cards and allowing for 6 players in total to compete. However, a variation of ‘As-nas’ came into France around the 1700s when Persian soldiers brought their own style of poker using 5 cards for competing in the game that integrated the current style of pairs, threes and double pairs besides various rounds of betting and the hierarchical hand rankings similar to what we know today.

By 1751, further improvisations to the game resulted in a 3-card vying game called Brag – believed to have English origins and the standard rounds of betting. A treatise on this version of the game written by Edmond Hoyle explains more details of the specific rules and gaming scenarios for Brag, typically played in the Southern Plantation colonies in America.

Brag held sway with sailors and adventurers, gentlemen and laymen till Primero – a game using a full deck of 52 cards, said to have originated in Italy and Spain came to other parts of Europe and America with betting options similar to modern day poker introduced to the game by the 19th century.

The Mississippi river boats were attributed with helping the spread of poker that had developed into a regular pastime with 21 cards used for the game, comprising Aces, Kings, Queens, Jacks and Tens among the set. This game was limited to 2 to 4 people and each was dealt 5 cards only.

New Orleans saw its fair share of poker players in the early 1800’s while the rest of the US followed suit in the next decade so that most gamblers met new players during their journeys on riverboats, at work in mining camps and in the course of the American Civil War. However, it was only a matter of time till San Francisco challenged New Orleans as a popular gambling center and even women entered gambling, adding to its glamor. So, the earliest poker babes were Calamity Jane, Poker Alice and the famous Madame Mustache! Male counterparts just as legendary as the old West gambling traditions matched their skills and fame: namely, Doc Holliday, Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson among others.

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