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A History of Poker

It turns out that poker was already known in the world in antiquity. Researchers offer several origins of the game, and all are focused on the Asian part of the globe. The first theory refers to the Indian game of ganjifa, which has a resemblance to today’s cards. Another theory mentions records in old Chinese books dating back to 900 AD, in which the rules of poker are described in brief. It is also possible that Persian sailors played the card game As-nas on the cards, sharing the rules with French settlers in New Orleans.

The book “Dragoon Campaigns to the Rocky Mountains”, written in 1834, is the first to include the rules of poker as described by traveller Jonathan H. Green. The American was so fascinated by the game that he described it in his two works “The Art of Gambling and the Misery of Gambling” from 1843, and “Thirty Years Among the Players” (about 1850).

The closest version of the game to today’s poker was the French pastime Poque. Cards crossed the ocean, before moving along the Mississippi River to win its biggest fans.

Politicians have also shown an interest in various types of poker, including one United States ambassador to the United Kingdom who publically announced the rules of the game of poker in the late 19th century. It was not long before the publication of magazines and guides about cards. Today, the game has become so popular that it is now one of the most recognised forms of entertainment. Many television channels regularly broadcast poker tournaments, and the biggest fans each year gather for the World Series of Poker to decide the best player in the world. In 2013, the main prize reached the astronomical amount of more than $13 million.

Among the most popular varieties of poker are:

  • Texas Hold ‘em
  • Omaha
  • 5-card draw
  • 7-card Stud
  • 2-7 Draw (Triple or Single Draw)
  • Razz
  • Badugi

Poker Legends

They were the ones who set the trends and bent the rules. Every beginner player could learn erfect, intelligent and true bluffing from them, and the tournaments in which they participated not only attracted audiences, but also provided top class and exciting entertainment. So here are the legends of poker:

Benny Binion – Founder and creator of the most prestigious poker tournament in the world, the World Series of Poker (WSOP), which established Las Vegas as a gambling center, significantly changed and simplified Texas Hold ’em rules, and introduced poker to mass culture.

Thomas Austin Preston – In his career he won four World Series of Poker tournaments. He was always controversial at the table, and sarcastic towards his opponents, dominating and winning with all the ability of the perfect strategist.

Johnny Moss – As a young man working in the casino, he was an advocate of fair-play advocate and always treated his opponents with the great affection – though legend says that for an opponent of his was shot for looking at the cards during a game. Moss was an eight-time World Series of Poker champion, taking part in the tournament regularly For 25 years.

Stu Ungar – The fans were already hailing him the “miracle poker child” when he was just 14 years old. An early start in his career enabled him to gain an estimated $30 million in winnings.

Doyle Brunson – The first poker millionaire in history, he has won more than 10 World Series of Poker tournaments, and is the author of the most popular poker guide for beginners.