The Evolution of Poker

Poker is a card game where players wager over the best hand according to the specific rules of the game. Often, a standard deck is used, which may be configured in different ways. For example, the number of cards used, the number of cards being dealt, or the number of cards shared amongst players. Poker is considered one of the classic casino table games considering how early on it came into existence. After roulette, baccarat, and blackjack, poker was invented around 1829.

How Poker has Changed Over the Years

Poker has a somewhat complicated history, dating back almost 1,000 years over various cultures and continents. Its origins are widely believed to either descend from a 10th-century domino card game played by the Chinese emperor, or a 16th-century Persian card game called ‘As Nas’. It pre-dates the German game ‘Poque’ which grew popular in France in the 17th century, which was initially based around ‘Primero’, a 16th-century Spanish game. French colonists brought the game to various settlements across North America, and by 1834, it had evolved into a 52-card deck, 5 cards per player game.

From here, poker spread up the state of Mississippi and throughout the country as a result of crews transporting goods down the river. The game was played by American soldiers throughout the Civil war, becoming commonplace in saloons throughout the late 1800s. The game became popular in Europe after 1871 when Queen Victoria requested poker rules from the US minister as the game was explained to members of her court. Its strength in Europe has further fortified thanks to the popularity of the game with American soldiers during World War One.

The Rise in Popularity of Online Poker

Traditionally, poker was always played at a table in a private setting or a casino. This changed when online poker was popularised. 2003 was particularly significant in this when Chris Moneymaker won the WSOP, which attracted other players to the game. In fact, poker grew into a $6.7 billion industry by 2012, which was worth just $300 million in 2003.

Things changed once more in 2017 as Scott Blumstein won WSOP and a new age for the game started to emerge. Indeed, live events have played a big part in popularising the game. Celebrity endorsement has helped as well. You can’t dismiss the role film has played in the rise in popularity of poker either. Watch any Bond movie, or even Ocean’s 11, and you’ll see that poker is portrayed as an action-packed and glamorous activity. Poker apps and online casinos are incredibly convenient and considering that 51% of the world’s population has access to the internet, anyone can play poker nowadays.

Live tournaments, as well as gambling scenes in famous films, have contributed to poker’s success and popularity

Why Many are Ditching Casinos and Playing Poker Online

Many players of table-based poker are now moving to online games thanks to all the advantages on offer. Table-based poker games are not the only ones to have transitioned online, video poker is an example of a poker game that was played via a computerized screen in a casino however can also be played online. In a traditional casino, video poker is usually played on slot-style machines rather than a traditional table. Players have more power in video poker than they would in a slots game and are required to use strategy.

With the transition online, casino operators have had the ability to offer different versions of video poker all with different house edges and variance. Players can access the different video poker games on sites like People do argue that the social element of playing poker is diminished when not playing in a real casino, however, a game of video poker is not affected by this as it has been traditionally played individually.

Today, Poker Now Exists in Many Different Forms

From humble beginnings, different forms of poker began to emerge over the years, such as Texas Hold ’em which was popularised in the ’70s and eventually became the featured game in WSOP.

When poker first emerged in its current form in the early 19th century, each player was dealt five cards from a pack of 20. Players were restricted to bet in one round, raising each time. Over the years, these rules have changed, thanks to new variations of poker being invented.

Stud poker is one such variation where a player is dealt cards in a pre-arranged combination either face down or face up, and this is done in rounds. Today, the seven-card stud is the most popular variation, where players get two extra cards each and have to make the best possible five-card hand.

Another variation is known as ‘draw’ poker, which is a five-card game, and each player has to deal a complete hand with their cards facing down. Once each player has placed their ante in the pot, they then see their cards and make their bets. After the bet is made, they can then get rid of three cards and replace them with fresh ones from the top of the deck, before completing the next round. Upon each player revealing their cards, the one with the best hand wins.

Community card poker is the final variation of poker we will discuss. This poker game is a variation of stud poker, in this game there are several faced up cards positioned in the centre of the table, and players are then dealt a hand of four face-down cards. The cards in the centre of the table are used by a couple of players to assemble their five-card hands. There are further variations to this game, Omaha, and Texas Hold ’em perhaps being the two best well known.