The Evolution of Modern Poker

The Evolution of Modern Poker

When it comes to casino card games, poker is undoubtedly one of the most popular of them all. The origins of poker are thought to date back more than 1000 years. The game as we know it today is believed to have evolved over a period of ten centuries from games involving the principals of ranked card or domino combinations. One popular theory is that poker was developed from a similar game invented by the Chinese in 969 AD. It is said that Emperor Mu-tsung played domino cards with his wife which involved ranked domino combinations.

The Cheating Game

In the 12th and 13th century, the Egyptians were known to have used playing cards for gambling purposes. The Persians were also using cards called “Treasure Cards” for betting and games. A game called “As Nas” was played quite frequently which involved rounds of betting and a type of hierarchical hand ranking structure. In 1834, American author Jonathan H. Green made one of the earliest references to the modern game of poker. In his writing, he mentions the rules of a game called the “Cheating Game”. This was a popular card games played on Mississippi riverboats.

The Cheating game became extremely popular in a very short time. It quickly supplanted the game of 3-card Monte which was doing the rounds on the gambling circuit. Local gamblers embraced the new games which were perceived to be more challenging and more honest than 3-card Monte which was usually notoriously rigged. Green showed a keen interest in the new game eventually naming and documenting all the details of the game in his book ‘An Exposure of the Arts and Miseries of Gambling.’

5-Card Draw Poker

Almost two centuries later, poker has become one of the most popular card games in the world spawning numerous variations of the same game. Since its arrival on the gambling circuit, poker has seen three main types of games dominating the gambling scene. One of the earliest forms of the game was 5-card draw. Becoming popular during the civil war, 5-card draw poker was deemed a game of skill and was therefore exempt from local anti-gambling laws. Stud poker on the other hand was outlawed being deemed a game of luck.

7-Card Stud Poker

5-Card draw poker remained the most popular version of the game for over half a century. Shortly before World War II, a new type of poker game started doing the rounds. 7-card stud found favour with many poker enthusiasts and was bolstered by the extremely wealthy Las Vegas casino industry. In this version of the game, players started out with two down cards and one up-card in the first round. Three more up-cards were added and one down-card with betting after each round.

Texas Hold’em Poker

In the 1970s Texas Hold’em poker rose to prominence. Christened the “Cadillac of Poker” the high action game quickly caught the attention of the gambling public when it was featured as a title game in the Poker World Series. Today, Texas Hold’em poker remains the most popular poker variations anywhere in the world. It is played in all leading land-based casinos and online. With the arrival of online poker, Texas Hold’em poker became extremely popular with online poker players as it could be played with all of the same rules in a virtual environment.

Casino Hold’em Poker

The arrival of online casinos and the development of casino-style poker games gave rise to a new variation of the Texas Hold’em Poker. Dubbed Casino Hold’em poker, the game can be played by a single player against the electronic dealer. While poker purists steer clear of the game, Casino Hold’em has proven popular with many online players who can log on and play instantly without having to wait for an available table.