Poker, its History and How to Play The Game

Poker, its History and How to Play The Game

Poker has always had a substantial number of people who like the game, play the game and have devoted many hours to figuring out the better ways to play a hand. The game of poker has a scattered history and depending on whom you believe the origins are deep in antiquity. Some claim it came from the French, while others are of the opinion that it started in China or Persia. Canadian settlers to the river port brought the game, similar to what we know today to New Orleans.

This group of adventurers played the game and ships crews that saw the game took it to other cities in the world. The paddle wheelers that churned their way up the Mississippi carried the game to other river towns as it grew in popularity.

The saloons in the stop over towns along the river took the game up and people traveling the area carried it away with them to other cities that were not on the river. Gold helped to bring it to the west, when the gold rush brought hopeful miners west along with the game of poker. Saloons and gambling joints set up tables for players and along with faro; the game of poker became a familiar table game in the western saloons.

Civil War was a huge catalyst for the game of poker. Soldiers on both sides of the War Between the States liked the game and carried the game into battle. Many a Union dollar and Confederate bill was wagered over a set up of poker.

When the war was over the game went home with the soldiers and became popular throughout the nation.

Some states tried to ban the game, but that failed in many instances and even was explicitly given the legal standing of a game of skill and not a game of chance. Most poker players would agree with this description of poker. States that would not allow casinos or casino games put poker in a different class and would license poker rooms. This was the typical situation until the Internet and TV brought the game into the player’s homes. These two simultaneous events have brought the game to the popularity that it now enjoys over the entire world.

TV tournaments have captured a very large audience and the poker sites on the Net have allowed the poker players to play any time they wish to play. These events pushed the game into the consciousness of people who had only a fleeting knowledge of the game. Free play on the Net attracted live money play on the Net and the rush was on. The only fly in the ointment has been the change in law that the US government brought into force that made it very difficult for American players to fund their accounts. This has subsided a little and there is a move a foot in the US Legislature to change this law and its effect on online poker.

Poker Changes and The Play

Early poker was almost entirely played as 5-Card Stud. This very simple version of poker is played by dealing each player one card down and four cards up. There is a round of betting after each deal of the cards in the hand. This game was then revised to 5-Card Draw so that each hand would entail more gambling per hand. This version of the game is played in many home games and on some poker sites. The idea of this game was that each player could fold, make a bet or call after being dealt five cards. After this round of betting, each player could replace cards in their dealt hand. A final round of betting is then completed and those players that still had hands at the end of this round would show their hand and the winning hand was awarded the pot.

The next version of poker that gained popularity was 7-Card Stud. This poker version is dealt as follows. Two cards face down and one up to each player. A round of betting follows. Then each player is dealt one card face up, three times and a round of betting after each card. The final seventh card is dealt face down and the completion betting of the hand is done. The hands are then exposed and the winning hand wins the pot.

Texas Holdem is a similar to 7-Card Stud only in the number of cards considered in each hand. The hand begins with dealing each player two cards face down. A round of betting is completed. Three cards are then dealt face up in the middle of the table. This is referred to as the flop. All of these middle table cards are common to each player’s hand. Two more cards are dealt face up to the middle of the table and again are common to all players. There is a round of betting between each dealt card. The fourth card to the middle is called the Turn and the final card is called the River. When all of the betting is finished the cards from the players are exposed. The best five-card hand from the Flop and the player’s cards wins the pot.


Unprecedented is the only suitable word to describe the popularity that poker has obtained the last few years. The game of Holdem has become the most favored game that players from every corner of the world want to play. The TV tournaments have been received with great enthusiasm and the number of players that enter the major tournaments has consistently outpaced that same number from five years ago. The WSOP has had a fantastic increase in the number of starting players, which has also meant an extreme increase in the winner’s share of the prize money. When the final table at this one tournament are all assured of winning at least one million dollars that is eye opening to say the least. Poker has reached an historic peak in its fascination to a world of players. This speaks well of the player’s love of this game called poker.

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