History Of Poker
Since its invention, poker has rapidly become one of the favorite gambling past times for many Americans, due to the ease with which it can be played. There is perhaps no other game of chance for which so many different variations have been created- there are literally hundreds of versions of poker.
Poker is intrinsically caught up in the history of America and American expansions. It is thought to have originated in New Orleans, where players would use a 20 card deck and bet on whose hand was the most valuable. As American settlement spread West up river systems, poker went along, including on riverboat passages up major waterways such as the Mississippi on river boats. Its expansion during this period has meant that it is an integral part of the popular telling of the history of the American West, and can be found in works of fiction and non-fiction, works of history and religion, documentaries and movies alike.
The full 52-card deck was introduced to the game after the expansion period, along with the idea of the flush. Variants of the game began to emerge during the American Civil War, and the game continued to be an integral part of the military, just as it had the development of the West. It is thought that it was the American military that spread the game throughout much of the rest of the world, especially in Asia.
Poker began to receive a lot of public attention when the World Series of Poker began in 1970. During this period, a heightened interest in the game meant that the market was ripe for development, in the form of poker rooms in major casinos as well as the development of strategy books and tips.
Poker experienced a down turn in the mid 1980s that continued right through to the new millennium. Many casinos shut down their poker rooms during this time in favor of more lucrative games which favored house odds (poker offers very little returns for a casino aside for a cut of the pot).
A return in popularity came in the development of several more tournaments for poker, mainly the brainchild of Stephen Lipscomb who developed the idea of the World Tour of Poker. Since the beginning of that show, with its reliance on innovative camera technology which allows viewers to see the cards of the players, poker popularity throughout the world has taken on astronomical proportions, particularly the Texas Hole “Em variation. Online poker sites have also contributed to the increased popularity of the game which has been described as “Every Man’s Game”. Professional poker players have become celebrities in their own right, and many celebrities are also turning to the game as their preferred method of entertainment. Some players, such as Jennifer Tilly, seem to have given up their former careers in order to play the game.