Studying the history of poker is a worthwhile venture. However, it will be tough to trace back to its exact origins. Its history goes way back and the exact origin is more conjecture than concrete fact.
According to the dictionary, poker was derived from the French word poque in the early 1800s. And in those days, poque wasn’t even poker. According to sources, community card poker games, such as Texas Hold’em, didn’t come into existence until the 1920s.
Ah the 1920s-girls, gangsters and music. Back then poker was played in super-secret locations where finely dressed gangsters would guard the games. And they weren’t the only ones armed. It was commonplace for players to pack the heat too. Bandits and rival gangs would sometimes raid good poker games and make off with the loot. Playing poker was really hazardous to your health.
The world of Poker dramatically changed in the 1970s and it’s this point in time that most closely resembles today’s poker world. It provided the foundation for everything we have today. The famous Word Series of Poker came along and setup the poker world for today’s numerous big-money poker tournaments, such as those offered by the World Poker Tour and countless venues around the world.
And that leads us to Poker on TV, which is even being embraced by mainstream media outlets such as NBC and ESPN. But what was the key moment in time that made this possible? Surely watching people play poker is boring right? We can all thank the hole card cam. This little invention changed the game. Poker was now fun and viable for TV and we haven’t looked back since.
In fact, you could say that this one invention changed it all. Today, Poker is booming. Players all over the world are playing on TV-most started on the Internet. It’s all thanks to poker being popularized-making stars of the average poker player. And that’s all thanks to the hole card cam, which made all of this possible.
Poker’s history is so rich and filled with fun twists and turns that it would be impossible to deal with it all in a single article. Hopefully this article has wetted your appetite.
If you want to learn more about poker’s history, start with the legendary names, such as Doyle Brunson, David Sklansky, Mike Caro, Binion and then move on to more recent stars, such as Gus Hanson and Daniel Negreanu.