Persian, French and German Poker History
Another theory is that the game of poker in its present form originated with the French. The name Poker is derived from a mixture of the French word “Poque” and the German “Pochen” which both mean to knock. The idea being that the player needs to “knock out” all of the other players in order to win the hand. The original French game was played with only 20 cards, with four suits, and each player could take up to a maximum of four cards. The player with the highest hand, after the four cards had been dealt was the winner. Due to the widespread popularity of the game, different versions developed.
Another explanation of the name is that it is from the slang expression “to poke” someone, which meant to cheat someone out of his possessions. Some legends say that the name Poker derived from the word “poke” due the number of cheaters and bandits who first played the game.
Some Changes to the Game of Poker
20th-Century Casino Poker
Of course, poker playing was not confined to casinos only. Millions of people enjoyed playing poker with friends in their own homes or at poker parties. Poker has become so popular that even the descriptions used in the game are part of our everyday language today. A person can be described as a wild card; this is derived from the wild card that was thrown into the game. “Passing the buck”, a favorite expression for many of us, is from poker. In a poker game, it meant that the player would concede and pass the bet over to someone else. In everyday use, its meaning is similar; blame is apportioned to someone else.
Online Poker Arrives
Today, poker features prominently in every online casino. The poker room of the old land-based casino has been transported to the cyber poker room in an online casino. Online casinos have incorporated all of the different types of poker games and even come up with some variations of their own. The result is that the best online casinos offer many variations of online poker, including online 3-Card Poker, Bonus Pai Gow Poker, Poker Pursuit, Cyberstud Poker, and more.
Poker as a Spectator Sport
The World Series of Poker can now be viewed on television and the players’ poker strategies are analyzed by expert commentators throughout the game. Keen poker followers queue for hours to get tickets to watch one of the final games. Thanks to the World Poker Series, Poker is now also classified as a sport.
Poker History Has Come a Long Way
Poker history has come a long way since the ancient Persian game of As Nas. Modern technology has made possible internet poker games and televised poker tournaments. But the excitement of a good poker game is the common thread throughout all of poker history, and that is something that will never change.