There are a lot of different opinions as far as the origin or poker is concerned. However, there is no evidence or data about the origin of this game. But the name and present form of poker is more likely to be derived from elements of various games. Based on the consensus, poker due to its basic principles is definitely a very old game.

Birthplace of poker: When it comes to the possible poker birthplace, there are several suggestions, just like the variations in the game itself. Based on a very popular belief, poker is a game invented by Chinese in the 900 AD. There are possibilities of this belief being derived from Chinese dominoes. According to other people, the Persian game “as nas” is the origin of poker. It is a Persian game involving 5 players and a special deck of 25 cards with 5 suits. However, this is a game that can be recorded back to 19th century.

Based on another theory related to the birth of poker, French “poque” can also be taken into consideration. Around 1480, the French settled in New Orleans and used to play “poque” which was basically a game that involved cards, betting and bluffing. This game played by the French can be considered to be the first to include a deck that consisted of diamonds, spades, hearts and clubs. Many are of the belief that the origin of modern cards can be found in the Indian card game of Ganjifa. Due to various claims, it is not very easy to narrow down on the right birthplace of poker.

Poker and its earliest reference: in the year 1834, Jonathan H.Green made the earliest written poker reference. In this poker reference, certain rules were mentioned by him for the “cheating game” that used to be played on the riverboats of Mississippi. According to him, this was a game to be played with 20 cards and by using kings, aces, jacks, tens and queens. Either two or four players play this game and each player is dealt five cards. By the time it was written by Jonathan, this had become a popular cheating game. According to the people who had taken to Three-Card Monte, the 20 card poker game seemed to be more legitimate. There is a lot of debate about the origin of the word ‘poker’ as well. According to game historians and dictionaries, this came from 18th century French game “poque”. However, other references point to pochspiel, a German game. There are many websites where you can be a part of a poker forum to know more about this game.

By Michael Chapman
Michael Chapman enjoys playing poker.