Poker is such an exciting and interesting game it is sweeping the world, becoming more and more popular every day. It is the most popular vying game that ever existed and awards a player a pot full of money at the end of every hand of cards.

Still, with all its popularity the origins of poker are still a mystery. The game itself closely resembles an ancient Persian game, while the name is derived from French, German and Dutch origins. It is most likely possible that many earlier games influenced the poker game we know today.

Early reports suggest that poker was played in New Orleans as early as 1829 with a smaller deck, containing only 20 cards, where four players bet on whose hand was the most valuable. The game then spread to the rest of the country through the Mississippi riverboat system, where gambling was a common pastime. The game spread quickly during the gold rush and quickly became the game we know today.

Soon, the 52 card deck was used. Many variations and new hands were added to the game during the American Civil War. These include the flush, draw poker, stud poker, and the straight. After that, more variations were created, including wild card, lowball, split-pot poker and community card poker games. The most popular community card poker game is Texas Hold’em. The spread of Texas Hold’em to other countries is often attributed to the U.S. military playing the game abroad.

Now, poker and park jargon are important parts of American and English culture. People often say Ace in the hole, ace up your sleeve, beats me, blue chip, call my bluff, cash in, high roller, pass the buck, poker face, stack up, up the ante, when the chips are down, wild card, and more in common every day conversations. Even people who are unfamiliar with the game of poker use these phrases.

Today, the tournament form of poker is the most popular form of the game. Tournaments are normally played in Texas Hold’em style poker and the World Series of Poker keeps the game popular and attractive for many people.

In the last ten years, poker has increased significantly in popularity and as a western pastime. This is usually attributed to the Online poker and poker on television. Millions of people play Texas Hold’em and other variations of poker Online. And others watch the televised World Poker Tour, which is of interest largely because of new technology which allows viewers to see players’ hole cards.

While there are other poker stories that tell a different story about the origin of poker, many of these are wildly unrealistic and improbable. Perhaps some of the popularity of poker is due in part to the mystery and sophistication of the game, which harkens back to a time when gentlemen toured the Mississippi river system, searching for a fortune.

By Cyman Harrison
Cyman Harrison writes for several Online Poker websites that offers resources to help poker players improve their skills. Do you want to WIN more at Online Poker? Get your FREE Poker Guide at: