It is not very clear as of when exactly
the Poker game was born. It is likely that Poker originated from
several different games. One of the first that makes written
references to Poker was Jonathan H. Green. In 1834 he mentions rules
about a game that he calls the 'cheating game', which was being
played on Mississippi riverboats. When he realized he was the first
to describe this game, he called it Poker.
The game he described
was played with 20 cards, using only the aces, kings, queens, jacks
and tens. Two to four people could play, and each was dealt five
cards. Poker became the number one cheating game on the Mississippi
boats, receiving even more action than Three-Card Monte. Most people
taken by Three-Card Monte thought the 20-card poker seemed more a
legitimate game, and they came back time and time again.
The game of poker
has evolved through the years, through many backroom games to the
present day casinos around the world. Its history is rich with
famous places and characters. For example, during the Wild West
period of United States history, a saloon with a poker table could
be found in just about every town from coast to coast.
Today, poker is
carefully regulated by gambling laws, and saloons have given way to
casinos and cardrooms, but poker is played more than any other card
game in the world. It has grown into a sporting event, with
competitions and tournaments all around the world. Tournaments take
place almost every week of the year somewhere in the world.
Poker today is one of
the fastest growing, but hardly recognized sporting events. The
pinnacle of the poker world, The World Series of Poker, attracts
players from all over the world every year to compete for money and
titles as the world's top poker players.