It is generally considered to be related to the French game of brelan, or its version of primero, originally played in Italy and Spain in the late fifteenth century. Similarly, the English game named brag is obviously derived from the set, and we find the concept of bluff. In one way or another, all these games contributed to the origin of poker.

The name of the game itself comes from the German pochen (coining) card game that was practiced in the seventeenth century in Germany, and seems to be the real ancestor of poker, both by its rules very close to the current poker as its tactics of play. A French game of similar name, La Poque, was practiced already in the time of Louis XI, but with quite different rules. The game’s legend relates its English name to the verb poke, to push or stir, in the sense of “game that incites / pushes to bluff”.

In any case, it is in the United States that the game has really taken off in its modern version. A first historical account of poker in the United States is that of the English actor Joseph Crowell, who recounts a form of this game that he saw practicing in 1829 in New Orleans, where four players playing with a game of twenty cards were betting on one of them who had the strongest hand. In 1843, Jonathan H. Green described in his literary work the expansion of card games on ships sailing the Mississippi. From there it spread into the American West at the time of the 1848 Gold Rush, and became an integral part of the myth of the conquest of the West. It was shortly after this period that the use of the 52-card game became widespread, and color was accepted as a hand.

Many variants emerged during the American Civil War (1861-1865). It was at this time that the basic forms of closed poker (Draw) and five-card stud stabilized. The other variants emerged later.

The game was reimported in Europe in its modern form during the second half of the nineteenth century, in its variant of closed poker (referred to as “French poker” in the early twentieth century). It has been widely used in all countries of the world, sometimes brought in the luggage of the US military.

Poker Overview

Poker is a money game, the structure of the game therefore requires most of the time, and in all its variants, that the player invests a starting sum (was it minimal), the winery: the score of one player is materialized by his financial gains. The winery represents the amount of starting chips for each player, subject to fluctuations in winnings and losses. Not to be confused with the blinds and antes, whose definition is given below. The control of the game supposes an at least intuitive knowledge of the probabilities of distribution of the hands, the probabilities and mechanisms of their improvements in the variant played, and especially, an excellent control of the psychology of the game and its opponents. Poker is only marginally a game of chance, the control of his nerves, the art of bluffing, technique and strategy are often extremely useful to win.

The common core of the variants includes the multi-round bidding system, the principle of breaking down the game if bets are equal, the types of hands and their hierarchy. The way the cards are distributed and the betting rounds distinguish the game variations, and the fact that some cards can be displayed or even be common to all hands.