A lot of us assume that poker is as old as the hills. It’s such a classic game that we can’t quite imagine a world without it. But did you ever stop and say to yourself when did it all begin? So let’s go right back to the start of poker history and find out…
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The start of poker history
It’s not quite clear when exactly poker history began. Historians guess that it started around the start of the 1700s, although some say that the 1750s is closer to the mark.
There is, however, more proof to suggest that it was widely played and enjoyed by 1800 all around the Mississippi River.
That’s also when the United States began to really take notice of gambling in general, which makes a lot of sense as to why poker would take hold around then too.
What’s in a name…
Gaelic, French, German… There are lots of different poker history theories about how the famous name got its unforgettable name.
If you think it hailed from the Emerald Isle native language, then perhaps it comes from the Irish word for pocket (which is póca).
Others are convinced that the name comes directly from the French game Poque, which many people also say that poker is based on.
And then there’s another camp that think it comes from the German word pochen. There are various translations for this word, including brag, bluff or knock. All fairly appropriate, don’t you think?
Because of our Irish pride, here at No Deposit Online Casino, we’re hoping there’s the most truth in the Irish language poker history name roots.
How did the game get started?
There are several games that claim to be the basis for poker. They go stretch to different time periods and locations all over the world, highlighting the expanse of card games already on offer even before poker history got started.
Here are just some of the games people suggest that poker is based on:
- As-Nas from the Persian region
- Poque from France
- Primero, popular in Europe during the Renaissance
- Brelan, an ancient French game
- Brag, which is based on Brelan, and includes bluffing in the game play
Poker history moves west
As we said before, poker history seems to have begun in the Mississippi region. And it was big news there by the middle of the 19th century.
But when you think about old school poker history, chances are that Mississippi isn’t the first place that pops into your mind. When we think old poker, we think the Wild West.
The gold rush exploded in the Wild West. Then people flocked to see what nuggets of treasure that they could dig up. When they travelled there, suddenly people from different parts of the colonies were mixing together. As they did, they began to share pastimes. Poker was one of those things they shared.
People adored it. It was soon one of the most popular things to do in the Wild West. Apart from panning for gold, that is.