The game of poker has evolved into the game we know today over a period of nearly 1,000 years and across a wide spectrum of civilizations. Some attribute the origins of the game to the Sung Dynasty of 10th century China, while others mark its beginnings with a Persian game called “As Nas” dating back to the 16th century. Throughout its history, the game has varied considerably, however the basic concepts of psychological strategy and card ranking have always featured along the course of its evolution.
The version of the game that is most closely linked to its contemporary form is Poque, which hails from 17th century France. The game made its way across the Atlantic with a group of French settlers who eventually founded the city of New Orleans. From there, it spread up the length of the Mississippi River during the 18th century. The game flourished in the United States during the 19th century when the country began its westward expansion. For this reason, the history of poker is commonly associated with America’s “Wild West”.
Originally, the most prominent version of the game was Stud Poker, but other versions were developed and became popular, including: 5 Card Stud and 7 Card Stud , Texas Hold’em, Omaha and Omaha Hi-Low. Texas Hold’em began its rise to cult status during the 1970s when it appeared as the featured game in the World Series of Poker. Today it is by far the most popular of all and is regularly played in leading online poker rooms, as well as in land-based casinos throughout the world.