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samedi 31 août 2013

A LITTLE POKE WITH POKER


The origin of a certain thing depends heavily on the written or verbal recorded account of events. There are cases of things that do not have formal accounts of history and origin primarily because nobody thought it is important to take note of during that time. The process of origination rarely takes place except when the event becomes notably important in the long run.  

Just like the case of poker, wherein it does not have a distinct origin and time frame due to lack of records about when it took place and who developed the game. There were speculations that Poker might have started from a single table or from a group of players in a certain area but may have eventually been passed on to some groups of a different locality such that no one knows for sure who really started the game.

However, there have been some facts regarding poker, though based on surmise, which can at least take into account the historical background of the game.

The history of poker was said to have originated from a former French territory based on New Orleans some time between 1810 and 1825. This game of gambling started out from gambling saloons and famous floating saloons know as the Mississippi steamers.

During those times, poker was known to be a game with four players having five cards each from a deck of 20 cards. Because of its name, early players of the game thought they were continuing the habit of playing a similar game known as Poque, a French card game. Though, most historians claimed that poker's ultimate antecedent is the German game called Poch or Pochen, which started during the 15th century.

Unlike poker, poque was played by a maximum of 6 players with 32 or 36 cards in the game. The transition that took place, changing from 32 cards to 20 cards played with four players, might have been influenced by the French vying game of Bouillotte or by the contemplated Persian game of As-nas.

Hence, from 1830s onwards, poker had adopted its anglicized name and eventually spread from all parts of the United States. With a growing number of players, the game adopted the idea of having 52 cards so as to accommodate a larger number of players.

In the earliest form of poker, there was no draw, and bets were usually made on a limited series of combinations. These varieties of combinations can be one pair, two pair, triplets, four of a kind, and full, which is the only combination that has five active cards.

During those times, the adaptation of a 52-card poker gave way to the introduction of another kind of combination known as flush, though straight was yet unknown.

Between 1830 and 1845, Poker was more and more played by an increasing number of players. It was during this time when the draw was then introduced. However, the term draw was already known in poker's English counter-part, Brag. The addition of the draw and the flush combination boost the pleasure of the game, thus, a second betting interval was made.
Another great development of poker was the introduction of "Jack Pots." In the old poker, jack pots refer to the condition that a player is not allowed to open unless he has a pair of jacks or better, at the same time the player is obliged to open if he already has it.

The purpose of introducing jack pots on poker was primarily to enforce control on the game by lashing out rowdy players who would bet on anything. This eventually killed the idea of bluffing or bluff from which poker was originally known.

It was in 1864 when the combination of straight sequence or rotation was introduced when playing poker. With the addition of straight, an additional rule was mentioned wherein a straight and a flush combination will undeniably outranks a full combination. The addition of straight in poker was an exhilarating development because, as experts say, without straights and straight flushes, the only highest possible hand is four aces or four kings and an ace kicker. In the poker world, this type of combination at hand is not just unbeatable but cannot even be matched or tied.

Because of these developments, poker consistently progressed and rapidly expanded by popularity. This, in turn, made poker as the greatest American pastime. Consequently, poker evolved from gambling to a game of skills.

And so, even with so many outrageous allegations regarding the ancient times of poker and its origin, poker is undeniably an ultimate classical relic of the American history.



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