Even though poker is one of the most popular games, it still remains an ocean of secrets and mysteries. As a matter of fact, poker has come a long way until it reached its current popularity. But it is interesting to dig a bit deeper into the history of poker, starting from the first time in which the poker cards were in the air to where the game is today. Tracking the evolution of poker is an interesting travel, which reveals some fascinating facts about it.
Poker’s “Birth Place”
Yes, poker is as American as McDonald’s. The facts show that poker, as we know it today, is established in America, and more precisely in Louisiana in the beginning of 19th century. Yet historians cannot provide a certain information regarding the country, in which poker was played for the very first time, as its name can be traced in a variety of languages, including English, German and French. Thus, it is assumed that poker originates from America, with the note that it is the game, similar to the one we know today.
The Times of the Twenty-Card Poker Tables
Many poker fans might be surprised to know that the game of poker was firstly played with only 20 cards and 4 players, each of them holding 5 cards. Bets were placed on who holds the best hand. The game started to evolve with the time passing and more people wanted to participate in it. But more players means more cards included in the game. There is evidence that the current 52-card deck was firstly introduced in 1843.
Longest Poker Game Ever
It is claimed that the longest poker game in the history continued for 8 years, 5 months, and 3 days, featuring a buy-in of $1,000. The host of the years-long poker event took place at the Bird Cage in Tombstone, Arizona. The game ended in 1889 because of a flood, which demolished many buildings. For those wondering why the game lasted for that long, here is the answer: it aimed to entertain people and benefit from the height of the silver boom at that period.
History of Poker Chips
Poker fans know no better feeling than amassing a solid stack of chips. But back in the days, the casino chips did not exist in the form we know them today. Players were using various valuable things such as coins, rings, pieces of jewelry. This “object-betting” system was the reason for certain disputes between the players, as the value of the objects was different. Hence, the gaming houses introduced a standardized model based on chips.
The first chips were made out of ivory, bones, and clay, but these were easy to counterfeit. Aiming to avoid any deceits, the gaming houses started to brand them. This gave the start of the entire chip-based gambling industry, as we know it today. The current poker chips are so authentic that it is easier to counterfeit money instead of casino chips.
First Poker Tournament on Air
Poker has become an extremely popular game, drawing the interest of many spectators. In 1973, the American nation saw the first poker tournament in the world to be televized. CBS broadcast a TV show, covering the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event. But do not be misled by the idea that the TV coverage back then was the same as it is today, as the players’ cards remained concealed even for the audience. In 1997 the hole cam was introduced for the first time, allowing viewers to see players’ cards. This gave a strong boost to the televized poker-dedicated TV shows, leading it to a whole new level.