Poker has many variants and they include Stud, Hold’em (Texas Hold’em), Omaha, Chinese 13-card, Pineapple and more. Poker’s history has been documented to the early days when printing presses weren’t invented but instead of taking you that far back out of speculative talk, we will focus on more current era’s on American soil.
Before the 19th Century
Someone invented poker… we like to say it’s pirates who accidentally landed by the Mississippi Riverbanks during their world travels. The unique features of poker have to do with the betting, and do not appear during this time.
English actor Joseph Crowell reported that the game was played in New Orleans in 1829, with a deck of 20 cards, and four players betting on which player’s hand was the most valuable. Jonathan H. Green’s book, An Exposure of the Arts and Miseries of Gambling (G. B. Zieber, Philadelphia, 1843), described the spread of the game from there to the rest of the country by Mississippi riverboats, on which gambling was a common pastime.
R. F. Foster wrote: “the game of poker, as first played in the United States, five cards to each player from a twenty-card pack, is undoubtedly the Persian game of As Nas. the full 52-card English deck was used and the flush was introduced. The draw was added prior to 1850 (when it was first mentioned in print in a handbook of games). During the American Civil War, many additions were made including stud poker (the five-card variant), and the straight.
Wild Card was introduced
Split Pot Poker (Omaha Hi-lo?)
Community card Poker Games such as Texas Hold’em, Omaha with a Flop, Turn & River known as community or shared cards was introduced
Modern tournament play became popular in American casinos after the World Series of Poker began, in 1970.
Backroom poker and card gaming houses were everywhere. Poker was being depicted in popular culture as a commonplace recreational activity. For example, it was featured in at least 10 episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation as a weekly event of the senior staff of the fictional ship’s crew.
Poker and casino gambling spread across the United States and Canada and was made even more popular the more mainstream it became.
Planet Poker dealt the first real money online poker game.
Late Night Poker debuted on British television, introducing poker for the first time to many Europeans.
PartyPoker hosted the inaugural PartyPoker Millions tournament. At the time, the thought of an online poker site guaranteeing such a large prize pool for a live tournament was unheard of, and the concept of online satellites to live events was by and large unproven. Kathy Liebert claimed the top prize of the tournament, banking $1,000,000
2003 – 2004
Chris Moneymaker and Greg Raymer, respectively, won their seats to the main event of the WSOP by winning online satellites
Passage of the UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006) slowing online poker.
The Ultimate Bet / Absolute Poker massive cheating scandal revealed
Black Friday era of online poker poker in the USA
- Regulation Era
- Nevada issues first interactive gaming license
- Only days after Nevada issues their first licenses for online gambling, Delaware passes a bill allowing multiple types of online gambling to be offered under the regulation of the state lottery.
- Full Tilt funds remain in quasi-limbo – The DoJ names the company that will handle the return of U.S. Full Tilt player balances in March of 2013, picking remission specialist the Garden City Group.
- Ray Bitar reaches deal with U.S. authorities after suffering from a potentially fatal heart complication, agrees to a plea deal with the U.S. that allows him to avoid jail time and pursue a heart transplant.
- Ultimate Poker deals the first hand of regulated online poke