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A Brief History of Poker Variants

The game poker has gone down many paths and changes along its way to becoming an Internet -based, international phenomenon. Among first poker variants was the engine game of “As Nas” in Persia. The game involved five players betting using a deck of 25 cards, which may explain why or where the gambling element developed in the card game. A similar ancestor was “Primero” in the 16th century Europe. This game was much closer than As Nas in the lead up in modern poker. The game of “Brag” developed in both Britain and France, and included the element of bluffing and betting in a card game.

Somewhere in 19th-century America, individuals by the names of Joseph Cromwell and Jonathan Greene made references to a game called poker or the “cheating game,” and how it was becoming popular on the Mississippi River boats in the middle of the century. The riverboat gambling industry helped grow the practices of these games throughout the Western United States through the end of the 1800s and also led to governmental regulation or prohibition of casinos beginning in the 20th century. The regulations ironically influenced the standardization of rules for poker and other casino games, sending out the pool of poker variants.

With regular standards in place, poker variants became more a thing of the past, while skill in playing standard game became more important. In the 1970s, championship level poker play had reached a point where a World Series of Poker was started, with the highest ranked players facing off against each other in Las Vegas or other casino capitals. Not only that, but a similar phenomenon is happening with the emergence of casino Internet online poker in the 1990s and after. The executives of online poker rooms in casino Internet portals have been so complete that players of Internet Poker have been readily accepted to the World Series of Poker tournaments.

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