Poker is a game that uses a 52-card deck and requires players to bet and bluff. It is straightforward to play while difficult to fully master. You’ll find it atop the most popular games at any online casino UK and across the globe. Read below to see where it came from and why it has so much staying power courtesy of poker expert Kate Richards.
The exact origins of poker are unknown, although there are a couple of prominent theories. One of which traces the game to 10th-century China and another that credits a 16th-century Persian game “As Nas.”
The closest and most definitive roots we have for the game we love today are in France’s “Poque,” which was brought to America with their settlers. The French laid claim to good chunks of the South, including Louisiana.
The game then spread up and down the Mississippi River, becoming popular among travelers and villagers alike. During this time, the game expanded from three cards to five and started using a 52-card deck by 1834.
Why Is It Still Popular?
You’ll find many reasons why poker remains one of the most popular games in the world. The first of which is the social nature of the game. There is down-time during any hand of poker, and even more so with larger tables and extra players.
For this reason, poker has become a household favorite for game nights. Whether you play with your friends, family, or strangers, you’ll spend time getting to know them. Through banter and competitive trash talk, poker helps to nurture friendships and create new ones.
As technology has grown, so too has our collective access to poker. You can now play fully-immersive hands online and through your mobile devices. That being said, poker is also one of the most legal casino-based games on the planet. The critical distinction that allows it to slip through the legal cracks is the fact that it’s a game of skill. Because poker has many forms, some of which are more random than others, it is technically classified as a game of chance, according to the UKGC.
Skill-based play is also a massive draw to the game in general. Games are frustrating, especially when you lose. Players are drawn to poker because you can hone your abilities and lessen the role that chance plays in the game itself. The high skill-cap on the game has led to the creation and popularity of professional leagues.
The World Series of Poker and other significant events in the genre are televised, showing the world how much money there is to be earned through competitive play. Although most players aren’t participating in poker hands to make money, it is a highly desirable side effect of the game.
Types of Poker
There are many different variants of poker. These games can be broken down into three major categories. First, you have stud games. In stud games, players are dealt between five and seven cards and must make their best hand from those cards alone. Next, you have draw games. In draw games, players will have the opportunity to switch out some of their cards during the course of the game.
The final type is community card games, which includes Texas Hold’Em. These games have the dealer give each player hole cards, which are face down. Then, there are community cards in the middle of the table; players need to make their best hand from a combination of these cards. Different forms of community card games will have them dealt with individually or all at once.
By far, the most well-known and popular variant of the game is Texas Hold’Em. It features two face-down cards per player known as “the hole.” The three communal cards in the center of the table are then dealt, which is called “the flop.” A fourth (the turn) and a fifth (the river) card will be dealt over the next two rounds with betting in-between.
Texas Hold’Em gained popularity in Las Vegas in the 1960s and is featured prominently in casino-related films and media. Additionally, it is one of the most highly featured variants of poker when it comes to tournaments and competitions.
Poker & Pop Culture
Pop culture and media influence what is popular more than almost anything else our society creates. It’s no surprise, then, to think about how poker’s prominence in the media has shaped its importance in gambling culture. For example, James Bond in Casino Royale plays, perhaps, the most popular poker game of all time. His presence makes us feel how cool poker players should be and makes us want to call our friends for a game. From the old west to future dystopias, the game is almost omnipresent.
Poker & the Future
The future of poker lies in the technological advancements of the following few years. Already, we’re seeing game developers move towards virtual and augmented reality. Along those lines, live dealer games can be found in most online casinos at the time of writing. Immersion and convenience are the two pillars of the game moving forward. The latter of the two has already seen major shifts in the past few years, as mobile gambling has been on the rise.
Regardless of where and how you choose to play, it’s no secret that poker will be a mainstay of the casino experience. There are many different variations, meaning you may find some you like and others you don’t; play either way responsibly and safely.
Author’s bio: Kate Richards is a highly devoted professional in marketing, specializing in event marketing, public relations, and the gambling industry. Kate is passionate about her work because she loves what she is doing. Kate has a steady source of motivation that drives her to do her best.