History of Poker
Poker is a game of strategy, guts, patience, luck and much more. Almost anyone can learn the rules of poker in 5 minutes but it would take a lifetime for most to master the many games and strategies of poker. It is not enough to simply know the rules of Poker, you must be able to strategize, read your opponents and find their "tells", know when to bet, when to fold, when to raise and when to just cash in your poker chips and walk away. Of course, being the luckiest person on the planet would not hurt your poker game either.
Poker is not simply a man's game, as is commonly believed. It is, rather, a unisex game that is very popular with the fairer sex, and many women excel in Poker. One need only turn on televised poker to see that poker has moved far beyond being a "guys night" game. There are many women in the professional poker tournaments who not only keep up, but surpass their male counterparts.
Different Poker games
There are more than 130 variations of Poker games so there is always a game to suit anybody's taste. The most popular games are:
Texas Hold'em Poker
Five Card Stud Poker
Seven Card Stud Poker
Omaha 8 Poker
Caribbean Stud Poker
History of Poker
Nobody is certain about the exact origins of Poker. Some argue that it started some time in the 16th century in Persia with a game not too different from today's 5 card stud Poker. The original Persian name for the game is unknown but when Poker was adopted and modified by Europeans it received names such as Brag (English), Poque (French) & Pochen (German). Some argue that the modern name of Poker was derived from the French game of Poque. Some argue that it came from the German game Pochen, and then there are those that insist it came from the Hindu name of Pukka. While the exact origins of both the game and name of Poker are not known, it is certain that the modern day game of Poker was created in the United States in the 1800's. The game was introduced to French settlers in New Orleans around 1730 by Persian sailors as a three card game, while the first references to the modern 5 card Poker games dates back to 1829 as a game played on steamboats.
Poker spread to other cities by river boats, and with the eventual advance of railroads and the help of wagons it spread to the rest of the country.
Dead Man's Hand
James Butler Hickock, better known as Wild Bill Hickock, was shot dead in a saloon in the city of Deadwood in the Dakota territory. He was seated at his usual table playing Poker while Jack McCall walked in and shot him in the back of his head. Since Wild Bill was a famous lawman and entertainer in his time, the news of his death spread fast, and so did the last Poker hand that he was holding. At the time he was shot, Wild Bill was holding two pair black aces and two pair black eights, which became known as the "Dead Man's Hand" of Poker. The fifth card that he was holding is not known for certain.