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[ANSWERED] Your most burning questions about the history of poker

A few decades ago, family and friends gathering together to watch a poker tournament or play poker was unthinkable.  Poker was treated as a game played by the undesirable elements of society in dark back rooms.

Little was it foreseen that poker would evolve to be one of the most popular games. It has become a favorite theme for get-togethers, birthday parties and family game nights. High schools have started hosting post- prom poker tournaments, betting with snacks, physical challenges or deserts.

Once thought of as outcasts, poker players have gained a celebrity status now. It is also being looked upon as a viable career option. For those playing poker for entertainment the choices are unlimited. You can go to a local poker table or set up your own convertible poker table for a poker home game.

The game is so popular today that it has instigated curiosity in quite a few regarding its origin.  Historians have varied view about the origin of the game, with consensus pointing towards the Chinese game dominoes, played around 900 AD.

There are theories which point towards the ancient games like ‘as nas’ of Persia, ‘poque’ of France and the ‘pochspiel’ played by the Germans, as being the initial forms of the game. From a card deck of 25, to 32 and finally 52, the journey of the game has been interesting.

Perhaps the French ‘poque’ can be rightfully declared as the mother of present day poker. By the late 14th century card playing had spread all over and was making its presence felt in the European countries of Italy and Spain.

When the French arrived in the United States in 1480, they brought their game with them.  The game travelled by steamboats from New Orleans, up the Mississippi River, into the Ohio river. During the civil war the game gained more popularity, as it was the only form of entertainment available. It was enjoyed by the soldiers, officers and gentlemen of every caliber.

The year 1830 saw the 52 card deck being generally used, poker rules getting standardized and rule books being written. Gradually the game popular throughout the world with more and more saloons installing poker tables.

And now with the advent of convertible poker tables or the combination of poker and dining table there is no stopping the game. Poker can even be enjoyed from the comfort of the home, without the need to travel to a casino or a card room.