Poker has many variations and is certainly the best-known card game in the world. In recent years, poker (especially Texas Hold’em) has recently achieved unprecedented popularity and has entered the homes of millions of people. How many things do you think you know about poker? Let’s see some interesting facts together.
1. As They Say, “poker Is as American as Apple Pie!”
Like most card games, poker has a long history behind it and its origins are not very clear. The most common theory is that, alongside jazz and many types of cocktails, poker was invented in New Orleans. In fact, even if no one knows exactly when the first game was played, historians agree that the game as we know it today was developed in the early 1800s in the area of Louisiana. Created amongst local French speakers, the game was known as “poque”. It then became known as poker after the arrival of English-speaking immigrants, when the United States purchased Louisiana in 1803.
2. In the Beginning, Only 20 Cards Were Used
This will surprise all of those who are used to the 52 card decks that we use today. Each player received 5 cards and the bets were placed on the best hand – not much different to how we play today, but with the advantage that you have a lot fewer cards to deal with. The first 52-card poker games date back to 1834, and since then it has not changed.
3. Online Poker Is Currently Regulated in Three US States
Online poker is legal in NJ (New Jersey), NV (Nevada) and DE (Delaware). The largest of the three regulated markets in the United States is NJ. Several major online poker sites are based here, including WSOP.com/888.com, Party/Borgata and PokerStars.
4. Chips Were Not Used
In the beginnings of poker, there were no chips that indicated the value of the bets. At least, not as we know them today. It seems that the players used anything they had with them while they played – gold nuggets, coins, gold teeth, anything of value! At the beginning of the 20th century, the first standard terracotta chips appeared and were produced on an industrial scale.
5. The Longest Poker Game Ever Played
Eight years, five months and three days. Obviously, it is something impossible to verify, but the location of where the game was held insists it is an authentic fact. Located in a brothel in Tombstone, Arizona; the Bird Cage Theatre is an interesting place to visit.
6. Receiving the Same Set of Cards Twice in Your Life
Not impossible, but very unlikely! Unless you play poker at least 10 times a day and live more than 100 years, it is highly unlikely that you can get the same combination of cards twice. The probability of receiving the same combination of cards is one in 2.5 million.
7. Dirty Clothes Are a Guaranteed Victory
An old superstition says that playing with dirty clothes is the secret to a winning streak. If you are superstitious, you can try wearing dirty socks at your next game. Is it worth annoying the noses of other players to win? That’s up to you to decide.
8. The Birth of Texas Hold’em
Although it is difficult to define exactly where the first game of Texas Hold’em was played, the Texan city of Robstown has been declared as the birthplace of this poker variant, dating back to the early 1900s.
9. The First World Series of Poker
Las Vegas, 1970. A group of top players decided to go head-to-head to determine which of them was the best player in the world.
10. The First Poker Tournament Broadcast on TV
CBS in 1973 broadcasted the live World Series of Poker from Las Vegas. The prize for the tournament winner was $1,300,000.
11. Lots of Mathematics!
Everyone knows the psychological aspect of poker, but few know that in this game psychology is actually secondary. In fact, the basis of poker is mathematics. A good player knows the probability calculation and can quickly calculate the pre-flop and post-flop probabilities.
12. Celebrities That Play Poker
Many celebrities are known to frequent the green table. One of the most well-known is Ben Affleck. It all started when his friend Matt Damon filmed Rounders, and asked Ben to practice with him. Ben did not know how to play, so he trained with a professional player and is now a regular at the casinos in Las Vegas.
13. Poker Today
According to research from the nonprofit Poker Players Alliance, about 70 million Americans play live poker – or more than 20% of the population.