Culture and Recreation


When was poker invented?

The card game, in which a player bets that the value of his or her hand is higher than those held by the other players, was invented in the 1820s by sailors in New Orleans. The sailors combined the ancient Persian game as nas with the French game poque, which itself was a derivation of the Italian game primiera, and a cousin of the English game brag.

Poker was originally played with 3 cards from a deck of only 32 and included combinations such as pairs and three of a kind. The game was later played with five cards from a deck of 52 cards, and the draw was also added. Stud poker, where each player is dealt their first card face-down and the next four cards face-up, didn’t come into existence for many years (until about 1864). Other later additions to the game were the straight (a hand consisting of five cards in sequence but not of the same suit) and the flush (a hand consisting of five cards of the same suit but not in sequence).


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