The poker game has been a popular casino game for ages. In the past, players had to visit casinos in person to enjoy a game of poker. However, the internet introduced poker online, which made the game more accessible to players around the world. In fact, studies have shown that poker is one of the most played online casino games.

This piece takes you down memory lane to where it all started. There are various schools of thought that attempt to describe the origin of the game.

So, what is poker’s origin?

Some people claim that poker was played as an adaptation of the Persian game As Nas. The game was played with a game-specific deck having five suits, each having five cards. As Nas also used similar rules to those used in Poker. The game involved a round of wagering. Each player was allowed to fold or raise.

Some other theories suggest that poker was developed from European vying games. The games include Bragg, primero, and poque. Others claim it borrowed its name from the German word for bluffing – pochen or the Irish term for pocket – pocha.

Besides all these theories, it is well known that the game was invented in the 1800s and went on to become the American pastime. It also generated multiple variations with wild cards and jokers introduced in the 1850s.

Currently, No-Limit Texas Hold’em is the most popular poker game on poker online sites. However, there have been other popular variations throughout the years.


Era – The Renaissance

The game of Primero was predominant during Europe’s Renaissance and the Early Modern England. At the time, the game was the subject of many extraordinary paintings.

Many refer to the game as poker’s mother, and its rules were never written anywhere. Instead, the current world has depended on historians to reconstruct them.

In England, Primero was played as a vying game linking it to poker. The game ranked hands using a point system for each card or combination instead of the hand rankings that are used today. An additional player was added with a requirement that a player declares their hand’s strength before another round of wagering before the showdown.

Although you did not have to be specific, you had to declare the general rank. The Primero remained the dominant vying game for centuries.

Three Card Brag 

Era – The 1700s

The three-card Brag was England’s vying game of choice from the 1700s onwards. In the game, cards are shuffled only when a player wins a hand with a three-of-a-kind or prial. Therefore, to be a lethal player, you needed to recall what was dealt, when and also be able to track the deal.

Another essential skill for this game is the ability to play blind. A blind player pays half of what a player that has seen their cards does. The game is still prevalent in India and goes by the name teen Patti.

Five Card Draw

Era – The Old West

Poker, as the world knows it, appears like an American invention. Actor Chelsea Poker was writing about a four-person, stripped deck version enjoyed in New Orleans by 1829. Later, by the 1840s, the game was going up the Mississippi steam-and-paddle power. It was during this era that Maverick’s roguish gambler was born.

By 185os, the 52-card deck was now standard allowing more players in a game. Later, someone invented the draw by 1861, and the five-card draw remained a friendly poker idea for decades. Moreover, it is from this idea that other poker variations were derived.

5 Card Stud

Era – Roaring 20s, the Great Depression and World War II

The five-card stud game became famous in 1949. The game was designed for a contest between two great poker players. The two wanted to set up a high-stakes heads-up match. The game took place in a public poker room where other gamblers watched.

Four months later, one of the contestants gave up after losing two million dollars. A few decades later, no one was really playing the five-card stud poker game.

7 Card Stud

Era – Post Wars Years

The 7 Card Stud game was popular in America in the post wars years. The game was popular in card rooms and home games. Several historical records also confirm that the game became a big deal in Europe.

The game was so popular in Europe that it was referred to as the “king of poker.” However, with the gaming space rapidly changing, it did not take long before a new adaptation of the game was introduced that involved communal cards.

Limit Hold’Em

Era – 1970s

This game was supposedly invented in Texas to allow more gamblers to sit around the playing table. Limit Hold’em introduced a whole new dimension to the poker game.

This variation proved to be a cleaner game that involved one set of cards facing up. It also eliminated the need for players to keep track of folded cards of their opponents. As a result, hold’em became a more straightforward game for rookie gamblers to learn than the stud games.

The game took off massively and was liked by pros. Everyone seemed to love this poker variation because it was easy to learn and more fun to play. Consequently, it became predominant in Texan gambling rooms for some time. However, a new variation made players switch their allegiance.

No Limit Hold’em

Era – Poker Boom to Date

No-Limit Hold’em was propelled to fame by various events. First, in 1999 UK’s Channel 4 began to film a new poker show that positioned cameras below a glass panel, allowing viewers to see the cards during the hand.

This approach revolutionized how a game of poker could be broadcasted. The cameras allowed commentators to discuss hands in real-time, having real-time knowledge of the hand.

At the moment, most poker games on online casinos and land-based casinos are no-limit Texas hold’em. However, that might not last long as mixed games are becoming increasingly popular. Therefore, the future might not be about which poker variation but more about all of them!