There is considerable debate about the origin of poker. Some historians believe that the game of poker that was first played in the United States had its roots in the Persian game of As-Nas. This was evidenced by the five cards dealt to each player from a pack of twenty cards.
|Image source: peppermillreno.com|
More modern schools of thought began to disagree with the theory of poker coming from As-Nas. Historical records show that there was once a French game called poque, which was quite similar to poker – and was being played in and around the region where poker is said to have come from.
As far as the name went, there are several theories. The Irish had a word Poca, meaning pocket. The French word of poque, came from the German word pochen, meaning to brag or bluff.
Another popular theory to the origin of poker is the Renaissance game called primero, and the English game, brag, which came from the French game bretan. All these games had bluffing as a means to win, so it’s unclear where poker really came from. Many historians who no longer want to debate agree that poker is a hybrid of all these games.
|Image source: parxcasino.com|
More modern gaming experts don’t subscribe to these historical claims at all. They believe that poker was born and bred in the United States, specifically the Mississippi River in the 1800s. They also contest that what sets poker apart is the betting system that none of the older games had.