Official Poker

Official poker is a vying game based on five-card hands that includes the possibility of drawing cards to improve one’s hand. There are several variants, but in general the game involves two rounds of betting followed by a showdown. It may be played for money, as in the case of tournaments, or as a social game among friends where the stakes are less significant. Regardless of the amount of money involved, the game is usually played with chips that represent the player’s stake in the game.

Poker is a card game of chance, but when bluffing and psychology enter the mix it becomes a game of skill as well. While the rules of poker vary slightly from game to game, there are some basic principles that all players should know.

It is generally accepted that the earliest form of what would become poker was a German game called Pochen and its French counterpart, Poque (the latter also known as Glic), which were popular vying games in the 16th century and beyond. These were adapted for the Mississippi riverboats of the 1830s, with the addition of the key rule of drawing cards to improve a hand. The new version was dubbed ‘poker’ and it quickly became a major pastime of the American frontier.

The earliest appearance of poker in a published work is in an edition of Hoyle’s Games from 1845, though Dowling cites evidence that 20-card poker was still played as late as 1857 in New York. As with other early vying games, poker was a game that was played by men and women alike, both socially and professionally.