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Poker History

The history of poker is a matter of debate. The most popular belief is that it was invented by the Chinese around 900 A.D., possibly derived from the Chinese dominoes.
Others state that Poker originates from the Persian game as nas. This is a 5-player Persian game, which requires a special deck of 25 cards with 5 suits. This game was spreaded all over Europe in the XVII century. One of its variations - The French poque - came to New Orleans with French settlers.
English actor Joseph Crowell reported that the game was played in New Orleans in 1829, with a deck of 20 cards, four players betting on which player's hand was the most valuable. Jonathan H. Green's book, An Exposure of the Arts and Miseries of Gambling (G. B. Zieber, Philadelphia, 1843), described the spread of the game from there to the rest of the country by Mississippi riverboats, on which gambling was a common pastime.
Soon after this spread, the full 52-card English deck was used, and the flush was introduced. During the American Civil War, many additions were made, including draw poker, stud poker (the five-card variant), and the straight. Further American developments followed, such as the wild card (around 1875), lowball and split-pot poker (around 1900), and community card poker games (around 1925). Spread of the game to other countries, particularly in Asia, is often attributed to the U.S. military.
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