Poker is one of the most popular card games. It is so popular that it is now on TV and feature poker tournaments that have professionals or celebrities. How did poker become so popular?
Poker is believed to have started becoming popular in the 19th century. When the famous English actor Joseph Cowell was in New Orleans in the early 19th century, he noticed that people were playing a card game with deck of 20 cards. The players of this game would gamble on how valuable the player’s hand was. A book called An Exposure of the Arts and Miseries of Gambling says that the game spread from the New Orleans area to the rest of the United States by Mississippi boats. It was popular to bet on poker while you were on these boars. Americans did play the game as they were going West and it is possibly part of what is called the frontier pioneer ethos.
If you want to learn more about poker in the 19th century, you can read books like New Handbook of Games (first mention about how to actually play poker), Hoyle’s Games, Thirty Years Passed Among the Players in England and America, and Exposure of the Arts and Miseries.
Tournaments did help poker become popular as well. The first World Series of Poker was in 1970 and helped poker become popular at casinos in the United States. Some of the notable champions at these early World Series Tournaments were Puggy Pearson, Doyle Brunson, Bobby Baldwin, Moss Amrillo Slim, and Johnny Moss.
This new-found popularity of poker in the 1970s lead to a truckload books on how you can best win the game. Some of the notable books about poker strategy were The Theory of Poker, Caro’s Book of Poker, and Super System. Whether these books actually helped you win more games cannot be prove.
A whole galaxy of nerds in the late 1980s and the early 1990s were introduced to poker by Star Trek: The Next Generation, the first spin-off of Star Trek: The Original Series. They play the game in about 10 episodes. To take a break from their adventures, most of the senior crew would play poker to relax and to get to know each other. In the final episode of this series, the captain finally joined them in poker to show them that emotionally, he was part of the crew. The captain had never seemed to be part of the crew until this poker game.
In the early 21st century, the Internet has made poker unprecedentedly popular. You don’t even need people or cards to play these online poker game. You do need a computer and an Internet connection to play the game. With sites like judi online, the popularity of poker does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon.