The Persian card game known 'As-Nas' dates back to the 17th century, and is played exactly like Poker. How has this amazing card games evolved in time?

History of poker

Aside from "As-Nas", the Indian card game "Teen Patti" is considered another ancestor of poker. It involves hand rankings, betting rounds, and even terms similar to our modern game of poker.

The English card game "Bragg", which emerged in the 1600s, has similarities to "Teen Patti" and is most likely the origin of many poker phrases still used today.

Most importantly, the card game "Bragg" involved bluffing, and we know that is what separates poker from all the rest.

The 52-card deck and The Lying Game

That being said, another thing that is known, is that game of poker could not have been played until playing cards containing four suits were created. The 52-card deck as we know it today was invented by the French and then became standardized in Europe by 1480.

It was actor James Cromwell, in 1829, who wrote about a card game called "The Lying Game". This appears to be an early version of the card game we all know today know as "Poker".

The English card game Bragg is regarded much older, and is thought to pre-date poker by hundreds of years, however there is no known documentation to be able to date when it was first played.

There are historical records documenting the early settlers who came to America from England brought cards and Bragg-like games with them, becoming so popular that native Indians were known to play the game of Bragg, and similar card games.

The early pioneers of poker are riverboat gamblers, around the 1850s.

Riverboat gamblers were a combination of professional poker players, gamblers, gunfighters, and cheats. It is logical to assume that the gunfighting skills were an essential part of being a gambler and a cheat back in those days. During this time, poker card games became very popular, including 3-Card Monte, and variations of Stud Poker.

The origins of Poker and Stud Poker

Concerning where the name "Poker" may have originated, there are a few logical explanations. The origin could be the French card game "Poque" or the German card game "Poche", or considering how many cheats and pickpockets played poker and other card games, the slang word for stealing back in that time was "Poke".

The first games of poker were called "The Cheating Game" and "The Lying Game", so it seems pretty clear, or at least makes perfect sense that the name Poker originated from the term Poke.

Stud Poker eventually evolved to become what is now the world's most popular form of Poker, Texas Hold'em. In the 1920s, when Texas ranchers wanted to play Stud Poker, the cards ran out before all the players were dealt. The story is, Texas Hold'em originated for that reason, hence the name.


Despite the appeal of Texas Hold'em Poker, to both beginning poker players and seasoned veterans alike, the game did not take the world by storm right away.

It wasn't until Hold'em Poker became the game of choice for tournaments in The World Series of Poker and later in the World Poker Tour, that it became as popular as it is today.

Last update: 30-09-2019
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