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The History of Poker

Everybody knows the poker definition; right? Poker is basically the card game created in the United States in the 1800s. Although poker got its start in the U.S., the true history of poker is centuries old. The game is slowly becoming a worldwide phenomenon, with each day it seems to be gaining more followers.

The poker game began to be played by soldiers in the 1800s. Most of the poker games during the 1800s were played with dice and cards. It was a time when poker was played in the saloons of New Orleans. The “craps” was a little simulated dice game that was played in the saloons to pass the time.

But poker was not played at the saloons. It was played in the exclusive circles of the rich and famous. The big game in darkies old money was played at the exclusive clubs and cigar shops. The game was exclusive to the rich and famous because the elite players had the best cards and were the only ones allowed to play the big game.

The elite players had their own cards guarded by their security detail. During the night, the cards were dealt by the secretary, in order to avoid cheating in the game.

The poker name originated from a play called “blackjack.” In the original play, when cards of different value were turned over, the player had to shout “Beano” in order to stop the scoring. Thus, the name blackjack was born. When the game was popular, various meanings were attached to it, such as “One who Cruises” or “The Driving Force”, referring to the British Navy’s legendary strength during the 18th century.

Beano and the Half-uppers

The establishment of the game gave birth to another slang term: the half-uppers. The players who were in the half-way house were called the “half-ups,” and were said to be in the lowest rung on the poker ladder.

During the poker game, players who were in the bottom rung were obliged to shout the halfway house term. This proved to be an advantage, and eventually the term “halfway house” was renamed to “up the half-adders” or “up the total poker stakes.”

Poker street was introduced in the United States during the early 20th century. It was a term that most of the poker players new to the game would toss to the floor.

“Up the street” was the previous version of the poker game and generally was played in the saloons of New Orleans.

During the 1800s, various methods were tried to induce players to throw their cards away. David H. Hold III, a professor of mathematics, introduced the idea of the bluff.

This technique is still used today in the poker game; the bluff is about acting and betting in a way to try to make your opponent believe in what you want them to.

During the 19th century, studying the bluffing in poker became very important. In 1854, bluffing was officially taught as a method of poker.

First covered in: Blackjack and Shorthanded No Limit – Part One, Choosing a Table and Blinds.