The History of Competitive Poker


Where would we be without recorded history? In order to fully understand how we got to where we are today, it is important for us to have a look back on our history and come to terms with what got us here and why we need to continue developing. 

There is an extensive history behind every part of our modern lives, regardless of how big or little you may think it is. This applies all the way from the likes of Christmas trees, weight-lifting belts and for the sake of this article, competitive poker. 

If you are a big fan of poker, then you might want to consider the below article as we dive into more detail about how much fun was invented and we got to where we are today. There are a number of different components that span back hundreds of years that have all helped with poker develop as much as it has. If you want to know more about what these components are, then be sure to keep reading. 

Influences of Europe 

In Spain, there was a card game called Primero that was played by a number of different people. These rules revolved around having three cards each, and bluffing was a massive part of it. This game then went on to spread all the way throughout Europe and eventually evolved into a number of other games. This included the likes of Pochen in Germany and also Poque in France. Poque was eventually brought over to the US and became incredibly popular, especially throughout New Orleans. Eventually, the game of Poque was renamed to become poker. 

The Influence of Riverboat Gambling 

Back in the early stages of the 1800s, American poker became a lot more popular, and the players started using 5 cards as opposed to 3. This was facilitated not only by the evolution of the game but the introduction of the 52-card deck. The new game became popular across a number of states, but it was particularly starting to gain traction with multiple riverboat crews who had to travel along the Mississippi River. As a result, the game was spread far and wide as the crews traveled. 

The Increase in Competitive Play 

There was a delay in getting competitive play to really take off, and it didn’t officially become a thing until the introduction of the World Series of Poker (otherwise known as the WSOP) back in 1970. Of course, to further understand how we got there, it is important to go back a couple more decades, all the way back to the year 1949. Here, the notorious US gangster and gambling icon Benny Binion (who was also the owner of the Horseshoe Casino in Vegas) decided to hold a high-stakes game of poker between two of the best players. Not only that, but he invited the public to watch. More people showed up than he could have anticipated as people rocked up in their tonnes. 

In order to fully revive this excitement and capitalize on the large crowds, it was again Binion who assembled a small group of players for the WSOP. The first time this occurred was in 1970, and it has continued ever since. 


As the tournament continued to ravage on, more and more gamblers decided to buy in, and the popularity of the tournament increased. The money continued to grow, and the tournaments eventually began to get televised as well. Nowadays, you can see the WSOP broadcast on different television channels from all over the entire globe, and its popularity is showing no signs of slowing down.

Online Casino Sites

The game was already massively popular when people had to venture out in order to visit casinos in order to play. Since then, thanks to the introduction of online gambling, the popularity has done nothing but grow and grow and grow as the years roll by. Video poker that can be found in here is incredibly popular and a great way to pass the time. The game is a little different from those in the major tournaments, as though there is a live dealer, but players are not actually playing against one another. That does not stop these kinds of sites from effortlessly recreating the atmosphere of an actual casino and truly giving something for gambling fans to marvel at. 


History is important to bear in mind so that we can understand not just how the world is today but how we actually got here. There is a rich history surrounding competitive gambling, and with it, we should appreciate just how far the game has come to be what we know and love today.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here