How much do you know about our favorite game?
I’m going to tell you all you never knew that you wanted to know about the sport that is sweeping the nation, indeed the world.
Jonathan H. Green made one of the earliest written references to “poker” in 1834.
Although poker has always been considered a man’s game, today women are coming on strong.
Don Jarchow, owner of the Gambler’s General Store in Las Vegas, which houses the largest collection of gaming books and paraphernalia in the world states, “Women buy over 50% of the cars in this country and they control 68% of the wealth. If you think they can’t play poker, you better sit down and buckle up.”
History suggests that card sharks developed the card game in France.
New Orleans, once controlled by the French, was a gateway to America and it was in New Orleans that poker was first played in this country.
It is believed that Americans derived the actual name “poker” from the French word “poke” which came from “hocus-pocus” a term widely used in reference to magic. In the early days cheating was rampart as were the murders of the cheaters, if they were caught.
The Old West was a gambler’s circuit. Wyatt Earp and Wild Bill Hickock were the first known professional poker players.
Poker Alice was the first known female professional poker player.
Hickock was shot in the back and died in a poker game in 1876 holding what became known as the “Dead Man’s Hand”, aces and eights.
Riverboats and paddle wheelers were prominent along the Mississippi, Ohio and Missouri coasts in the mid 1800s.
By 1850 steamboats had gambling and commerce on the move and it was a gambling and poker-playing Mecca.
With the offerings of luxurious passenger cabins, elaborate decor with grand staircases and carpeted lounges, the rich and famous men and women played poker in fancy parlors.
Playing poker on riverboats was actually considered a fashion statement and the participants dressed accordingly.
This acceptability phase did not last long. Steamboats quickly became relics in an era gone by with the completion of the first transcontinental railroad.
At the turn of the century poker was considered an illegal activity in the majority of America.
Men still played poker, but they did so secretively.
Females did not play, unless they were rebels.