While its origins are still debated, poker as we know it today has been played now for at least two hundred years, from clubs in New Orleans to the river-boats of Mississippi. While it’s now the staple game of casinos both online and otherwise, and enjoyed casually by millions, it wasn’t until the late 20th century that it really began to boom – in great part thanks to the World Series of Poker, which began in 1970.
Suddenly poker was taking the main stage – and the stakes had never been higher, with a $10,000 buy-in every year since 1972 for the main event: Texas Hold’em. If you want to see just how high the stakes have gotten now, read all about the winner of the 2017 series here.
A family of games
Poker isn’t just one card game – poker is a whole family. What all the different varieties of poker have in common – at least 25 different types! – is betting. How many cards stay hidden, how big the hands you want to make are, how many cards you get dealt – these things all vary depending on the game you’re playing. If you’re looking to learn more, there are many websites which teach you the basics, all you need to do is a little research.
The most popular type now is definitely Texas Hold’em, and when people think of poker now, this is what they usually think of. It’s broadcast on TV, it has the biggest pots, it takes centre stage at the WSOP – if you’ve ever wanted to start with poker, Texas Hold’em is definitely the place to go. It has the simplest rules, and is the easiest to pick up. Because of its simplicity, it will also continue to be popular for decades to come: Hold’em will always be ‘poker’.