Where Poker Comes From
The origin of poker is the subject of much debate. All claims, and there are many, have been widely disputed by historians and other experts the world over. That said, among the most reliable claims are poker was invented by the Chinese in around 900AD, possibly deriving from the Chinese equivalent of dominos. Another theory is that Poker originated in Persia as the game 'as nas', which involved five players and required a special deck of 25-cards with five suits. To support the Chinese claim there is evidence that, on New Year's Eve, 969, the Chinese Emperor Mu-Tsung played "domino cards" with his wife. This may have been the earliest version of poker.
Cards have tentatively been dated back to Egypt in the 12th and 13th century and still others claim that the came originated in India as Ganifa, but there is little evidence that is comprehensive.
In the United States history, the background of poker is much better known and recorded. It emerged in New Orleans, on and around the steamboats that hauled up and down the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. The game then spread in very direction across the country - north, south, east, and west - until it was an established popular pastime.
Popular Poker Terms and Definitions
Ante : a forced bet; each player places an equal amount of money or chips into the pot before the deal begins. In games where the acting dealer changes each turn, it is not uncommon for the players to agree that the dealer provides the ante for each player. This simplifying betting, but causes minor inequities if other players come and go or miss their turn to deal.
Blind or blind bet : a forced bet placed into the pot by one or more players before the deal begins, in a way that simulates bets made during play.
Board : (1) set of community cards in a community card game. (2) The set of face-up cards of a particular player in a stud game. (3) The set of all face-up cards in a stud game.
Bring In : Open a round of betting.
Call : match a bet or a raise. Door Card : In a stud game, a player's first face-up card. In Hold'em, the door card is the first visible card of the flop. Fold : Referred to sometimes as 'the fold'; appears mostly as a verb meaning to discard one's hand and forfeit interest in the pot. Folding may be indicated verbally or by discarding cards face-down. High-low split games are those in which the pot is divided between the player with the best traditional hand, high hand, and the player with the lowest hand. Live Bet : posted by a player under conditions that give the option to raise even if no other player raises first.
Live Cards : In stud poker games, cards that will improve a hand that have not been seen among anyone's upcards. In games such as Texas hold'em, a player's hand is said to contain "live" cards if matching either of them on the board would give that player the lead over his opponent. Typically used to describe a hand that is weak, but not dominated.
Maniac : Lose and aggressive player; generally a player who bets constantly and plays many inferior hands. Nut hand : Sometimes referred to as the nuts, is the strongest possible hand in a given situation. The term applies mostly to community card poker games where the individual holding the strongest possible hand, with the given board of community cards, has the nut hand.
Rock : very tight player who plays very few hands and only continues to the pot with strong hands.
Split : Divide the pot among two or more players rather than awarding it all to a single player is known as splitting the pot. There are several situations in which this occurs, including ties and in the various games of intentional split-pot poker. Sometimes it is necessary to further split pots; commonly in community card high-low split games such as Omaha Holdem, where one player has the high hand and two or more players have tied low hands.
Three Pair : A Phenomenon of seven card versions of poker, such as seven card stud or Texas Holdem, it is possible for a player to have three pairs, although a player can only play two of them as part of a standard 5-card poker hand. This situation may jokingly be referred to as a player having a hand of three pair.
Under the Gun : The playing position to the direct left of the blinds in Texas Holdem or Omaha; act first on the first round of betting.