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Casino Games: Interesting Poker FactsPosted on October 22, 2013
The game of poker in America is believed to have originated in the southern town of New Orleans in the early to mid 1800s. Published guidebooks explaining the rules of the game of poker date back as far as 1850. Around the time that poker players adapted to the standard English 52-card deck, incorporating flushes and straights. The game evolved along with gambling casinos along the Mississippi River during and after the Civil War, spreading out West with the pioneers and the cowboys, even becoming part of the legend of the Wild West. Here are some interesting facts about the game of poker, and how it evolved from a frontier saloon game to a televised spectacle with millions of dollars at stake.
The first games of poker were reported to have been played with just 20 cards, dealt among four players at a table, with the best hand dealt being the winner of the pot that was wagered on each round.
Introduction Of Chips
Casinos may have done away with physical coins in slot games, but they won't ever play poker without chips. In contrast to today's brightly-colored, digitally designed tokens, the chips used in the late 1800s were made of clay. In the post-World War II years, as the game became more popular, and plastic chips were made to entertain those who wanted to play poker around the kitchen table.
The first coin-operated poker machines were mass-produced in the 1890s by a Brooklyn company called Sittman and Pitt. By the end of the century, there would be roughly 1 poker machine for every 100 residents of San Francisco.
The typical video poker machine is capable of dealing 2.6 million winning combinations of cards, making your chances of winning money at video poker considerably higher than on traditional slot machines. When the cards are "dealt", the digital dealer has no idea if the player has bet a nickel, a dollar or any other amount. This keeps things at an even keel for all hands played, and makes for a thrilling experience.
James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok, who was holding the notorious "Dead Man's Hand" when he was murdered by Jack McCall, was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 1979 - more than 100 years after his death. This unfortunate event happened despite the fact that, by all historical accounts, Hickok was not an especially good poker player.
Many United States presidents have been known to enjoy the game of poker, including Franklin D. Roosevelt and Richard Nixon. But, by far, the most consistent of White House poker players was Warren G. Harding. He would play with his own cabinet members, often reminding them, "Forget that I am President of the United States," he would tell them. "I'm Warren Harding, playing with some friends, and I'm going to beat the heck out of them."
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