History of Poker
 
There are many opinions and versions of the origin of Poker, even though there seems to be no clear or direct early ancestor of the game and it is likely that Poker derived its present day form and name from elements of many different games. The consensus is that because of its basic principle, its birth is a very old one.
 
The Birthplace
There are as many versions regarding the possible birthplace of Poker as there are varieties of the game itself. The most popular belief is that the Chinese invented the game around 900 A.D., possibly derived from the Chinese dominoes. Others state that Poker originates from Persian game "as nas,” a 5-player game which requires a special deck of 25 cards with 5 suits. 
 
There are as many versions regarding the possible birthplace of Poker as there are varieties of the game itself. The most popular belief is that the Chinese invented the game around 900 A.D., possibly derived from the Chinese dominoes. Others state that Poker originates from Persian game "as nas,” a 5-player game which requires a special deck of 25 cards with 5 suits. 
 
Another theory calls on the French "poque:" the French who settled into New Orleans around 1480 played Poque, a card game involving bluffing and betting. This was stated to be the first use of a deck consisting of spades, diamonds, clubs, and hearts.
 
Fragments of cards have been tentatively dated back to the 12th or 13th century in Egypt. Some propose that modern cards originated from the Indian card game of Ganjifa. With so many claims, narrowing down on the exact birthplace of Poker is akin to pulling a royal straight flush.
 
The earliest reference to poker
Jonathan H. Green makes one of the earliest written references to Poker in 1834, when he mentions rules to what he called “the cheating game," which was then being played on Mississippi riverboats. He soon realized that his was the first such reference to the game, and since it was not mentioned in the current American Hoyle, he chose to call the game Poker.
 
The game he described was played with 20 cards, using only the Aces, Kings, Queens, Jacks and Tens. Two to four people could play, and each was dealt five cards. By the time Green wrote about it, poker had become the number one “cheating game” on the Mississippi boats, receiving even more action than Three-Card Monte. Most people taken by Three-Card Monte thought the 20-card poker seemed more a legitimate game, and they came back time and time again. It would certainly appear, then, that Poker was developed by the cardsharps.
 
The Name Of The Game
The origin of the word Poker is also well debated. Most of the dictionaries and game historians say that it comes from eighteenth-century French game poque. However, there are other references to pochspiel, which is a German game. In pochspiel there is an element of bluffing, andplayers would indicate whether they wanted to pass or open by rapping on the table and saying, "Ich Poche!" Some say it could have been derived from the Hindu word, pukka.
 
Yet another possible explanation for the word poker is that it came from a version of an underworld slang word, "poke," a term used by pickpockets. Cardsharps who used the 20-card cheating game to relieve a sucker from his poke may have used that word among themselves, adding an r to make it "poker." The thought was that if the sharps used the word "poker" in front of their victims, those wise to the underworld slang would not surmise the change
 
There are those who also believe that "poke" probably came from "hocus-pocus", a term widely used by magicians. The game of Poker later evolved to include 32 cards, and eventually the modern day deck of 52, not counting the two Jokers.
 
 
"Poker is a game of people... It's not the hand I hold, it's the people that I play with."
"Look around the table.  If you don't see a sucker, get up, because you're the sucker."
"Nobody is always a winner, and anybody who says he is, is either a liar or doesn't play poker."
"They anticipate losing when they sit down and I try my darndest not to disappoint one of them."