Poker has a mysterious past and cannot be definitely traced to a certain point in the history of card playing. It resembles a Persian game, which went by the name of NAS and may have been brought to the states via sailing ships the anchored in New Orleans. French Canadians who came down to New Orleans and helped to settle the city may have also brought poker to New Orleans. From the city of New Orleans, the game traveled up river on the Mississippi as the gambling game of choice on paddle wheelers. The steamboat game that was played at the time was 5-card stud. This game grew in popularity and was taken to heart by the soldiers and frontiersmen that came into contact with it in the saloons that were located on the river. From there it moved west and east, as travelers liked the game as a game to gamble on among friends. The game really moved west during the outbreak of the gold rush and then grew in popularity during the Civil War. Between the soldiers playing the game and the fact that every saloon offered the game to its patrons, the country became hooked on poker.
After the Civil War, the game changed to 5-card draw as you could get more bets in on a single hand and it brought the art of bluffing to a new height since a player was not showing any of their cards. 7-card stud then replaced this game and then the game of Texas Holdem came into being and is now the most popular game of poker of all time.
Poker is played by all classes of people and is one of the most popular games played in Washington DC by the politicians and even the President in the time of Truman. With this acceptance by both high society and the common man, the game as we now see it on TV has a following that is hard to ignore
The birth of the Internet and the addition to this service of poker has led to the astronomical numbers of people playing online on any given day. This one thing opened the floodgates of players from all over the world. Now days you can play in the local poker room or online at a time of your choosing. Your choice of game can be varied online as most online poker rooms offer a selection of games as well as limits for those games. You can also choose between a ring game or playing in a tournament. The prize money offered and the entry fees differentiate the tournament choices. There is a tournament for any player.
The game has come along way from the early days on the Mississippi and no one could have predicted how this game would permeate the various classes of people the way it has in the last 25 years.