Fun Fact: Poker – 5.5 Million Players and Counting

Poker claims to have approximately 5.5 million real money players, and this says it all about the popularity of the game. If we imagine that the non-real money players can easily be 10 times superior to that value, we can realize the dimension of those who are poker players.

It’s said that to win a card game we need luck, and that is undeniable, but a good amount of skill is necessary to become a good poker player. There are quite a few combinations, so we need to be a student of the game in order to have all those odds in our head and pay good attention to the cards that remain hidden.

The origins of the game

It’s said that poker play began in the United States, at the beginning of the 19th century. Poker at that time was played with five cards to each player, but the decks were just of twenty cards, quite different from what we are used to now. This two player 20 card poker variant started to coexist with the 52 card game still at that time though.

With time, concepts like bluff and betting started to be introduced, and the game started to gain the format that has now. More, it was with poker that card betting began, at least no other card game is known before poker, where players placed bets.

The betting dynamic was somewhat different though, as the four players bet was about which of them had the highest card. As simple as that. The game continued to become closer to the game played today, and approximately around 1850 the flush, the draw, the straight and variants of poker were introduced.

Tournaments and online popularity

Jumping to the end of the 20th century, we saw a boom in popularity and poker becomes a world phenomenon. Poker tournaments, and more specifically the World Series of Poker, generate poker champions that become public figures and celebrities, and everyone wants to be like those professional poker players.

Poker strategy books start to appear, the game appears on TV shows and becomes a common recreational activity. As if all of this wasn’t enough for the growth of the game, online casinos make online poker a reality, so it become even more accessible to everyone.

The TV phenomenon had the big contribute of the hole-card cameras, as these small devices had the power to transform the game in a television show. Watching the game on TV, seeing the players faces while deciding the next move to make, knowing already if they are going to lose or not, not only is highly entertaining, but also a good way to learn the basics of the game, namely how to bluff correctly.

Tournament play continued to grow in a creative way, and the satellite tournaments are a good example of this. These tournaments award as prize an entry to a major tournament, and this basically means that just anyone could face the big champions, win a millionaire tournament and become a celebrity. The change of our life in a poker game.