Origin of the word poker

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The search for the origin of the word poker is full of vague and ambiguities. The image of poorly exposed rooms full of cigar smoke and whiskey drinking high-rollers may be a little too exaggerated. Poker is popular and, especially in the United States, has a huge status.

It is true that there is a lot of money in it, but you can also just play it in a living room with friends. Many people reject the classification of gambling. There is therefore also the conviction that there is a lot of agility. Multiple countries claim the origin of poker to be. Is it China, USA, England, Ireland, or the Netherlands and Germany?


Gok historian is a special title. Richard F. Foster and Stewart Culin are two people who are entitled to this. The two had a lot of about gambling and especially Foster wrote about this frequently. His articles about poker are frequently used as a source in this text. To create some order in the chaos of the origin the word poker.

Perhaps it is useful to first look up a general definition of the origin of poker. Then you will soon end up at the Oxford dictionary. This gives the answer: "Origin uncertain. " It will therefore be a challenge to navigate all prevailing stories.

Poker in China

The first stop is an old Chinese empire of Emperor Mu Tsung. There are stories that he and his wife played an early version of Poker. This was played with dominoc cards and is therefore reminiscent of a version of Mahjong. It may have been a combination of the two.

According to these stories, the game would have blown over to Europe where it would have been further developed. However, there is no evidence for this theory. It just stays with a story. References to the word poker itself in particular is missing here. The navigation continues, towards England.

to poke

The English know the verb to poke. This means quite literally something like pushing, poking and stabbing. But it can also be used in the context of stirring and encouraging. The English see a reference to bluffing; An essential part of poker. In the 18e century they already spoke of "brag of lying games. " So bluffing and lying had been known in English games for some time.

There is also the claim that cheating used to be a part of poker. Where people could divert attention from the cards, and then change them finger. This way an advantage could arise for the cheaper. There is also no definitive evidence for the English claim.

Pick pockets

An alternative theory in the field of English language refers to pickpockets in the slums of London. They would speak around 1800 poke use to indicate a loot in a bag. Perhaps you will ever have the term in the book Oliver Twist read from Charles Dickens.

The theory is that cheaters in card games are their victims poke mentioned. The step of to poke Poker seems possible, but is still a bit too far -fetched. Perhaps the neighbors of the English have a better claim on the floor.

Irish bags

This brings us to Ireland. They know the word littlethat is used to mean bag or bag. The claim here is that a stick of cards easily fits in a bag. This way you can easily transport it and easily play everywhere. After all, you don't necessarily need a bank and tokens for poker. The transition of little Until poker, however, there is no definitive evidence and still seems far -fetched.

However, many Irish immigrants have moved to the United States around 1820. This corresponds to the claims of historians who say that poker found his way to America around this time. It could well be that the Irish brought the game on their journey over the Atlantic Ocean. But the American also have something to say about this.

American Settlers

The word poker also ended up in Mississippi. This used to be a American colony. At the end of the 17e century people went massively from USA to North America to expand the American empire. At that time they played a popular card game called core. You pronounce this as "poker" and claim the American that the parable with poker is unmistakable. The rules also have similarities with the current poker.

This is certainly possible linguistically, although the word must be corrupted somewhere. It is also very obvious, but again there is also no watertight proof of this claim. It is possible that core In this way his way to America found what it turned into the word poker.

From Poque to Poker

The agreement between the words sounds plausible. And the rules also seem to match a lot. But is there any proof of that? An almost completely disappeared book from 1718 refers to it for the first time. Later there is a wide description of the game in the encyclopedia of Diderot from 1765. The similarities with core And poker appears to exist in this text.

For example, a few, full house or street is good enough core to have. Then other players determine how many sheets they use to core to see. This is followed by a process of going along, overbidding and bluffing. These are elements that also occur in poker. Is USA right to claim the word? Before you make this decision, it is important to investigate closer to home.

Germany and the Netherlands

core Was not the only card game that was popular in USA at the time. Another game was Wise. Both games had a parable of the rules. Wise however, was based on a German game that throb of playing game was named. throb Also looks like the word poker again. So maybe the American have core derived from Wise, that actually throb is. This way it could have gone to North America via USA, but the origin is in Germany.

Especially if you consider that throb In the 15e century originated. The word was around the same time throb Also known in the Netherlands. This comes from the sighing sound that arises when someone beats themselves on the chest. The word is therefore better known as the word "bragging". Is this the last stop in the navigation of the origin of the word poker?

Navigation problems

So far a story has been created during navigation. The origin of the game and word in Germany that was taken over by the American. Then the American brought it to America, where it grew into a world -class game. Unfortunately, this cannot be determined with certainty either. Several historians point to a problem.

A description in a book can be a rewriting. One that has been added in later editions and connects to the spirit of the times at that time. This way the first editions can describe something else and use different terms. From throb, nasty core, until poker, it would not be historically accurate. For the Germans there are also links to older descriptions and historical events. This also stays with a story, no matter how good it may sound.

Then the ... Irish?

It is possible that the American and Germans used the words long before they used it written down. But based on documentation, the claim of the Irish is more likely. The transition from the word little Poker hangs to the United States together with mass emigration. This is also the period that Poker became popular in America.

The documentation therefore gives them a more valid claim. This is still separate from the origin of the game itself. However, it is very possible that the Irish are the game little Called this in America changed to Poker. Hearing little In an Irish accent, the Americans can be seen as poker.

Final destination

The former card games that were played throughout Europe had elements of the Poker game. Even the Chinese version might have had something away. Exactly how the game originated is still buried under a stack of question marks. They may have been brought by travelers and have evolved further. Every region added its own elements to it and gave it a different name.

Gambling and bluff elements in particular come back multiple. The claim that the Irish have brought it to America seems to be correct. It is clear, however, that the game, once arrived in the United States, has grown enormously. As cage Is it on the absolute top there. In this way they have also made their own variants with interesting stories behind. It is elevated to something mythical, just as the origin is mythical.


Poker is still the king of gambling. And with the rise of the internet, there seems to be no end here for the time being. Perhaps the cheating is no longer a part of the English, but the agility is still there. Thanks to Online casinos Does everyone have the opportunity to play poker.

The large halls of a casino can easily be exchanged for a cozy living room. A tournament with which millions of dollars can be earned. A house cucumber full of friends. A cup of tea and a computer screen. Poker always keeps his magic. It is only the question of who is due to this.

Also in one American Casino Poker is frequently offered.

The conclusion

Origin uncertain" - This description of the Oxford Dictionary summarizes it perfectly. There are only stories about the origin of the word poker. No decisive waterproof documents. It is to find out how it came in America and what games used to look like. China, England, Ireland, USA, Germany and the Netherlands.

To poke, little, poke in throb. No country has a just claim to be the first. However, it provides many interesting stories. Certainly what Poker finally became. Still extremely popular and the favorite of many card games lovers. Certainly in online casinos, poker is more playable than ever.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the origin of the word poker?

The origin of the word poker is dressed in uncertainty. Several countries claim to be the origin. So you have the verb in England and Ireland to poke and the word little (bag). In USA the game core. And in Germany and the Netherlands throb and the playing game. All these words have similarities with the word poker. It is noticeable that the Irish have taken it to the United States. After which the current version of the word poker originated.

What is the origin of the Poker game?

Like the word, it is difficult to determine where the original card game came from. There is a lot of agreement with core, a American card game. This includes things like going along, overbidding and bluffing. This could be derived from Wise, a card game based on playing game; A German card game. There are also stories that it originated in ancient China and then came to Europe. The Irish also have a version that they little to call. There is no waterproof evidence for those who first arrived with the Poker game.

How did poker come to America?

Many parts of North America were colonies of Europe. The American were there early, such as in Mississippi. This was at the end of the 17e century. They had core, a game that looked like poker. It is possible that they brought it to America. However, the popularity of the game in America comes over with a different time period. Around 1820 many Irish immigrants went to the United States, after which the popularity of poker rose. It is therefore very likely that it has blown over from Ireland.

Does the Netherlands have a version of Poker?

In Germany there was a card game called playing game that in the 15e century. This game has similarities with Poker. The word Pochen also appeared in the Netherlands at the time. It is therefore very possible that the Netherlands was also familiar with this game. The word poaching is a synonym for the word brag. Nowadays the more common versions of the game are popular in the Netherlands.

Is Poker a game of chance?

Poker is classified as a gambling, but some consider it more as a skill game. It is played with cards where things like chance calculation and bluffing are possible. There are people in England who claim that you could also cheat in earlier versions. In general there is a certain chance of profit and loss. But the great thing about poker is that you have an influence on this. Bluffing brings a social element where opportunities can be circumvented.

Can you play poker in the Netherlands?

The game can be played in both a living room and in a casino. The only real concise is a simple stick cards. However, there are variants that might ask for more skills from you. You don't always have to go to a casino if you want to play poker with money. Thanks to the internet it is also possible to do this online. In online casinos you can easily play a game of poker.