10 Things you didn’t know about poker
The world of online poker is as complex as it is enjoyable. With a variety of game types running from the familiar Texas Hold’em to Omaha-Hi, there is so much to learn and enjoy that the fun and possibilities ahead of the average player are nearly endless.
Yet even the most informed of online poker players will have some gaps in their knowledge of the game, its history and the social impact it has had on Western society. With that in mind, here are some fascinating, fiendish and down-right freaky facts about the world of online poker as we know it.
1 – The appeal of poker stems from its unpredictable nature, which comes from the variety of hands available to the average player. Mathematicians have calculated that, based on a pack of 52 cards, there are 2,598,960 different potentially winning poker hands available.
2 – Poker actually played a huge part in US history. Former President Richard Nixon ran for Congress in 1946 using $6,000 he won during an Army poker game. Had it not been for Texas Hold’em, we may never have had Watergate.
3 – The origins of online poker actually date back to 1998. That’s when the first online poker room – Planet Poker – was opened for business. Fifteen years on and it’s still going strong.
4 – The game of Texas Hold’em poker actually originates from a group of Texan gamblers who brought their version of poker to Las Vegas in the early 20th century. It proved so popular that the Nevada residents decided to keep it there.
5 – The World Series of Poker has attracted winners of all ages with the oldest being 80-year-old Paul McKinney and the youngest Joe Cada, who was 21 when he claimed victory.
6 – The four suits of cards actually have their origins from 1480s France with each representing a different section of nobility. Diamonds were merchants, hearts the clergy, while the Spades represented nobility and Clubs were the peasants.
7 – Hollywood has its fair share of big poker stars with Ben Affleck claiming a World Series of Poker bracelet back in 2004, while Jennifer Tilly, who made her name in horror film Bride of Chucky, won the same honour in 2005.
8 – During the online gaming ban in the US, it was estimated that American spent around $13 million competing in various poker tournaments hosted by offshore bookmaking websites.
9 – Legend has it that the largest ever online poker win was recorded back in November 2009, when one player claimed $1.3 million during a heads up $500/$1,000 pot limit Omaha game.
10 – It’s widely believed that Christopher Columbus brought the game of poker to the United States. The story goes that upon arrival on North American shores in 1429, Columbus and his crew kept up morale by drawing card symbols on wild leaves.
These days it’s much simpler to sign up for online poker!