Is This Draw Your Gun or Draw Your Card Poker?

6 June 2010 – By Cristian Dragomir

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Back in the old days of the wild wild west, whether you were sitting in the dimness of a small mining camp saloon, or enjoying a seat on one of the many riverboats that cruised the Mighty Mississippi River, a lucky draw of cards in the game of poker could turn a seemingly broken man into an instant winner.

History tells us about some of the old west towns that are remembered for the gambling exploits of some of the most famous casino poker players in the history of this ever popular game, that has not only survived the years, but has become the most played gambling card game around the entire world. Whether you were playing in the old wild west town of Deadwood, Dodge City or Tombstone, you could always find a table ready and available any time of the day or night. In addition, if you went to play in any of these towns you would have probably run into some of histories most remembered poker players of the past. It was not unusual to run into such iconic players such as Wild Bill Hickock, Doc Holiday, Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson and Canadian Bill Jones to name but a few of the most memorable poker players in that era.

Though in the older days there were a variety of different versions of poker played including such games as Chuck–A-Luck, High Dice and Three Card Monte, it seemed the overall favorite of many of the professional gamblers was a version called Faro. Truly the exact origin of poker is unknown, but many individual are under the assumption that this hugely popular game came from the sixteenth century and was a type of Persian card game called As Nas, a game that has many similarities to today’s 5 card stud. On the flip side, other scientists claim this game was invented by the Chinese in 900 AD because of the similar premise of the game and its logistical outcomes. The French soon refined the game by adding bluffing and betting and called the game Poque. Regardless, the main consensus is that it is comprised of a few different compilations that ended as a game called poker.

In New Orleans in the United Sates, one of the first places where an actual gambling casino was legally allowed, opened in 1822, and in time became a center for some of the best gambling and night life that people had ever seen. Not only was there a variety of poker games, but there was an assortment of other gambling games such dice, roulette and many others. In addition to being opened 24 hours a day, it served all manners of booze, served food, and had beautiful ladies available for any type of companionship, and it wasn’t soon, because of the profits that could be made, that these type of establishments started popping up in every small town.

Ironically enough, by 1911 Louisiana started banning gambling establishments although it seemed New Orleans was exempt, and soon this town became home to some of the best poker games in the West. By this time it was too late and poker started to spread across the country and soon it found its way to every small town and saloon in the wild wild west.

History tells us of tales that have been accomplished by some of the greatest poker players of the wild, wild west like Wild Bill Hickok, who had actually had a card hand named after him called the “Dead Mans Hand” (Aces & Eights) from when he was shot dead in the back by a coward, and these were the cards he was holding. Doc Holiday who once won a hand by showing his large Bowie knife and said it was his Ace in the hole (his opponent quickly said it was the best hand) and Bat Masterson who bluffed a man who pulled a gun by saying his hand was the best, and he better shoot or turn the cards.

Over the years poker has changed from a game where you sat against the wall with your six shooter readily handy, to a game that is highly recognized all over the world, and is played by millions of people from many different nations.

Well that takes care of those rough and tough no nonsense gamblers but hey where do the gentlemen fit into this scene? Go here and take a look.

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