By Team on August 5, 2022

Discover the true origins of the term "Poker" and how it derives from the game of Poch (or "Poque" in French).

How did the popular card game played by multiple players get its name? Poker has undergone several name changes in various countries. Over the years, the card game has undergone various modifications and received new rules upon entering the United States. This article examines the history of poker to determine how it got its name and how it has evolved over time.


When examining the origins of poker, the game of Poch is considered to be the most likely source of inspiration. Poch or Poque in France, a card game played with 32 or 52 cards and a Poch board. Each Poch board includes cups labeled with the terms ace, king, queen, jack, ten, marriage, sequence, Poch, and Pinke. A designated banker places a chip in every cup except Pinke's.

Poch is divided into three phases.


During this turn, players win chips if they hold a ten, jack, queen, king, or ace of the trump suit, allowing them to select a chip from the corresponding cup. Whoever holds both the king and the queen is awarded the money from the marriage cup. To win the chips from the sequence cups, you must have three cards with the same suit sequence of cards or a three-card straight flush.


This sequence is nearly identical to that of traditional poker, in which players wager on who has the best hand or set. Two, three, or four cards of the same rank form a set. Bettors on this turn must place their chips in the Pinke cup, which serves as the pot.

As you would expect, players attempt to manipulate their opponent by bluffing and signaling a weaker or stronger hand. The word "Pochen," which means boast or bluff in German, is an interesting aspect of this phrase.


In this urn, Poch becomes a game in which players attempt to discard as few cards as possible. A player begins his turn by discarding the card with the lowest value from his longest suit. Players continue to discard cards until either the ace is discarded or the next-highest card within the talon. Anyone who played the final card may play any card from his hand. Chips are distributed to players based on how many cards they had remaining at the conclusion of this turn.


Since the city was a French colony prior to the 1700s, New Orleans is the first U.S. location where American poker is played. This game would be played in saloons across the city as well as the Louisiana territory. In this era, poker was played with a deck of 20 cards and was influenced by the German card game brag. As stated previously, poker is the German word for boast.

By virtue of being a major port on the Mississippi River or the largest waterway entrance to the United States, poker games spread to numerous countries. This enables poker to spread to Mexico, the Caribbean islands, and other Atlantic Ocean territories. In addition, traders brought poker to the ports and towns near the Mississippi River. After the American Civil War in 1865, rebel and federal soldiers reintroduced poker to various regions of the United States.

During the 1800s, poker spread across the United States with new rules and mechanics, including the expansion of the card deck from 20 to 52 cards. During this time, a new hand ranking emerges, such as the flush hand, in which all five cards are of the same suit. Another hand rank introduced is the straight, which consists of a sequence of cards.


Stud poker was the most popular card game during the nineteenth century, particularly in the west. By the end of the 1840s, new Poker variants allowed players to form hands with seven cards instead of five. This expansion led to the development of the popular Texas Hold'em variant at the turn of the twentieth century.

Prior to the 1970s, five-card draw was the most popular poker variant due to its two betting rounds and the fact that few players were interested in four betting rounds. In the 1970s, everything changed when the World Series of Poker (WSOP) finals were played with Texas Hold'em rules. Since then, the poker variant has become a fixture in card rooms and tournaments around the globe.

Omaha emerged in the 1980s, when people were reimagining classic poker variations. This game borrows from Texas Hold'em by playing with five community cards and four hole cards for each player. Unique to this game is the fact that players may only play two of their four hole cards.

Since its origin as a French card game centuries ago, poker has undergone substantial evolution. As the game was played throughout the 1800s in the United States, its rules, including the expansion of its card deck and cards in play, evolved. This resulted in the current variations of Texas Hold'em, five-card draw, and Omaha, among others.