The origins of poker and jacks or better are quite controversial. There isn't any specific ancestor of the game to draw a date from. However, poker is a very old game indeed. The earliest reference seems to be from JH Green who, in 1834, referred to the 'cheating game' being played on the riverboats in Mississippi of the time. Jacks or better poker seemed to be a more legitimate game than Three Card Monte, which was quite popular at the time. Jacks or better took over with popularity because it was labeled a fair game.
The origin of the name 'poker' likely comes from the French 'poque' and old French game; while other people claim that the word 'poker' must have come from Germany's pochspiel. There are still few who also believe the word is derived from the Hindu pukka.
Jacks or better is one of the more popular original types of poker that were played, although no information is really available as to its exact origins. Jacks or better is one of the common rules amongst most types of poker games that are played with some exceptions in the new variations of poker that are played at casinos.
Jacks or better poker is available as a game for video poker. The concept behind the game is that a pair of jacks or better wins: the better hand consisting two pairs, flush, straight, etc. up to a royal flush. Poker was thought of as a game of the men of the underworld in times past however nowadays is played legally in many variations in casinos around the world. It is possible that poker is derived from many of earlier games that lent influence to the game of poker we know today. It was reported by English actor, Joseph Crowell, that poker was played in New Orleans in 1829 with a deck consisting of 20 cards, and with four players betting on which player's hand was the most valuable.
After the spread of gambling from the Mississippi riverboats, the full, 52 card deck was introduced and used to play poker and the flush hand (five cards of the same suit) was introduced. Poker has been around for nearly 200 years, and there have been many variations that have come about from the game. Jacks or better poker is one simple variation of the game that is commonly played, especially in video poker.
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