History of Poker
Poker is a five-card vying game played with standard playing-cards. A five-card vying game is one where, no matter how many cards may be dealt to each player, the only valid combinations are those of five cards. Vying is an old English expression for a process of betting on which player has the best hand. Instead of playing their cards out, the players bet as to who holds the best card combination by progressively raising the stakes. Sometimes players have the opportunity to improve their hands by replacing some of their cards by discarding them and drawing new ones, but apart from this there is no actual card play.Anyone who is unwilling to match someone else's bet must drop out and abandon whatever they have staked so far. It is possible to bluff by betting on bad cards, hoping that the other players will all drop out. It is therefore possible for the pot to be won by a hand that is not in fact the best, if everyone else has been bluffed out of play. One of Poker's earliest names was, in fact, 'Bluff'. If there is still more than one player left then there will be a showdown at the end. In a showdown each of the players hands are exposed and compared to see which is the best combination of cards, according to certain criterias.
History of Poker
The history of Poker is a matter of debate. There seem to be different opinions on the origin of this game. Articles on Poker history mention a wide variety of earlier vying games, such as the German game "Pochspiel" or the Persian game of "As Nas". Others are of the opinion that it was invented by the Chinese in 900 A.D. In all likelihood, Poker derived its present day form from elements of many different games. Ultimately, nobody will ever know how a classic card game like Poker really originated. Usually, when a new game is played its originators do not know that it is going to become a classic and hence keep no record.
Also, the process of origination rarely takes place at a single table, but more likely among a group of players within a given locality. New game ideas and variations pass around without anyone being sure who thought of them first. When at some point this game description appears in written form it may have endured several generations already. This especially may be the case where games are played by communities that pass their cultural artefacts orally rather than in writing. Anyways, all of a sudden everyone seems to know about these new rules as if they had been in existence all the time and nobody remembers how they originated in the first place.
Some of the information on this site can also be found on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poker.