P. Edronkin

Riding Horses With Poker Cards



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Games have indeed a cultural impact in our existence and help to shape our image of the world; no matter whether we talk about children's games, sports or gambling, all sorts of games are part of our modern life and shape our mental model of the world surrounding us. It is hard to imagine how our lives would be without football or the Olympic games indeed.

An the most curious thing is that these games become popular not thorough the effort of giant marketing agencies or companies, but by means of popular demand in the form of immigrants, adventurers, soldiers and explorers of all sorts; there is indeed a relationship between adventure as a concept and gaming.

An archetypal example of this is the game of poker, so well-known and used just to have some fun or gamble money. It is indeed a game associated with gambling, but it is not something that depends solely on luck: depending on each poker variant, more or less skill is required to win, and more or less do odds play a part.

Nobody knows for sure when does poker's history begins; the oldest estimates put its creation around the year 850 A.C. in China, or in Persia (Iran): in the first case, the hypothesis is that it appeared as some sort of evolution of the domino game by turning the tablets into cards. In the case of the Iranian origin, it could be that poker evolved from a game called 'As Nas.'

But it is certain that poker more or less as we know it today was already being played in New Orleans, back in 1830, being the biggest difference with most of today's variants in the fact that the joker was incorporated to the poker cards much later.

As people from the eastern United States began migrating to the west, they passed thorough the cities related to the Mississippi valley, including New Orleans and others to which it evidently was transported. And all those adventurers, settlers, soldiers and explorers took the poker cards and knowledge of the game to the west. It got established there and even cowboys began taking advantage of it for fun and profit, and so is how our image of the cowboy - a true cultural icon - always include a horse, a revolver, a liquor bottle and indeed, poker cards.




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