The History of Poker

History of Online Casino Poker

Nobody knows for certain where the game of poker originally came from although there’s certainly no shortage of opinions and interesting fables to support various beliefs. Some are of the opinion that poker was derived from the Chinese game of dominos. Others believe it resulted from 17th century Persian game called “as nas” played using special decks comprising 25 cards with five suits. And still others swear (mostly in French) that poker is based on the French “poque,” a game which was played by the French settlers in New Orleans back around 1480. Because this was a card game which involved betting and having to bluff in order to win, it’s quite likely the French invented the game.


Online casino poker is virtually the same game played in land-based – or so-called “brick and mortar” – casinos and said to be the catalyst behind poker’s relatively recent surge in popularity and overall huge increase in the number of online casino poker players around the world. According to some estimates, including Wikipedia, in 2005 online poker was generating somewhere in the ballpark of $200 million per month in revenues.

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Way, way back in the 1990s
So precisely where and when did this latest gaming craze get its start? Well, most experts agree that the history of online casino gambling started in 1994 with the Government of Antigua and Barbuda’s passage of the Free Trade & Processing Zone Act which permitted online casinos to base themselves and operate from the tiny Caribbean Island’s jurisdiction. This quickly paved the way for loads of additional online casinos, poker rooms and sports books etc. to set up shop and provide betting games and related services under licenses issued by the Antiguan government.

CryptoLogic paves the way
In 1995, brothers Andrew and Mark Rivkin founded the software firm CryptoLogic. Their main objective was to develop a communications protocol that would ensure safe and secure monetary transactions. In October 1996 InterCasino went online claiming to be the first Internet casino to accept a real money bet over the Net. By 1999, the number of online casino sites was estimated to be around 650. A March 2001 study suggested that approximately eight million people had wagered with real money over the Internet. As online casinos began proliferating, so too did online casino poker rooms. In fact, online poker soared in popularity along with the whole gaming industry. On May 30th 2002, an online casino produced its first millionaire with the lucky player banking $1,594,649.00.

Future of online poker
Today, online casino poker is being legalized as well as regulated in a growing number of countries. The most famous poker rooms include Everest Poker, Poker Ocean, Pacific Poker,, and Golden Palace, just to name a few of the literally hundreds of online poker rooms out there. To be continued…