Grateful American® Foundation

When did poker become a popular game?

November 1st

Officers-of-the-114th-pennsylvania-03882a-cropNovember 1, 1834 — Today marks the first published reference to poker, as a Mississippi riverboat game.

It was played in a variety of forms, with 52 cards, and included both straight poker and stud. 20 card poker was a variant for two players (it is a common English practice to reduce the deck in card games when there are fewer players).

Its popularity quick spread north along the Mississippi River and to the West during the gold rush. Today, poker is part of the frontier pioneer ethos.

Words of Wisdom

"The guy who invented poker was bright, but the guy who invented the chip was a genius."

— Julius "Big Julie" Weintraub