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BERMUDA POKER HISTORY

Bermuda Poker is a variety of the world's most popular card game, poker. As the name suggests, Bermuda Poker originated in the Bermudas and on cruise ships that plied those waters in the late 1980's.

Las Vegas casinos adopted Bermuda Poker in the early 1990's and added the progressive jackpot. The progressive jackpot helped make the game more popular. Today, Bermuda Poker is played in casinos worldwide.

Poker originated from a 16th century European three-card game called "Primera" (in Spain) or "Primero" (in England). Valued hands include three-of-a-kind, pairs, three-of-the-same suit and flux (which later became known as Flush).

By the 18th century, the betting and bluffing aspects of the game had been incorporated in such five-card games as "Brag" (in England), "Pochen" (in Germany), and "Poque" (in France). The importance of bluffing, or betting with a poor hand, is underscored by the fact that Pochen means "to bluff".

"Poque" was carried to North America in the 18th century by French migrants to the Louisiana territory. "Poque" then became known as Poker.

Poker spread north, up the Mississippi River, and West as the United States expanded.

By 1834, Poker was adapted to the 52-card deck and by the mid-19th century, Poker was described in books on card games. At first Poker was a game for men only, but by the mid-20th century, it was played by women as well. Poker is the classic game seen in all Western films.

Poker was taken back to Europe when Robert C. Schenck, U.S. Minister to Great Britain, introduced the game to members of the court of Queen Victoria in the early 1870s. A set of rules written by Schenck was the first book on Poker.

The rank of hands in the original European games was supplanted (in descending order) by:

  • Four of a Kind;
  • Full House (Three of a Kind and a Pair);
  • Three of a Kind;
  • Two Pairs; One Pair;
  • and No Pair (high card winning)

Later the Straight (five cards in sequence regardless of suit) and the Flush were introduced, ranking respectively above Three of a Kind. Additional rounds of betting were also introduced.

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