The history of card gaming goes back thousands of years to earlier civilizations in India, Egypt, and China, the last of which is said to have actually created the playing cards we all know so well. Those are the facts according to HOPC, which also notes that there are similarities between the Chinese cards from 800 years ago and those we all use today. Of course, over the years, the look of the 52-card deck has changed considerably, but so has the way we look at using those very same cards. In the case of this post, we’re interested in seeing how card gaming has evolved over the years and moved into new territories.
Typically, when you think of a card game, the following image immediately come to mind: A group of players sitting around a felt card table, enjoying a few liquor drinks, and perhaps even indulging in cigars. This table can be everywhere from someone’s basement to a modern casino, the latter of which has changed considerably in the past decade alone. To that end, let’s take a closer look at how poker has progressed in the country of Germany, where it remains a hot-button issue.
According to Poker News, where and when (and how!) you play poker in Germany all depends. For instance, you’re only allowed to play real-money tournaments and games in the state casinos, which means those off-grounds games are going to get shut down by police with a quickness. However, if you do something more low-stakes at home with your friends and family, it’s likely that you will not be prosecuted. Basically: keep it simple and don’t try to run tournaments from your home, otherwise you’ll get in trouble.
Just as the face of card gaming—playing poker and other high-stakes options—has changed in physical settings, the same holds true for online gaming. While Germany remains entrenched in legal battles for web-based poker, it’s been a far different scenario in the U.K. for years now. According to the Gambling Commission website, there are many ways to play poker completely legally, whether it’s in a licensed casino, a pub offering organized games, or an online poker room. The commission just asks that you do the proper research before playing or setting up a game of your own, of course.
Since the early 2000s, the primary approach to poker has been that of Texas Hold’em, a style that exploded in popularity alongside tournaments that were played online, televised from a casino, or a combination of the two. You see, online poker platforms have made it easier than ever for armchair players to move from amateur to professional with a click of a mouse (or smartphone). Not only that, but they offer a wide variety of games that show just how far poker has come over the years. Sure you can play Texas Hold’em if that’s your game, but what about Let It Ride Poker or Caribbean Stud Poker? At Inter casino, they make it clear that their intent is to offer a “diverse game lobby” to appeal to people who want to play “favourite classics, like Ultimate Texas Hold’em, [or] rare outside games like Red Dog.” Never heard of Red Dog? Apparently it’s a take on poker that was originally a banking game and goes by a slew of other names. You can learn more about it here.
As mentioned, other card games have also greatly evolved to the online realm. If you fancy yourself a blackjack expert, you can practice your skills on the web—often for free—before heading to an actual casino, where the true high-stakes games are being held. Baccarat has developed in the same way, too, though it’s not quite as popular as its felt-table cousins. What were once considered games for a select group of people have developed into something so popular that there are numerous mobile apps available for anyone with even a passing interest. You can check out a rundown of those at Heavy and be sure to keep this in mind the next time you think of poker or blackjack: Where could these games be headed in the next 800 years?