The Evolution of Poker

Poker and other card games have been around for as long as one can remember. Unlike other games and relics of old that get lost with time, card games have stood the test of time and are almost resurgent in the modern age.


The Persian game of ‘As Nas’ resembles modern poker to a great extent in terms of the ways in which you could win the game (straight, high card), etc. What makes it quite debatable to many historians is the fact that ‘As Nas’ was played using a significantly smaller deck. A standard ‘As Nas’ deck game was played using only 20 cards. Based on the 16th Century Spanish game, Primero, ‘Poque’ is the game that most strongly challenges ‘As Nas’s’ claim to the origin of poker. As countries kept exploring the vast unknown, the French were responsible for bringing Poque or Poker to mainland America where it quickly embedded itself into the culture and daily life of people.

The 52 Card Hold’ Em Poker

Around the mid-1800s, the 20 card-deck expanded to the 52 card-deck. Additional rounds of betting were introduced into the game, and straights and flushes were also added to the hand rankings. The 1900s saw a standard set of rules being developed and implemented across the poker community. The game not only rose in prominence but spread across the world due to growing American influence.

Tournament Poker

Tournament poker gained fame with the first World Series of Poker held in 1970. CBS and ESPN were among the first broadcasters to screen WSOP on national television. The annual WSOP events, along with the rise of casinos in Texas and other places ensured steady growth of Poker.


India got its share of Poker from the Casinos in Goa and Sikkim, until Adda52 took it online and gave access to the game to the masses.

In 2016, the state of Nagaland enacted a law to address ‘Games of Skill’ and mentioned Poker as one; the game took flight in the country and entrepreneurs saw an opportunity to bring it to the masses. As poker enthusiasts were spoilt for choice in an overcrowded online space, the key differentiators until today have been the user interface, how cards get shuffled, and instant cash outs etc.

However, challenges such as limited local games activation and monetisation of gamers are still restrained in “close circles”. There exists a “Recreational Paradox” — a market catering only to professional grinders, ignoring bulk recreational gamers. Despite Recreational gamers’ contribution to the gaming ecosystem, the benefits reaped are skewed in favour of the professionals, be it in terms of ease of usage, skill development or capacity to win the rewards on offer. No platform has yet addressed this paradox but unless it is solved, the game will find it difficult to attract sustained mass participation, which is the next important step in the evolution of Poker.

(Article By Rohan Parulekar & Pushkin Saxena, Co-founders, Superlative Gaming, whose first gaming product, PokerNXT, is set to launch in December 2020)

(The views expressed in this article are by Rohan Parulekar & Pushkin Saxena, Co-founders, Superlative Gaming. doesn’t own any responsibility for it.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *