Weird and Unusual Trivia about Poker You Haven’t Heard Of

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There is a huge debate about the origins of the word “poker.” Though the term has been around for the last three centuries or so (to refer to that metal rod thing that people used to stir a fire), “poker” as applied to card games seems to be either a French or German invention. France has its “poque” card game, while Germany has “pochen.”

Television played a huge part in making poker the popular sport as it is regarded now. Initially considered as a recreational game by most, it was only until the World Series of Poker became televised regularly by ESPN that the popularity of the game kicked off among the general public. When the network finally decided to feature full coverage of the tournament in 2003 (instead of the usual brief recaps), interest for the game skyrocketed fast. A couple of years after ESPN aired WSOP full tournament play, poker players in the US ballooned to 50 million.

A “Dead Man’s Hand” is a pair of aces and a pair of black eights. But did you know that the origin of this term actually came from a dead man? An Old West lawman, gambler, and sharpshooter, “Wild Bill” Hickok was a marked man. In his favorite saloon, he had a habit of sitting with his back against the corner where he had a clear view of the establishment’s entrances so that he can be better prepared against assailants. As fate would have it, his corner seat was unavailable on that historic day of August 2, 1876; he was forced to take a seat that has only one of the entrances in sight. Buffalo hunter Jack McCall sneaked up to him and shot him in the head. At the time of his death, Hickok was holding a pair of 2 black eights and 2 black aces.

Texas Hold Em is the most popular variation of poker that is played today. As the name suggests, the game has its origins in the state of Texas way back the early 20th century, and was popularized by a group of Texans in Las Vegas sometime during the mid-1960s. Among the Texan card sharks who brought Texas Hold Em to Las Vegas include legends Doyle Brunson and Amarillo Slim.

A hand that consists of a ten and a two is called a “Doyle Brunson.” He used this hand to win two World Series of Poker games.

Here’s another Doyle Brunson fun fact: no matter how strong of a hand it is, Doyle will always fold on a hand that has a Queen and an Ace. Though most players would consider this as a great hand, Doyle always pointed out that it can be easily beaten.

Poker superstitions sometimes do not make sense. For example: if you want to get lucky on a poker game, wear dirty clothes while playing. And do you know why pets are never allowed inside casinos or any other gambling establishment? It is said that having dogs around while you gamble can cause you to go home empty handed.

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