The origin of poker
Card playing in itself seems to have originated in the Far East, migrating via the Middle East to Europe. The earliest recorded occurrences of card playing are from tenth-century China. Their "cards" would have more closely resembled paper, another Chinese invention, and the games were likely derived from Chinese dominoes. There is a surviving record of the Emperor Mu-tsung playing "domino cards" with his wife in 969 AD. This is one widely held theory of the origin of poker.
The other popular theory is that poker originated from the Persian game of "As Nas". This is a 5-player game, using a deck of 25 cards with 5 suits. It is remarkably similar in concept to poker: two cards are dealt, followed by a round of betting; then two more cards and another round of betting; then a final card, a final round of betting, and the highest ranked card wins.
A third theory is that poker developed out of the Indian card game of Ganjifa.
The Mameluke Empire was purportedly responsible for introducing card
playing to Europe in the Middle Ages. Its realm stretched across the Middle
East, including Egypt, where remnants of cards have been discovered, ostensibly
dating back to the 12th or 13th century.
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