The History of Online Poker – How It All Began

The History of Online Poker – How It All Began

0 comments 12 October 2019, 19:38

Playing poker online these days is as normal as watching TV. It’s something easily accessible to anyone, no matter their location and experience. Nowadays (almost) anyone can sign up to a poker website and make (or lose) thousands of dollars from the comfort of their own home, without having to ever set foot in a real casino.

But things were not always like this, and online poker has a long and complicated history. Let’s take a closer look at how it all began. People first played poker online in the 90s and they were using the IRC (Internet Relay Chat).

The first online poker games were very basic and primitive compared to the amazing games that we have today. All commands were entered manually into the program and the IRC poker games only used virtual money. So anyone could play and practice, without having to lose real money.

But things have changed in 1998, when “Crazy” Mike Caro founded Planet Poker, the first ever real money poker website. Tests of the game started in 1997, and on the 1st of January 1998, the first ever hand of real money poker was played.

For the entire year of 1998, Planet Poker was the only online poker website in the world and it attracted more and more players from many countries. In 1999 another website appeared (Paradise Poker) and then Ultimate-Bet took over.

But online poker really exploded in 2001, when large multi-table tournaments were introduced. Party Poker and Poker Stars appeared, and they’ve capitalized on the tournament trend. Now millions of players were joining, and  massive prize pools were guaranteed.

Full Tilt Poker was launched in 2004 and they started to advertise their website on TV, which then paved the way for today’s poker ads.

The mid 2000s saw lots and lots of new websites appearing, since they had unregulated freedom. But things have changed with the UIGEA in 2006 (the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) and the Black Friday in 2011. These were huge setbacks to online poker, making it way harder for poker websites to succeed.

Today, PokerStars is the largest poker website, with hundreds of other websites still being available to players from all over the world. So now you know a bit about the history of online poker and how it all began back in the 90’s.

Are you a part of this history? For many years have you been playing online poker? Let us know in the comments area below.

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