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Everybody has a theory as to the origin of poker. Suppositions range from China to India, from Persia to Egypt and thence across the Mediterranean to Europe. Regardless of its ancestral journey, there is strong evidence that it came to America with the French settlers in New Orleans who played a card game called poque involving bluffing and rounds of betting. This poque deck may have been the first to use suits of spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs. Poque migrated up the Mississippi and Ohio rivers by boat where it met English-bred railroad men – who probably corrupted the name to poker and carried it back to the eastern cities during the U.S. Civil War. Then, in the late 1860's and early 1870's, Civil War veterans brought poker westward over the Continental Divide until it became a fixture in every hotel parlor and saloon in America's Wild West. As a widely popularized game, poker developed many variations including stud, draw and straight. The introduction of wild cards around 1875 added another level of intrigue and excitement. Today, poker is probably the most widely played card game in the world. It ranks as one of the top sporting events (in prize money if not publicity), with many tournaments culminating in the grand stakes of the World Series of Poker. With the advent of computer chips in the 1970's, Video Poker came on the scene. It combines the elements of draw poker with the look-and-feel of slot machines. A key difference between Video Poker and regular poker is that you're not playing against other players (so there is no need to bluff). Instead, you're trying to build the best hand you can to win the highest odds. Because it's a fast-paced game involving both skill and luck, Video Poker has millions of enthusiasts around the globe who enjoy this exciting, engaging pastime.