When was poker first played?

It can be argued that poker, in its modern sense, was first played on riverboats on the Mississippi River in the early nineteenth century, but the origins of the game are believed to be much older. The sixteenth-century card game known as ‘primiera’in Italy and ‘primera’ in Spain has many similarities to modern day poker and, in turn, provided the basis for the seventeenth-century games known as ‘poque’ or ‘pochen’, which were played in France and Germany, respectively.

Poque was subsequently transported across the Atlantic Ocean by French colonists to territories in North America, which was acquired by the United States in the early years of the nineteenth century. The name ‘poque’ was anglicised to ‘poker’ by English-speaking settlers and, thereafter, the game evolved to resemble the modern version, with a 52-card deck and five-card hands for each player.

The evolution of Las Vegas from a cultural backwater to a major tourist destination in the early twentieth century may have done plenty for the local economy, but casino operators were not keen on poker from a money-making perspective. Nevertheless, as the only casino game where gamblers could play against each other, rather than the house, poker was popular with patrons, so most gambling houses ran a poker room.

Down the years, different versions of poker, including five-card draw, seven-card stud and the current favourite, Texas hold ‘em, have fallen into or out of fashion at various times. Nevertheless, while the ‘boom’ period in the early years of the twenty-first century may have subsided, poker remains the most popular card game on the planet, with an estimated hundred million players worldwide.

What is Return to Player (RTP)?

Return to Player (RTP) is the term used to describe the proportion, or percentage, of the money staked on a slot machine that is returned to players in prizes over time. In the United Kingdom, by law, a slot machine must clearly display the percentage RTP figure but, even so, RTP is frequently misunderstood. It is also worth noting that there is no statutory minimum RTP figure for slot machines.

Winning on a slot machine is based purely on chance, as determined by the machine itself. Correctly interpreted, an average RTP of 90% means that a slot machine will, on average, pay out 90% of takings over an unspecified period of time. What is definitely does not mean is that a player will win on 90 spins out of every 100, or win £90 for every £100 staked, because each spin is a completely independent, random event. RTP is an average calculated over a significant number of spins – typically 10,000 or even 100,000, or more, depending on the type of slot machine – so, in a single session, the actual RTP could be significantly lower or, indeed, significantly higher than the advertised figure.

So-called ‘compensated’ slot machines are the only type in which the results of previous spins have any bearing on future play. If such a machine is operating below, or above, its advertised RTP, it may be designed to become more, or less, generous for a period of time to compensate. However, once again, the result of each spin is determined purely by chance, so pumping money into a machine that has not paid out for a while may still not result in a jackpot payout.

How to navigate through an online casino

Online casinos are convenient and offer players many different choices, from iconic casino games to exciting bonuses and promotions. However, the world of online casinos can be difficult for players to navigate, and tips and expert guides can help.  


In our hectic and fast-paced modern lives, it can be difficult to find the time to visit physical casinos downtown. And this is exactly why online casinos have become so popular among casino lovers today. Online casinos fit conveniently into our modern lifestyle and you can enjoy casino games directly from your smartphone with just a few clicks, whether it’s during your daily commute or in the comfort of your own home. Online casinos are convenient, fun to explore, and you can easily find a game that suits your unique taste. That’s their secret!

Read Expert Guides and Tips Before Choosing a Casino


The world of online casinos and gambling offers players a myriad of different choices today.

From attractive promotions, excellent bonuses, exciting slots, live deals, and much more. You’ll find popular online casinos like PlayJOJO, Grosvenor, Luckland, SlotsMagic, to smaller sites with unique online games and promotions. For gamblers and especially new players, this can be a difficult world to navigate on your own. Players need to pay attention to a great number of things before choosing an online casino. Different sites offer expert guides and reviews of the best online casinos currently on the market, tips and tricks for playing online games, odds, and much more.


For example, find out where you can get free spins with deposits, learn whether slot machines can malfunction, see a list of the most popular casino apps in New York, and learn more about game selection and types of bonuses and promotions. It’s also a good idea to check beforehand which online casinos are licensed in the UK in order to stay safe and prevent theft and other problems. Recently, an online gambling firm received a huge fine for checking winners’ credentials.

Popular Casino Games and Bonuses

Almost all online casinos today offer players bonuses, promotions, and free spins. This is due to the heavy competition between casinos as they try to attract the player’s attention as effectively as possible. Different casinos offer various games of different quality and style, and if you’re a beginner it could be a good idea to start with games that depend on chance or luck, before delving into the more serious games that require strategic thinking and skills.


Slots are extremely popular for players new to the casino scene, and there’s a great variety to choose from. To win, you have to line up winning symbols, which differ from slot machine to slot machine. For the more expert players, blackjack, poker, roulette, and baccarat are widely enjoyed. Also, every casino offers different bonuses, such as welcome bonuses, rewards for loyalty, bonuses in the form of free spins, and much else. Each bonus comes with specific requirements, which players should read beforehand.

Can slot machines malfunction?

The history of slot machine gambling, on- and offline, is awash with tales of players who have filed unsuccessful lawsuits against casinos for absurdly large sums of money that they believe they should have won because of a malfunction. Slot machines can malfunction for a variety of reasons, but it is not often that a player who has legitimately won a massive jackpot walks away without it.

That was, however, the case with Arizonian Robert Taylor who, in January, 2022, legitimately won a progressive jackpot worth $229,368.52 on ‘The Mask’ slot machine at Treasure Island Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. A communication error on the wide area network caused the machine to malfunction, such that neither Taylor nor casino staff were aware of his windfall. Consequently, Taylor left more or less empty-handed but, when the glitch was discovered some days later, the casino contacted the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) for help in identifying its lucky, but unwitting, patron.

After countless hours of searching through surveillance footage, identify him they did, and the casino notified him of his good fortune nearly three weeks after his winning spin. James Taylor, Chief of the Enforcement Division at the NGCB, said, ‘We thought it was a long shot to be able to identify him. But we really wanted to put a lot of effort into this. It was the right thing to do to find the owner of this money.’

According to James Taylor, his namesake was ‘very appreciate’ of the efforts of NGCB agents in tracking him down. Robert Taylor did eventually return to Treasure Island Hotel & Casino, where he was presented with a ceremonial cheque for his winnings. Thereafter, he was unavailable for comment and requested, via the casino, that his privacy be respected.

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