The Early History of Online Poker


If you’re interested in playing online poker, we suggest you inform yourself about the history of this game. After that, you should pick a good virtual casino and play poker there. Free bonuses no deposit are a great way for you to get started.


Like almost all other online casino games, virtual poker has gone through many changes and it has an interesting history. People used to play poker even in the nineteenth century, but  the rise of the internet changed it forever. Because of it, poker is now even more popular than it was before and now millions of players play it online every day. But, do they ever think about the history of this great casino game? Its origins are extremely interesting and in our opinion, serious poker players should know more about them. The very first online poker sites were nothing like the ones we can see today. Back then, no one though online poker would become as popular as it is now. Nowadays, it is one of the most played online casino games and millions of players enjoy it. This situation is not likely to change in the future.

The Beginnings

We do not know the exact date of the very first virtual poker game, but according to many people it all started almost 25 years ago, in 1994. The interface of the site was very simplistic, but it allowed people to play poker against each other for the first time in history. People could play online poker thanks to the Internet Relay Chat (IRC) system. It was possible to place bets and chat with the other players that were playing with you. Playing poker online was groundbreaking and exciting at the time. Like all new inventions, it attracted thousands of people who wanted to immediately check it out.

Planet Poker

Planet Poker was the first virtual poker site with real money hands. Real money play wasn’t available on the IRC poker system, so this was a big deal at that time. The very first real money online poker hand was dealt on 1 January, 1998. Soon after, this site continued to grow and it gained many loyal players. Unfortunately, the site used to experience frequent software issues and crashes in the beginning, which represented a serious problem. The site remained popular for a couple of years until some better ones emerged. They looked more modern and had more stable servers than Planet Poker. Some of these sites are still active and popular today. Despite its obvious cons, Planet Poker might be the most important website in the history of this online casino game. At that time, it was groundbreaking and it set the foundation for all other virtual poker sites.

Paradise Poker

This online poker site was established in 1999 and it represented a huge threat to Planet Poker. Paradise Poker was better and it had a more modern design and faster servers. In a very short time, it became the most popular and the best poker site on the internet. At the time when Paradise Poker started operating, Planet Poker experienced a very long outage. We do not know if these two events are connected or not. However, it was without a doubt the biggest reason why many gamblers moved from Planet Poker to Paradise Poker. After that, there was no going back. Paradise Poker took over and Planet Poker never managed to gain back its popularity. Some other poker websites were founded around that time, but they didn’t last long. Paradise Poker hadn’t had any real competition before PokerStars and Party Poker were launched. They were real threats to Paradise Poker.

Party Poker and PokerStars

In 2001, both of these sites started to operate. These two poker sites were strong and they attracted an impressive number of gamblers from all over the globe. Although PokerStars started off really well, Party Poker was a bit more popular. Party Poker quickly became the world’s best virtual poker site and Paradise Poker was no longer on top. Party Poker remained on top for only four years and then it left the U.S. market. According to some estimations, this site used to earn more than a whopping one million dollars per day. But, how did Party Poker became so popular? The marketing was smart and the advertising was truly aggressive, it included many TV commercials as well as magazine adverts. Besides that, they offered ridiculous money prizes on their poker tournaments. It was the first site to hold a tournament with a million dollar cash prize. Both of these sites are still present today and PokerStars is now by far the biggest virtual poker site on the internet. It’s hardly surprising considering how much it has improved since it started working.


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