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Boats, betting and Bond: The incredible history of poker

History of poker

There are few card games nor gambling activities which have evolved with quite such pace and character as poker. Its game terminology has worked its way into everyday language, its popularity transcends social class, and its game play has been adapted for the digital age.

The fact that poker has experienced such enduring popularity is not so surprising.  Its competitive quality induces a thrill just like any other gambling activity, yet unlike roulette or slot machines – the odds of winning can be increased through an understanding of mathematical strategy. Beyond that there is of course a unique element of psychology; the elusive ability to read and conceal one’s emotions.

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Game on! 5 ancient board games that we still play today

Board games

Did you know that some of your favorite childhood games are actually thousands of years old? Boredom is nothing new, and people have entertained themselves by playing board games for millennia. In fact, tons of games have been found at archaeological sites and referenced in ancient works, many of which we no longer know how to play. Others have managed to survive into modern times, and it’s likely that you’ve played an ancient game without even realizing it. For your entertainment, we’ve dug up the history of five popular games that are a bit older than you might expect. Enjoy!

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Winning titles: The fascinating origins of 16 sports team names

teamorigin5As long as there have been sports, colors and symbols have been used to create social bonds between teammates and fans. Even ancient Roman chariot racing had four major groups consisting of the Reds, Blues, Greens, and Whites (they also had some serious sports-related riots).

Sports team names don’t always seem to make much sense at first glance, but things start to get much more clear once you know some of the history behind the nicknames. When baseball clubs started forming in the United States in the late 19th century, they used fairly generic names followed by B.B.C (“Base Ball Club”). Soon after, preferences shifted towards using stocking colors as team names. As the popularity of baseball picked up, newspapers started covering games and they often created nicknames for teams based on a defining characteristic of the team’s city or area. In cities with more than one team, nicknames were especially likely to be invented in order to differentiate teams more easily, and the formula of “City + Nickname” was born. These days, team names might be carefully chosen by a marketing team, but they are still modeled after the newspaper-created names, and they serve the exact same purpose as they did over 100 years ago: to establish team identity and make teammates and fans feel as if they belong to a group.

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