Few games have stood the test of time, or undergone such a dramatic rise in fortune, as poker. Its origins remain shrouded in mystery leaving historians to argue over derivations of the game from Persia to France. The name could be attributed to either Irish or French words for pocket, or the German to bluff.
Game-play is relatively simple; each player takes a turn to place a wager on the value of their hand. Good players will wager on poor hands or the likelihood that another player is bluffing. In modern play money is represented by chips of varying value.
Early versions were played with only 20 cards. Later the deck increased to 52 cards, introducing higher value hands. The range of hands allowed poker innumerate variations, including stud, straight, American and the most common modern variation Texas Hold 'em.
Hold 'em has gained popularity due to its simplicity and interest in professional tournament play. Poker has become a spectator sport, attracting high stakes and fast game play and attracting a market for home play kits.
With some improvisation, poker can be played with just a deck of cards. However, full sets tend to have better quality cards and include chips, instructions and die for some variations. Luxury sets also offer baize cloth to recreate that casino feel. Serious gamblers may choose to invest in a table and casino quality kit.