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Copyright © 2019. All Rights Reserved. Poker History. Editor: Erik Smith.


Online poker started in the late 1990s which is a couple of years after the first online casinos saw the light of day. In the early stages online poker was played for free in the form of IRC Poker. The first online poker room was Planet Poker launched in 1998.

Within the years to come big companies with cooperative structures entered the market.  The dominating poker rooms till date have been Planet Poker, Paradise Poker, Party Poker and the most dominating market leader in online poker history: PokerStars. 


Historic Eras

Normally history is divided into different eras like “Stone Age”, “Middle Age” etc. We have decided to divide the history of online poker into eras named after the industry leader at the given time. The eras are therefore:

  • IRC Poker Era = Pre 1998
  • Planet Poker Era = 1998 - 1999
  • Paradise Poker Era = 1999 - 2003
  • Party Poker Era = 2003 - 2006
  • Poker Stars Era = 2006 - Present