Poker has existed in some form or another for many years. People have enjoyed a cheeky gamble around camp fires, in pubs and basically wherever there is a deck of cards, some chips and a table. Despite unstable financial times and potential looming recession, poker seems to have escaped unscathed, in fact the British are the number one gambling nation in Europe, wagering a whopping average 17 billion GBP each year, clearly not a sign of Brits holding back, or the game of poker dying out.A number of factors could explain the continuing growth of poker over the years. Currently Texas Hold Em is in fashion. Possibly due to the lucrative sweepstakes to be won, the exotic locations tournaments are held and the media exposure games acquire, add up to a winning formula for everyone. Celebrities are now also getting in on the action, mingling with poker pros on centre tables is certainly the new place to be seen.Like all successful beings, poker evolves over time. There have been several variations that have flourished over time including; five card draw, seven card stud and now most prolifically Texas Hold Em, to mention just a couple. However there are many more variations, slight twists and differing rules usually found in small tournaments or just games played with friends. One particular example is Achilleios Hold Em, a quirky alternative of Texas Hold Em my friends and I created, in which one of two private cards dealt initially, must be shown. The game really becomes interesting when players decide which card to show, for example you can opt to show strength or weakness, depending on how you want to play, what your opponents are showing and what impression you want to portray.New Technology also poses new variations and gaming styles. Despite a dealer-less table sounding like something out of a science fiction movie, it already exists in some casinos in Las Vegas, in fact is already proving very popular and is attracting large crowds, wanting to try it out. Players find they play very differently compared to sitting around a conventional table, with a large stack of chips in front of them, which can additionally act as a huge intimidator against less wealthy players. In my opinion this innovative, cost cutting approach will not be favoured by players in the long run and will be an interesting fad but never replace a human dealer.In conclusion, the future of poker looks flush, although was never really in too much doubt. If the growth of players follows the growth of poker exposure, tournaments and winnings over the past few years, poker could become one of the most popular games played ever. Casual gaming is currently dominating the electronic games industry, which could furthermore help take poker into a new e-dimension. There are huge possibilities for online, portable, mobile poker tournaments that players can join in anywhere in the world, using the latest generation mobile phones and portable computers.