1 [poh-ker]
a person or thing that pokes.
a metal rod for poking or stirring a fire.

1525–35; poke1 + -er1 Unabridged


2 [poh-ker]
a card game played by two or more persons, in which the players bet on the value of their hands, the winner taking the pool.

1825–35, Americanism; perhaps orig. braggart, bluffer; compare Middle Low German poken to brag, play, Middle Dutch poken to bluff, brag Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
poker1 (ˈpəʊkə)
1.  a metal rod, usually with a handle, for stirring a fire
2.  a person or thing that pokes

poker2 (ˈpəʊkə)
a card game of bluff and skill in which bets are made on the hands dealt, the highest-ranking hand (containing the most valuable combinations of sequences and sets of cards) winning the pool
[C19: probably from French poque similar card game]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"metal rod," 1534, from poke (v.).

"card game," 1834, Amer.Eng., perhaps from the first element of Ger. Pochspiel, name of a card game similar to poker, from pochen "to brag as a bluff," lit. "to knock, rap" (see poke (v.)). Another version traces the word to Fr. poque, also said to have been a card game resembling
poker. The earlier version of the game in Eng. was called brag. Slang poker face "deadpan" is from 1885.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


In addition to the idiom beginning with poker, also see stiff as a board (poker).

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
One day, at their weekly poker game, they all discovered that they had a
  problem in common: rats.
The findings suggest that an all-night stint at the blackjack table or logged
  into an online poker game can be an extra gamble.
Every once in a while a story comes along that seems as likely as cats and dogs
  playing poker.
Sailing, he'd invite my friends and me to stay up half the night playing poker
  in an invariably smoke-filled cabin.
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