A Brief History Of Texas Hold’em

Texas Hold’em is a popular card which is today considered by many to be the main poker game around. It’s enjoyed in casinos, bars and friends’ houses thanks to its easy setup and fun gameplay.

It might surprise some to learn that not too long ago, this game was barely even known, let alone played. Here’s a brief history of Texas Hold’em.

The Birth

Although no one really knows the exact place and date that this game was invented, many agree that was created in Robstown, Texas in the early 1900s. At the time, the game was simply known as Hold’em. Mystery also surrounds the first players of this game, probably because no one really thought it would become popular beyond the Southern State.

Welcome to Vegas

The history of Texas Hold’em gets a lot clearer in 1967, when a couple of gamblers from the game’s birth State introduced it to casinos in Las Vegas. At first, only The Golden Nugget casino accepted to offer this game to gamblers, however, due to the casino’s sleazy reputation not many important players were exposed to the game.

Things improved when two years later the first Hold’em tournament was organized at The Dune casino. Thanks to this casino’s great reputation and location, right on the Vegas strip, the game became a lot more popular. Several high rollers even succeeded to bag lucrative wins, which began cementing the game at a staple of Vegas.

World Series of Poker

Whilst the first edition of the tournament wasn’t a game of Texas Hold’em, all subsequent editions, as of 1971, were no-limit Hold’em games. As the event grew in popularity, so did this relatively new and exciting card game. Due to the game’s need for strategy and ability, it quickly became dubbed the “Thinking man’s game”.

The Biggest Game in Town

As Texas Hold’em gained a stronger following, its popularity spread beyond Vegas and the US. Players started exporting the game to their homelands in Europe, South America, and Australia, organizing several national tournaments.

Seeing an interest in the game, several authors penned books about it. In 1978, for example, the book Super System by Doyle Brunson focused on numerous strategies for the game. This was soon followed by Al Alvarez’s The Biggest Game In Town, which spoke about the 1981 World Series of Poker.

The New Millennium

At the turn of the new Millennium, attention on Texas Hold’em only grew stronger. Tournaments began to be televised and with the dawn of the Internet, players could get unprecedented access to the action.

It certainly helped matters when winners managed to bag amazing prizes, which created a strong media interest. During this period, Texas Hold’em became the US’ most played card game, replacing Seven Card Stud.

Today, Texas Hold’em is available in virtually all land-based casinos as well as all online casinos. It remains one of the most popular card games around the world and as more and more competitions are organized, it will most likely maintain its fame for decades to come.


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