The undeniable fact that Texas Holdem Poker dominates the full range of poker scenes - from major live tournaments and casino poker rooms
, to home games and online poker sites
- is evidenced by such details as the No Limit Texas Holdem Main Event that has served as the championship tournament of the Word Series of Poker since 1971. The online poker
explosion that followed Chris Moneymaker's 2003 WSOP Championship win, rapidly launched Texas Holdem Poker to the status of America's favorite home poker game
Not unlike any other poker
form, players of Texas Holdem Poker attempt to win the pot one of two ways; acquiring the highest ranking hand, or coercing every other player to fold before the showdown. Texas Holdem Poker is a community card game, which means that all players share the cards dealt to the board. The two hidden hole cards each player receives allow strategic poker players the opportunity to mislead their opponents about the actual strength of their hand.
Played with blinds instead of antes, each hand of Texas Hold'em Poker begins with the two players to the left of the dealer posting the small blind and the big blind. The dealer distributes two private, hole cards to each player, and the first round of betting commences. Next, the dealer reveals the "flop" - three community cards that every player may utilize to improve their hand - followed by the second betting round. In a game of experienced players, many will have folded their cards by this point.
Assuming there are still players left in the game, the fourth community card is dealt - called the "turn" - and a third betting cycle follows. The final "river" card is dealt to the board, and players place the last wager on the strength of their hand. If there are two or more players remaining at this point, the players reveal their hole cards in the "showdown" phase of play, where the winner is determined by who holds the highest ranking five-card hand.
History and Popularity of Texas Hold'em Poker
Legend has it that the very first hand of Texas Hold'em Poker was dealt shortly after the turn of the 20th century, somewhere within the newly founded agricultural site of Robstown, TX. While there is little more than hearsay to support the claim, 101 years after Robstown was founded, the Texas Legislature officially recognized the western suburb of Corpus Christi as the birthplace of Texas Hold'em Poker.
The game spread throughout Texas home games, with Crandell Addington stating that the first time he ever witnessed Texas Holdem Poker was in a 1959 game; though at the time it was merely referred to as "Holdem." Due to the increased number of betting rounds, players could implement far more strategy than was possible in 5 Card Draw. By 1967, Texas gamblers, including Crandell Addington, Doyle Brunson, and Thomas "Amarillo Slim" Preston, had successfully acquainted Las Vegas poker rooms with the new and exciting game of Texas Hold'em Poker.
Designating No Limit Texas Hold'em as the championship event of the WSOP was the first step to bringing Texas Hold'em to the worldwide popularity it has achieved. The second rung in the ladder was the 2002 introduction of the "pocket cam," which allowed television viewers to finally see what the players' opponents could not - significantly boosting the enjoyment for home viewers. Combined with the advent of real-money, online poker
games, the final catalyst the world needed was the inspiring 2003 WSOP Championship win of Chris Moneymaker, an average guy who won his seat in the tournament playing internet poker.
Texas Holdem continues to hold steady as the world's favorite poker game
, even as professional poker players strive to expand their talents into the many variants that have surfaced in today's mixed games. Online Texas Hold'em Poker tournaments and cash games are the staple of every internet poker site, and the basis of most home games. Texas Holdem has been featured in numerous movies, including the 1998 film, Rounders, and the 2006 James Bond flick, Casino Royale.
Undoubtedly, like 7 Card Stud Poker, Texas Holdem Poker may not hold its favored position among amateur and professional poker players forever. Presently, however, Texas Holdem Poker continues to be the most universally recognized poker form on the planet.