Texas Hold’em Poker
The History of Texas Hold ‘Em Poker
Texas Hold ‘Em is a newer form of poker, but despite this, Texas Hold ‘Em has become the most popular poker game, especially since the dawn of high-speed internet and high-profile TV tournaments in the 2000s.
The exact origins of the game are unknown, with many casinos and towns claiming to be the pioneers who first crafted this unique community card game. According to the Texas Legislature, the official birthplace of the game is Robstown, TX.
One thing’s for sure, Texas Hold ‘Em was certainly founded somewhere in Texas in the early part of the 19th century. The game’s popularity spread throughout the state of Texas in the early 1900s before being introduced to Las Vegas casinos in the 1960s, known simply as ‘Holdem.’
The introduction of four betting rounds enabled a greater sense of strategy, meaning that the course of play was more drawn out. players had to consider each bet and draw more carefully compared to traditional poker, which is more fast-paced.
The Golden Nugget Casino claims to be the first Las Vegas casino to host Texas Hold ‘Em play, while the Dunes Casino was one of the first Las Vegas playing houses to offer high-quality, high-limit Texas Hold ‘Em in a luxurious setting.
This appealed to high-rollers and professional poker players, who were still few and far between and who took advantage of the general public’s relative inexperience and lack of skill at the Texas Hold ‘Em table.
It is said that the first-ever recorded cash poker tournament took place at the Second Annual Gambling Fraternity Convention back in 1969. The Annual Gambling Fraternity Convention was later renamed The World Series of Poker in 1970.
No-limit poker and high-profile poker tournaments continued to flourish over the next 30 years. In the 20th century and the early 2000s, Texas Hold ‘Em was established as a monumental force in poker.
A perfect storm of cultural interest and technological advancements enabled the game to boom. It was around the 2000s that Texas Hold ‘Em overtook seven card stud as the most commonly played game in casinos in The US.
Texas Hold ‘Em Rules
To participate in a Texas Hold ‘Em poker game, the first thing you have to do is buy in. This will earn you a seat at the poker table.
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Will get you started with the texas hold’em hands win percentage
It is essential that the cards are thoroughly shuffled before being distributed and dealt. The pack must be riffled at least four times. The bottom card should be hidden by a blocker card, often known as a cut card.
Players will rotate and share dealing responsibilities, with the player holding the ‘dealer button’ designated as the dealer for that particular round.
To begin the betting process, the two players seated to the immediate left of the player in possession of the dealer button will be required to each make a ‘blind’ bet (one large and one small). Most often, the value of the large blind bet will be double that of the small blind.
Players will then make their way through rounds of betting known as the pre-flop, the flop, the turn and the river, after which all cards will be shown and the winning hand will be decided in the showdown.
Players are allowed to call, raise or fold in response to the bets of other players and based on the strength of their own hand. Play moves clockwise around the table.
Texas Hold ‘Em Strategy
There are many ways to approach a game of Texas Hold ‘Em, with players taking on all kinds of strategies and playing styles to stump other players and win big.
Strategic play can be employed to gauge the strength of opposing hands, manipulate opponents and narrow the odds.
A key strategy is learning how to read the ‘tells’ of other players (the micro-expressions made in reaction to turns and bets). By identifying tells, you can more easily predict the actions, betting patterns and hand strength of your opponents.
Another key strategy is to make sure that you do not display any tells of your own. Always keep a straight face and avoid emotional play.
By maintaining your ‘poker face’ at all times, you will be able to defend yourself and benefit from the element of surprise.
An extension of this is bluffing, in which you can manipulate the actions of other players by throwing them off with fake tells or extreme bets. Bluffing can be used to influence other players based on implanted and false assumptions about the strength of your hand.
Below, you will find a breakdown of notable poker hand values in Texas Hold ‘Em, and some of the typical hands that you are likely to encounter in a showdown.
The following list of showdown hands is ranked in descending order of value.
- Royal Flush – A Royal Flush is made up of 10, Jack, Queen, King and Ace of the same suit.
- Straight Flush – A Straight Flush consists of any five cards of the same suit in numerical sequence, such as 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 of spades.
- Four of a Kind – Four of a Kind is composed of any four numerically matching cards, such as 7,7,7,7.
- Full House – A Full House is three of a kind plus one pair, such as 3 queens and 2 jacks.
- Flush – A Flush consists of any five cards of matching suit, such as 2, 7, 8, 10 and Jack of hearts.
- Straight – A Straight is any five cards in numerical sequence, such as 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. Suit is irrelevant.
- Three of a Kind – A three of a kind hand is made up of any three cards of the same value, such as 3,3,3.
Texas Hold ‘Em Popularity
Texas Hold ‘Em is a highly popular community card game and has been the most played online poker game since the mid 2000s.
There are all kinds of reasons why this poker game has proven so popular with the online gaming community.
Texas Hold’ Em is perfectly suited to online play, and players can access a wide range of tables to suit every gaming budget.
The game has also become a spectator sport, with millions of fans watching live streams and televised Texas Hold ‘Em tournaments across the world.
The game is very easy to learn, and Texas Hold’ Em is often the first poker game that a casino player will learn how to play.
Texas Hold ‘Em is available to play on a wide network of online casinos, so poker players will always be able to find some quality online Texas Hold ‘Em action.
Similar Poker Games
Texas Hold ‘Em is a simple community card game that shares many of the same characteristics as other popular poker variations.
Seasoned poker players will see instant similarities to five card draw poker, which follows the same basic premise.
The only truly noticeable differences between Texas Hold ‘Em and other games like five card draw lie in the way that hands are built, as well as the distribution of cards and the betting rounds.
In a game of Texas Hold ‘Em, two private hole cards are issued while community cards are laid out one by one across betting rounds known as the flop, the turn and the river.
As is the case with most poker games, the aim of the game in Texas Hold ‘Em is to survive each betting round and construct the highest possible poker hand from the cards at your disposal.
Texas Hold ‘Em is unique in that players are allowed to build hands from a selection of the seven cards (five community cards and two hole cards) at their disposal.