A few Sundays ago I wrote an article outlining the history of the game of poker. This week I would like to start delving more specifically into the history of individual games starting off with a well known variety of poker called Texas Hold’em. Texas Hold’em is likely the most popular type of poker played today, both off and online. It’s featured on television more often than other types of poker and many people are familiar with how to play it.
As with most poker styles, an exact history of how Hold’em came about is not known. It is obvious that it first showed up in Texas, hence the former part of the game’s name. Specifically Hold’em was considered to originate in Robston, Texas where the State Legislature recognizes the town as Hold’em’s birthplace.
Many people have speculated at how Texas Hold’em may have originated. The biggest theory noted claims the game was created to introduce novice players to the concepts of poker. This style is very easy to pick up which is likely a key reason for its popularity today.
One of the biggest features of Hold’em is the fact that one has four opportunities to bet on a hand. This lets the game develop much different then traditional draw poker and opens up to a variety of strategies otherwise not possible. It lets poker become less of a game of luck and even more of a game of skill and patience.
This is likely where Doyle Brunson’s book Super System comes into play. Being the first book on this subject it changed the way Hold’em was played and likely started the very roots of the Texas Hold’em explosion we have seen in recent years. This book offered strategies and other tips on game play and drew from Doyle’s personal experience which became relevant to all different types of players. It was and still is by many players referred to as the bible for poker.
For years it was very hard for the professional player to flourish when specializing in Texas Hold’em. This was in part due to few casinos offering the game, and legislation indirectly banning Hold’em in Las Vegas under a ban on a game called stud-horse. It wasn’t until legislation created a distinction between the two styles that Hold’em got its place in Vegas.
With the casinos opening their doors to Hold’em players, the game flourished. It was easy to find a place to play and pickings were very good for the professional player. Interest steadily increased over the years and led to the poker boom of recent times. Hold’em went from a local style of game play in Texas to one, if not the largest, styles of poker we see played today.