History of Texas Hold ‘Em

History of Texas Hold ‘Em

Even though not much is known about beginnings of the
game of Hold ‘Em, or poker in general, it is said that
it started at around 1900s. It has spread throughout
the state of Texas and was embraced by many as their
prime poker game for gambling. And it has been
introduced to the bright lights of Las Vegas on 1967
by a group of Texan gamblers and card players, notably
Crandell Addington, Doyle Brunson and Amarillo Slim.

Early Years

Its magic has enthralled many, with players ranging
from crack-heads to more sophisticated players. But in
the 50s, only a few casinos offered the game of Hold
‘Em, and they had shabby poker rooms for it. With
that, many professional players tried valiantly to
find a better location for their cash games, and they
finally found it in the now-defunct Dunes Casino on
the Las Vegas Strip and with its prominent location,
Hold ‘Em’s popularity simply took off.

In the late 60s, poker tournaments for Hold ‘Em were
now being held, notably by the Gambling Fraternity
Convention and it helped the game gain more
recognition. The Convention was then bought by
Binion’s Horseshoe Casino and has taken up Hold ‘Em as
the main event due its leanings on psychology rather
than pure odds. The game simply rose to the top after
that, with merely eight entrants in its nascent stages
to 100 in 1982 and that has doubled a decade later.

With the surging popularity in place, one of the top
No Limit players, Doyle Brunson, started the advent of
Poker Literature with his book, Super System, which
has revolutionized how people played poker. Also, it
has brought the game to a wider audience and had put
it into the mainstream. It even influenced more poker
books to be published, notably by David Sklansky and
his Theory of Poker and Dan Harrington’s Harrington on
Hold ‘Em. This made the game’s learning curve a lot
shorter and made every tournament more exciting and

Explosion in the Nineties

This has carried on until the late 90s and the first
decade of the 21st century, when the popularity of the
game went into another level and went worldwide. It
started with the film Rounders (1998), which starred
Matt Damon and gave the Hold ‘Em a romantic feel.

One also has to take into account the influence of the
internet and gave everyone on what was years of
experience in a short amount of time. Online poker
rooms like Partypoker.com and Pacificpoker.com paved
the way for that. It is said that current stars like
Phil Ivey and Gus Hansen fined tuned their game in the

And from there, what was only 200+ 1991 WSOP grew to
800 in 2003 and an unbelievable 5000 in 2005.


Texas Hold ‘Em is definitely here to stay, given that
it leans more on strategy and psychology rather than
strict mathematical analysis and probability, which
has been the case of other games like Blackjack. Its
appeal stretches to far reaches, not only in terms of
regions but also of social class. It has hit popular
culture, with it being considered more and more as a
sport rather than gambling. It has even changed how
people think of the game, with works like the The
Poker MBA sitting in bookshelves. Truly, Texas Hold
‘Em has grown to a new level.