You don’t have to go far to look for a casual game of Texas Hold’Em. This type of poker is popular worldwide and a staple in casinos — and below, we look at its history, rules, and some FAQs.
History of Texas Hold’Em
In truth, the history of Texas Hold’Em is obscured by the veil of history. The game of poker itself was once called “Poque” in Europe and found its way to America via New Orleans.
It’s accepted that a character named Blondie Forbes, a road gambler from Texas, invented the game in the early 1900s. In fact, Forbes received a spot in the Poker Hall of Fame in 1980 for having coined Texas Hold’Em. The Texas Legislature gives an official nod to Robstown, Texas, as the place where the game was created.
However, as the twentieth century dawned, Texas Hold’Em spread like wildfire across the Lone Star State until it eventually made its official debut in Las Vegas in 1963. Corky McCorquodale of the California Club was the person responsible for this, though a group of Texans further pressed its popularity in the city in 1967.
Poker historians claim that lowball and split-pot poker games did not rise to popularity until after 1900, with the notion of “community cards” introduced in the ’20s. Texas Hold’Em most likely originated then.
How to Play Texas Hold’Em
Texas Hold’Em starts when the dealer deals two concealed cards to each player, known as hole cards. Players then engage in a round of betting.
After bets are made, the dealer deals three community (or “open”) cards. These are face up so everyone can see them. A second betting round follows, with each player adjusting their bets based on the “flop,” as these three cards are known.
The dealer then puts down a fourth community card called the “turn,” then another betting round follows; they lay down a fifth open card called the “river,” and then there’s the final betting round.
Finally, there’s the epic finale of Texas Hold’Em: the Showdown.
The Showdown occurs when players expose their best five-card hand from their hole cards and the five community cards.
As you approach your first Texas Hold’Em game, it’s important to have a solid understanding of the best hands in poker in order:
- Royal Flush. An example is: 10♥ J♥ Q♥ K♥ A♥ This hand is exceptionally rare, but always wins. It requires the same suit.
- Straight Flush. An example is: 9♥ 10♥ J♥ Q♥ K♥ All cards must share the same suit and must be consecutive.
- Four of a Kind. An example is: 9♠ 9♦ 9♥ 9♣ 5♣ Four of any one number (and one extra) constitutes a Four of a Kind.
- Full House. An example is: 9♠ 9♦ 9♥ 5♣ 5♥ A Full House is a Three of a Kind plus one pair.
- Flush. An example is: 9♠ 5♠ Q♠ K♠ 7♠ All cards must share a suit, with the cards’ individual values determining the winner in a tie.
- Straight. An example is: 9♠ 10♠ J♦ Q♥ K♦ Any sequential run of cards works; suits aren’t relevant.
- Three of a Kind. An example is: 9♠ 9♦ 9♥ 5♣ 8♣ Three of any one type is a Three of a Kind.
- Two Pairs. An example is: 9♠ 9♦ 5♣ 5♥ 8♥ This is simply two pairs of card types, with higher values equaling higher points in the event of a tie.
- One Pair. An example is: 9♠ 9♦ 5♣ 8♣ K♥ This is a single pair, with higher values determining the winner of a tie.
- High card. When there are no combinations available, the value of the high card determines the points. The second-highest card can be used to break a tie.
Recall that players will determine their hands using any five of the seven available cards: their own hole cards plus the five cards common to all players.
The following are popular Poker terms:
- Hole: Hole cards are the two concealed cards given to each player.
- Flop: These are the first three open cards put on the table.
- Turn: This is the fourth open card placed on the table.
- River: The final of five open cards placed on the table.
- Blinds: The two players sitting immediately to the left of the dealer.
Texas Hold’Em has enjoyed quite a journey from its murky origins somewhere in Texas in the 1920s to its current worldwide dominance. Five community cards and two personal cards make it an interactive experience for the whole table — and one you can enjoy in practically any casino on earth.
Visitors of Resorts World New York City are welcome to enjoy a game of Texas Hold’Em (and more) in its electronic version. Same level of excitement guaranteed!
So if you’re feeling lucky, or skilled, or (preferably) both, throw down some bets and find your lucky hand!