Coffee Break

Texas Hold’em: Where it all began


If you’re relatively new to poker, chances are that you’re playing Texas Hold’em. Often described as a ‘thinking man’s game’, since its introduction this discipline has become a favourite with online poker players, and television audiences across the world. But when and where did it originate?

Today we take a look back at where it all began…

Now, although the exact details of how Texas Hold’em came to be aren’t completely crystal clear, we do know that the game originated, as you would expect, in Texas. It is believed that the game was first played in the early part of the 20th century, where it was simply dubbed ‘Texas”. It wasn’t until 1967, when the game found its way to Las Vegas, that it was given the name we know today.

Crandell Addington was one of the men attributed with taking the game to Las Vegas, and it is thought that he was the one to dub it a ‘thinking man’s game’ due to the opportunities it presented for players to think strategically.

Although people were playing it, the game’s growth was hindered by the fact there was only one place in Las Vegas where players could try their luck at Texas Hold’em – The Golden Nugget, one of the more run-down casinos in the city, located Downtown. Due to the type of establishment it was, no real high stakes players passed through, which meant the game remained relatively unknown until 1969 when a Texas Hold’em tournament was held in the lobby of one of the biggest casinos on The Strip. When the competitors won big, the game finally experienced a long overdue surge in popularity, and in 1971, only the second ever year of the World Series of Poker, the Main Event became a no-limit game of Texas Hold’em.

The popularity of the discipline was set in stone even further in the 70’s and 80’s following the publication of Doyle Brunson’s book, ‘Super System’, which completely changed the way people played and viewed the game. The runaway success of this strategy handbook was followed by ‘The Biggest Game in Town’, a book by Al Alvarez, which documented the 1981 World Series of Poker. These developments were enough to catapult Texas Hold’em into the public eye, where it remains to this day as arguably the most popular poker discipline around.