A definitive answer to whether or not Texas Hold’em really does come from Texas has surely been lost in the annals of history. Poker has been very popular in America since the late 1800’s.
Many variations developed during the American civil war and spread across the country as the fighting did. Prior to that, the Mississippi river boat gambling scene introduced poker and its variants to the American people.
The Origin Of Texas Hold’em
Poker variants share so many similarities, that to try and pin a single variant’s origin to a specific time and place can be an exercise in futility.
We do know for sure that by the 1920’s, community card poker games were well known, such as Draw Poker. According to the Texas Legislature, Robstown, Texas was the birthplace of Texas Hold’em in the early 1900’s.
The Rise Of Texas Hold’em
It is not officially known what the popularity of the game was after this period. According to the famous professional poker player, Crandell Addington, he first saw Texas Hold’em being played in 1959. Addington adds that during this period the game was simply known as Hold’em. It introduced 4 rounds of wagering which added a deeper layer of strategy than other poker games of the time.
The popularity of Texas Hold’em remained pretty low key, with the Golden Nugget Casino being the only Las Vegas Casino to offer the game to players. The game’s big break came in 1970 with the creation of the World Series of Poker event.
Texas Hold’em was adopted as the main event for the World Series and between 1972 and 1991, the number of entrants for the event went from 8 players to over 200 contestants from around the world.
Modern Status Of Texas Hold’em
Today with the televised and star-studded World Series of Poker, as well as the inclusion of Texas Hold’em in the Bond films, the game has grown so much in popularity that it is considered almost a requirement of Casino games.
Whether it is the strategic and tense game play, or simply the branding of the game as coming from Texas, this poker variant is here to stay. Tracing the origins of this game uncovers a rich history of gambling in America spanning the civil war, the beginnings of Las Vegas and the first celebrity poker players like Amarillo Slim. Texas Hold’em has arrived in a big way and it is here to stay.