Poker is known for the countless variations in which it can be played. There’s stud poker, draw poker, ‘Indian’ poker, and a wide array of other variations, each of which has waxed and waned in popularity over the years.
These days, however, Texas Hold ‘em appears to be in the ascendancy, drawing countless numbers of players every day, both at online casinos and in their real-world counterparts. Some observers attribute the game’s current popularity to the central role it played in the 1999 film ‘Rounders,’ in which the lead character (played by Matt Damon) describes it as the ‘Cadillac of Poker.’
Another reason for the current popularity of this particular variation of poker is its relative simplicity. In Texas Hold ‘em, each player is dealt two cards down (and won’t receive any more). Five cards are then placed face down in the center of the table.
Players look at their down-cards, and there’s a round of betting. Then the dealer turns up three table cards (known as ‘community cards’), and there’s a second betting round. The game ends following a last round of betting, after all the community cards have been revealed. Whoever can make the best five-card poker hand, using the five community cards and their own pair of down cards, wins.
The most tried-and-true method for winning at Texas hold ‘em is for players to bide their time until they are dealt an unbeatable hand – what seasoned players refer to as ‘the nuts.’ For example, all the community cards have been turned up to reveal three diamond cards and no pairs, and the player is holding the ace and king of diamonds as his or her down-cards (‘in the hole,’ as it were).
This would give them the highest hand possible – in this case, a diamond flush to the ace. That’s when they can bet the farm without any fear of losing of the hand.
Like all games of chance (although many would argue that poker is more about skill), Texas hold ‘em should be played mainly for entertainment. Having fun should be a player’s first priority, and if they start getting frustrated they should consider taking a break. This is actually good strategy, because if they’re frustrated they’ll be all the more likely to make a bad call.
So if players try their hand at Texas hold ‘em, they should do their best to relax and have a good time to ensure they make the smartest decisions. And if they lose a hand, they should take it in stride and try to learn from their mistakes.
Even though it’s currently one of the most popular variations of poker, no one really knows the exact origin of Texas hold ‘em. It is said to have first appeared in the early 1900s in the city of Robstown in southeastern Texas – hence the name.
By the mid-1960s, Texas hold ‘em had become widespread in the casinos of Las Vegas, Nevada, and, by the mid-1980s, it was being played on poker tables throughout neighboring California.
In the early 2000s, the game became popular worldwide following the release of the hit movie ‘Rounders,’ and has now replaced seven-card stud as the best-known variation of poker.