Originally written on Oregon Sports News  |  Last updated 8/26/14

As you might expect, the game of hold’em originated in Texas. What many may not realize is that Texas hold’em is a relatively recent addition to the world of poker games. For years since its inception, poker was primarily a five card draw, five card stud or seven card stud game. As recently as the ‘80s, lowball was pretty much the only game that could be found in California, at least in the cardrooms, and seven card stud dominated in most other areas of the poker world. Clearly that has all changed, but how did we get to this point?

The Early Years of Texas Hold’em

In the early 20th century, Texas Hold'em was relatively unknown outside of Texas. However, by the middle of the 20th century, professional rounders like Doyle Brunson began to introduce the game everywhere he went. Gamblers liked the game because there were more betting rounds (meaning more action), and more people could play on a single deck. Professionals like Brunson liked the game because it was easy to learn and understand, but deceptively complex, giving him an even bigger edge than he might have in a game like five card draw or seven card stud.

The Emergence of Texas Hold’em

When Brunson and other Texas gamblers came to Las Vegas, they brought Texas hold’em along for the ride. Las Vegas gamblers were always looking for a new game, and the high-action, easy-to-learn Texas hold’em was perfect. When the World Series came along and Benny Binion needed to offer a variety of games for poker professionals, it was an easy call not only to put hold’em in the mix, but to make it the game that determined poker’s world champion.



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