AN'EN, IF YA'LL DON' WIN, WE TURN YA INTO BEEF JERKY.
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WHERE TO PLAY

TEXAS HOLD’EM

 

Nowadays Texas Hold ‘em poker is a pop-culture mainstay. But this wasn’t always the case. In fact, before the online-poker industry hit its stride in the early 2000s it was actually pretty obscure. When it first appeared in the backrooms of Texas bars and saloons nearly a century ago, anti-gambling laws kept it well under wraps. And if a few dedicated pros – including Crandell Addington, Roscoe Weiser, Doyle Brunson and Amarillo Slim – hadn’t brought it to Las Vegas in 1967, it likely would have never crossed state lines.
 
By the time the same folks participated in the first World Series of Poker in 1970 the game was popular enough for organizers to include it on the tournament’s list of events. Still, the WSOP was hardly a phenomenon in its early years, and few outside the Strip’s poker clique took note. This continued until the tournament began airing on CBS and ESPN in the 1980s. But, even then, network television’s first foray into covering the WSOP failed to do much more than publicize it.
 
Then, after canceling its contract with the WSOP in the 1990s, ESPN revisited the concept in 2002 and introduced pocket cams. This invention, originally dubbed the “Sneak Peak,” added an element of drama that captured many viewers’ imaginations. Soon, people who didn’t usually watch ESPN were throwing around terms like “hole cards” and “pocket rockets.” And at the very heart of this poker boom was the tournament’s no limit Texas Holdem poker Main Event.

Naturally, one of the reasons so many tuned in for the Main Event was probably its name – you don’t call something a “Main Event,” after all, without lending it a certain air of importance. And yet this aspect had more to do with a longstanding WSOP marketing strategy than any importance the players might have placed on no limit Texas Holdem.

Die-hard professionals had long held the H.O.R.S.E. Championship to be the truest test of poker supremacy. But as a grueling medley of several games, H.O.R.S.E. was hardly the kind of thing – tournament creator Jack Binion realized early on – that casual spectators could get into.
 
No limit Texas Holdem rules, on the other hand, were complex without being complicated: It was more strategy-based than Stud or Draw, but less confusing than Razz or Omaha. It was just the thing to attract new interest, and the folks running the WSOP knew it.

When ESPN showed amateur Chris Moneymaker win the Main Event title in 2003, the game’s popularity was assured. Thousands of people who had never even played Go Fish before figured if one unknown could do it they could too. And online poker rooms – which began launching around the same time – gave them just the chance they were looking for.
 
Today, ESPN’s coverage of the WSOP is still going strong, and online poker is a multi-billion dollar industry. And yet, while most of those who got into poker back in ’03 have branched out into other poker variants, no limit Texas Holdem remains the game of choice for many.

These players’ initial attraction to the game may have been due to the simple excitement of watching it on TV. But their ongoing dedication to it speaks volumes about the game itself. In an attempt to explain this continued popularity, then, we here at AceHoyle.com have put together a list of reasons why Texas Holdem may very well be the best of all poker variants. Our list might not totally convince you to play the game. But, then, we’d like to think you wouldn’t be reading this introduction if you weren’t already considering it.
 

Top 5 Reasons Most People Play Texas Poker

Reason Most People Play Texas Hold 'em Poker No. 5: It’s Easy to Learn Texas Holdem Poker But Hard to Master the Game

Basic Texas Hold ‘em rules are very easy to learn. In fact, they can be explained in under five minutes. This is a great selling point for newcomers, and also one of the reasons the game easily attracts general TV audiences.

In fact, it's likely if you're reading this section you already understand most no limit Texas Holdem rules. But as any pro will tell you, "It might take minutes to learn Texas Holdem poker, but it takes a lifetime to master the game."

For this reason we suggest that even if you're confident that you already know your basic no limit Texas Holdem rules forwards and backwards, you read through all of our sections carefully. Then we suggest you read them again and keep in mind that in doing so you still haven't delved below the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

Reason Most People Play Texas Hold 'em Poker No. 4: It's Fast-Paced

Due to its simple structure, Holdem is one of the fastest paced poker variants out there. As we will discuss further in our “Holdem Rules” section, there are only four betting rounds and one showdown to each game, each of which takes mere minutes to play. Like any thriller, keeping up a feeling of heart-pounding excitement makes for great TV. But it's also good for players, giving them the opportunity to play more hands.


Reason Most People Play Texas Hold 'em Poker No. 3: Playing Means Sharing

Like Omaha, Texas Holdem has five community cards. And yet, unlike Omaha, Texas Holdem allows players to use any number of these to build their hands. This gives Holdem a unique communal feel. With so many cards out in the open, players have a reason to interract. And this group dynamic, in turn, leaves more room for bluffing and mind games.

Really, few good Holdem games go by without a big mouth like ''Poker Brat'' Phil Hellmuth spewing gibes while a classic slow player like Doyle Brunson holds his peace. And while this dynamic adds a certain entertainment value for TV viewers it's even more entertaining when you’re trash talking and laughing it up yourself.


Reason Most People Play Texas Hold 'em Poker No. 2: Any Two Cards Can Win

This point, also known as ''Lady Luck’s Paradox,'' adds to Texas Hold ‘em poker’s excitement factor. Since any two cards can win, a common beginner’s mistake is to stay in a hand for too long. Needless to say, these kinds of gaffes are what keep many sharks lurking around the kiddy pool.

And yet, often enough, even top players win major pots with no more than a pair of threes. This uncertainty is every director’s dream, and makes playing Holdem all the more intense. In televised events with pocket cams, it makes those watching it shout, “No, no, don’t do that!” Meanwhile, at the table itself players remain chin-deep in tension, worrying that their next big bet could spell the end of their run.

As you learn Texas Holdem poker you'll also have to master your nerves in the face of all this excitement. This can be difficult for many players, but for those with the right perspective it's just another little challenge.


Reason Most People Play Texas Hold 'em Poker No. 1: Anyone Can Become a Pro

Just like playing guitar or writing comics, learning how to play Texas Holdem poker on a professional level is attainable with enough work and dedication. This is because, unlike many casinos games, winning at poker variants like Holdem has just as much to do with how you play as it does with the cards you draw. Naturally, new players have to take their share of lumps – and lose their share of dough – before they begin winning consistently. But the fact that anyone can win a WSOP bracelet with enough stick-to-itness can make playing Texas Hold ‘em a career choice as well as a hobby.
 

More Information on How to Play Texas Holdem Poker

Now that you understand why so many people play Texas Holdem poker, the next step is learning how to play Texas Holdem poker. Check out the following sections for a complete rundown of the game’s rules, strategies and more.


Supplementary Material

If you've made it all the way through Miss Dolly's Texas Holdem section and still haven't found what you were looking for, you might want to check out some of our supplementary materials. Below you'll find a complete list of these extras with a short description for each. Also, if you don't see the topic you're looking for, feel free to let us know via our Contact Us page. We're always looking for new content ideas, and are more than open to suggestions.


Introduction to Free Texas Holdem Games and Freerolls

The best values at any online poker room come in the form of play-money and freeroll Internet poker play. Learn the best way to get in on these deals by checking out Miss Dolly's Introduction to Free Texas Holdem Games and Freerolls.


Online Texas Hold 'Em

Now that you have the basics of poker down you probably think you're ready to hit the online Texas Holdem tables. Uhuh. Not so fast, amigo. Online Texas Holdem tables are a world unto themselves, and you can bet Miss Dolly ain't letting her little lambs out of her sight before they've taken her Online Texas Hold 'Em class.


Texas Holdem Odds Calculator

Until you learn to play poker by calculating your pot and out odds in your head, you're probably going to need an odds calculator. Learn the best places to find one by taking Miss Dolly's Texas Holdem Odds Calculator lesson.


Texas Holdem Online vs. Live Play

Now that you know what types of Texas Holdem games exist online, it's time to get down to the real nitty gritty. Learn the dos and don'ts of how to play Internet poker with Miss Dolly's Texas Holdem Online vs. Live Play lesson.


Texas Holdem Software and Download Guide

For the dunces among us it might be a little hard to figure out the simplest of directions. Luckily, Miss Dolly assumed you'd have problems and put to this Texas Holdem Software and Download Guide for you and your friends on the short bus.


Poker Hand Rankings Guide

If you're going to play poker you absolutely must understand poker hand rankings and how to use this information in a live game. In our own poker hands page Miss Dolly covers all this and more. Plus, she'll even teach you to how to play the Persian game As Nas. Now how's that for cool!

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We're not asking you to devote your life to mastering Texas Hold'em, but you should at least know the rules before you try playing it...

 

Check out our “TEXAS HOLD’EM RULES” Section

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Understanding your odds and outs is what separates the sharks from the fish. Our Texas Holdem odds section will take your game to the next level. You should also check out our neat Texas Holdem Odds Calculator if you're ready to speed up your play.

 

Check out our “TEXAS HOLD’EM ODDS” Section

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If you've decided to give winning that bracelet a shot, there's no better place to start than our ''Poker Strategy'' section.

 

Check out our “TEXAS HOLD’EM STRATEGY” Section

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AceHoyle.com’s Texas Hold em Glossary includes all the Texas Hold em terms you’ll need to talk like a pro.

 

Check out our “TEXAS HOLD’EM GLOSSARY” Section

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This is an offer new Holdem players simply can't pass up! Rather than wasting your entire bankroll on your first steps, you should play free Texas Holdem games online and learn while the learning is cheap.

 

Check out our “TEXAS HOLD’EM FREE GAMES” Section

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