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Why is Texas Holdem the Most Popular Poker Game?

If you are new to poker or even to gambling games, you may not be familiar with its particular vocabulary. Though you may play it without knowing it, you may be hearing “Texas Holder” a lot and may wonder what it means. We will give you a glimpse of this popular game and the causes of that particular fame.


Not all poker play categories are the same. You start off with three main ones, which are:

  1. Draw Poker: the croupier deals a complete hand to the player, which hides his cards from the rest of the participants. The player can replace a certain number of cards in order to improve their game. The most popular variant is the Five Card Draw, but you can find others like Badugi.
  2. Stud Poker (or Open Poker Game): this category combines both hidden and exposed cards (also known as face-up and face-down) throughout the rounds. Five Card and Seven Card Stud are the most popular variants, but they can also be found in many other options.
  3. Community Card Player: each player is given an incomplete hand face down (“pocket cards” or “hole cards”) and poses an amount of face-up cards in the center of the table (“community cards” or “shared cards”). The aim is to complete the incomplete hand cards from the board (the total amount of “community cards”). The most popular variant of this category is Texas Holdem.

Also known as Texas Hold’em, this poker play starts with two hole cards given to each player and five community cards set in the table. The aim is to get the best hand possible before the flop. The version that has no limit in bets is a main event at World Series of Poker or at the World Championship of Online Poker, but there are also the variants that have a pot limit or a fixed limit.

Upraise to fame

Being one of the main events at casinos, it gained a lot of exposure in popular culture, mainly around the early 2000s, when it was a central game in gambling locations. That is to say: whenever a film, novel or was set in a casino, there was Texas Holden. As we have previously named, being a major highlight in international tournaments made it catch the eye of media –especially TV– and made it a target of ESPN or The Travel Channel, which then broadcasted it throughout the world.

When it comes to movies, one early example is The Cincinnati Kid, premiered in 1965, followed by 1998’s Rounders. –1998 became a key moment for this variant, for not only Rounders became an icon of Texas Holdem, but it was also that online games included the game–. More contemporary approaches include High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story, produced in 2003, or Molly’s Game, first projected in 2017. Nevertheless, the icon of Texas Holder as a must-play on casinos was brought by the James Bond movie Casino Royale.

In literature, there are two main categories of books that talk about the game: biographies (such as Anthony Holden’s Big Deal: A Year as a Professional Poker Player or Michael Craig’s The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King) and strategy books (Matthew’s Janda Applications of No-Limit Hold em and David Slanky’s The Theory of Poker being only some of the many examples).

But, though that may explain its outburst, it does not quite detail the stable fame it has gotten since, making it one of the most popular poker games. It may be debated, but many believe that its popularity is due to its simplicity, making it an easy game to learn –many people start playing in casinos through this variant– and teach, yet a challenging enough game to maintain the entertainment. The amount of players adds to a social component, for it can be played with friends. As well as it can be played according to the player’s skill level, specific material for each of those skill levels is also easy to find, as we have previously named.

Being this popular provides the advantage that, wherever and whichever way you want to play (either on land casinos or online ones), it will be available. Start today!