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The Legacy of Texas Hold’em and Omaha Hold’em Poker

August 10, 2021

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Poker has a rich and interesting history, beginning from its birth in the early 19th century in the United States. The game was first defined in Foster’s Complete Hoyle in 1837, a book describing indoor games of the time, as “five cards to each player from a twenty-card pack.”

The card game that poker originated from is disputed. Whether it be the Persian game of As-Nas, the Chinese game Pai Gow, or the French game Poque, what we do know is that Texas Hold’em as we know it today is from Robstown, TX! The Texas state legislature has recognized Robstown, just outside of Corpus Christi, as the birthplace of Texas Hold’em.

After its inception in 1925, the game quickly spread throughout the state of Texas.

Crandell Addington, a Texas gambler, saw an opportunity arise with the new game. He took the idea to Las Vegas and convinced one casino to give it a try – The Golden Nugget. It took another two years for Texas Hold’em to land on the Vegas strip. Once it did it really took off! It was soon crowned as the centerpiece of the brand new World Series of Poker convention.

In the first World Series of Poker event in 1970, the winner was decided by voting rather than by winning a final game! Seven of the best poker players were invited to the Horseshoe Casino for a single timed tournament that would decide who was the best.

The seven players cast their ballots with their pick of who was the best of them. After the game, Johnny Moss was voted the best poker player in the world by an assortment of poker celebrities. These included Doyle Brunson and Amarillo Slim. Today, the winner is decided by a classic freeze-out tournament.

But what about our other favorite form of poker- Omaha? Despite the name, Omaha Hold’em isn’t from Nebraska!

The earliest forms of the game originated in Detroit and Chicago. Omaha was first introduced to William Walter Boyd, the manager of the Golden Nugget casino card room. He put it into his casino under the name “Nugget Hold’em”. This version of Omaha was played with only two hole cards dealt that players had to use to make their final hand.

The current form played with four hole cards went by the names Nine Cards, Fort Worth, and Oklahoma. “Omaha” is speculated to have been an agreed upon name since it is roughly in the center of the country!

We hope this helps to shed some light on the history of our favorite game!