Poker is one of the biggest card and casino games in the world. It has everything, from a huge player base of over 100 million to a thriving competitive scene. Even though it’s nearly two centuries old, the game remains a staple in recreation, only improving with time. A significant reason for poker’s prevalence is the number of ways you can play. There are different game formats, from consistent cash games to huge multi-table tournaments. Each has its strengths and weaknesses, allowing poker to appeal to everyone.
There are also different poker variants, perfect for spicing up your games. You can play Omaha poker if you’re a fan of slower, methodical games emphasizing good math instead of bluffing. Short deck is perfect for the opposite kind of player, one who loves aggression and taking risks. One has reigned supreme despite the countless poker variants since the early 70s. Texas Holdem is the undisputed top poker variant, the most played form of poker worldwide. It’s even got a stronghold in the competitive scene, used in the main events of prestigious tournaments like the World Series of Poker (WSOP).
If you began playing poker in the 21st century, Holdem is likely the first variant introduced to you. You may wonder why it’s so popular, and if that’s the case, we have the answers. Let’s go through the many reasons why Texas Holdem is the world’s most popular form of poker.
Simple to learn
Texas Holdem is far more straightforward than most other poker variants. The basic rules can be explained in minutes, making it easy to pick up. It lends itself well to online poker, allowing total beginners to visit a poker site and start playing only after a quick read of the game’s rules. This feature is one of the biggest reasons most beginners flock to Holdem; it’s a much more accessible format to learn than one with complex mechanics like H.O.R.S.E.
Impossible to master
Despite being easy to pick up, Holdem is not easy to master. You can spend a lifetime playing the game, as there will always be something new to learn. Strategy has improved dramatically since the 70s and continues to do so even today.
While Holdem’s ease of learning makes it easy to pick up for beginners, its depth of strategy keeps players hooked. Any improvement you make is very noticeable, and there’s no end to your learning journey.
Skill over luck
Texas Holdem is one of the most skill-based poker variants. Crandall Addington was one of the staunchest supporters of Holdem back in the 70s, and this aspect of Holdem is what he mentioned the most. What cards you get undoubtedly affect your chances of winning, but skill wins out in two ways.
The first is that luck evens out in the long run. Skill remains consistent, so that will determine your earnings over time. The second is that bluffing can overcome bad cards, which No Limit Holdem greatly emphasizes with its uncapped bet sizing.
Used in the WSOP
In 1970, casino owner Benny Binion invited seven poker pros to play a series of cash games for a few hours, which included Texas Holdem. This event became the foundation for the WSOP, poker’s most prestigious and longest-running tournament series.
Since its inception, the WSOP has used Texas Holdem as the primary format. The most renowned tournament series in poker using Texas Holdem will undoubtedly interest some people watching competitive poker. Other tournaments like the World Poker Tour followed suit, establishing Texas Holdem as the world’s foremost poker variant.
Best for spectators
Tournaments don’t use Texas Holdem for their main events just because the WSOP did it. Holdem is the most manageable format for spectators to follow since there’s very little they need to keep track of. There are five community cards in the middle and two hole cards for every player, unlike the four hole cards of Omaha poker and the seven cards for each player in Seven Card Stud. This way, the audience can easily watch Holdem and understand what is happening.
Easy to set up
The straightforward mechanics of Holdem also mean it’s a breeze to set up at home. All you need are chips, cards, and a flat surface. Home poker games with friends or family can be incredibly fun, whether you play casually or seriously. Poker can also be about socializing, and chatting during the game is always nice. Holdem is also easy to teach, so you can quickly get a group of friends to play.
Pop culture giant
Finally, Holdem is essentially synonymous with poker in the context of pop culture. From blockbusters like the 2006 Bond movie Casino Royale to cult classics like the 1998 poker movie Rounders, Holdem is always used as the primary form of poker. It’s even been referenced in various songs and video games, increasing its mainstream appeal.
Verdict: Which should you choose?
We hope this guide helped you understand why Holdem is so popular. If it convinced you to try Holdem, we recommend playing online poker. It boasts numerous benefits compared to playing in a live casino for both beginners and experienced players. With a faster pace, wider game variety, and exclusive site bonuses and promos, online poker is the best way to play.