1915 AD: Texas Holdem Origins

Poker’s historians have concluded that the game originated in Robstown, Texas sometime around 1915 or 1917. The dates are fuzzy because the life of the games creator, Blondie Forbes, was equally as dubious. Forbes was a professional gambler for years and had become a figure of legend which is why he was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 1980. Forbes created Hold’em after the explosion of the split-pot and lowball poker games in Texas. He was hoping to spice things up with the introduction of a game with community cards shared among the players. For a while Texas Hold’em was confined to Robstown, a place with a modest but dedicated community of journeymen gamblers. It was only exported as far as Dallas in the year 1925 where it was an instant hit.

For a time, the game was the purview of the premier gambler, especially a man by the name of Crandell Addington. Addington had first seen the game in its earliest version when the ace was the low card. The gambler later asserted that the game was not widely known as Texas Hold’em, but just plain Hold’em at the time, a statement that conveys the homegrown essence of the game and Addington’s cool exterior. Crandell was certain when he saw the game it would catch on like gang-busters and indeed it did. Part of the reason that he was certain of its future popularity, was the fact that Texas Hold’em doubled you bets when compared to draw poker. Some other notable players of Hold’em included Doyle Brunson and Amarillo Slim.