All The Aces Daily Poker Column

Secrets of Texas Hold'em History

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Secrets of Texas Hold'em History
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Texas Hold’em is without question the online game of choice on and it’s now the world’s most popular form of poker. A lot of you younger players are probably unaware of its history which reads like a Hollywood script. Poker in the United States in 1960 was against the law in every state bar California, and Nevada. Picture the scene as  Jack Straus of Houston, Jesse Alto from Corpus Christi, Tom Moore from San Antonio, Pinky Rhoden from Lubbock and a fifth Texas card player aptly nicknamed “Duck” Mallard created Hold’em pretty much by mistake.
Despite the constant threat of police raids these five poker mad cowboys held high stakes games all over cattle country. Known as “road” gamblers the Texans eventually toured Hold’em all the way to Nevada, disguising their illegal entertainment under the cover of religious meetings and fraternal organisations. No prizes for guessing their favourite version of Hold’em was “no limit”.

Incredibly, it’s still illegal for most Americans to play online poker so pause and think just how Lady Luck dealt you your first great hand by making you a UK citizen, freely able to go on right now and beat the pants off anyone anywhere in what’s left of the free world. Before you do that however, here’s a tip that becomes more obvious the more Hold’em you play. In no limit your most important tactic is to try to get your opponent into a situation where if he makes a bet he’s actually risking his entire stash. Let’s assume your opponent has $2,000 in chips and you lead with a $600 or $700 bet. In reality you’re betting him his $2,000 for the price of your $700. Think about it. If he calls your $700 he’s got to go for the rest. In this situation he’s betting $2,000 and you’re betting $700. If he leads with a $700 bet, it’s you in the self same position. Look to make the bet that puts your opponent’s stash under total threat. If your bet is $700 and his is effectively going to have to be $2,000, he’s giving you 3 to 1 odds and all the pressure is on him. Either he gives you those odds and risks all his chips or you’ve forced him to toss his hand in. These are the situations to engineer.

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ALL THE ACES poker column:
Monday January 02, 2006: 
Secrets of Texas Hold'em History