WSOP: Texas Hold ‘Em (1971 to present)

[SS] “Texas Hold ‘Em, of course, is the game you think of most when you think of the World Series of Poker. It’s played in the majority of events, including the Main Event. It’s the game used for almost all of the special tournaments like the Casino Employees event (since 2000), the Women’s Championship (since 2004), the Seniors and Super Seniors events (since 2001 and 2015), and the One Drop high rollers (since 2012).

It’s played at the widest range of buyins, the most limit types (Limit, Pot Limit, and No Limit), and the most table sizes (Heads Up, Six-Handed, Eight-Handed, Full Table, and Mixed Max, where each day of the event uses a different table size).”

Game Name Texas Hold ‘Em
Game Type Flop
Game Limits Limit, Pot Limit, or No Limit
High or Low High
WSOP Years 1971 to present
Buyins $500 to $1,000,000
Largest Field 22,374 (2015 $565 event [Colossus])
Notable Champions Main Events: Johnny Moss (1971 & 1974), Doyle Brunson (1976 & 1977), Stu Ungar (1980, 1981 & 1997), Johnny Chan (1987 & 1988), Phil Hellmuth (1989 & 2012 Europe)
Basic Rules Blinds and possibly antes. Each player is dealt two hole cards, and there is a round of betting. Three community cards are flopped followed by a round of betting. A turn card is followed by a round of betting. A river card is followed by a final round of betting.
History Texas Hold ‘Em originated in Texas in the 1950s1 and was brought to Las Vegas by Felton McCorquodale, Crandell Addington, Doyle Brunson, Amarillo Slim Preston, and their friends in 1967.2
Notes Pineapple and Crazy Pineapple are Hold ‘Em variants in which each player is dealt three hole cards, discarding one card before and after the flop respectively.


  1. Hold ‘Em may actually date back as far as the 1930s, but the 1981 Don Jenkins biography on Johnny Moss that makes that claim only supports it only with anecdotal evidence.
  2. The Golden Nugget was the first casino to spread Texas Hold ‘Em. The Dune held the first Vegas Hold ‘Em tournament a couple years later, in 1969.

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