Texas hold’em is the most popular variation of poker and is the game variant that is played in the major land-based poker tournaments of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) and World Poker Tour (WPT). The game is popular with amateur and professional poker players as the rules are simple to learn but challenging to master.
Texas hold’em is the most famous game in a poker room's game suite and it is worth taking the time to understand how to play the game through our Texas Hold’em poker guide. To try out the game, you can play our demo for free with no download, deposit, or registration required. South African online poker fans can play the game at most online poker rooms. Visit some of the best Texas hold’em poker rooms for South African Rand players from our list below.
Top Texas Holdem Poker Rooms South Africa
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History of Texas Hold'em Poker
There is debate over the origins of poker and how far back the game can be traced. The Egyptians played betting games with cards as far back as the 12th and 13th centuries. Still, it was not until the 15th century that a game in Germany known as Pochspiel combined hand ranking with betting and bluffing, similar to the concepts in poker. There have been other games in the past that are similar to poker, including the 16th-century Persian game Ganjifa, the 19th-century Persian game As Nas and the English game of Brag.
The game nicknamed “poker’s mother” was played in 16th century Spain and was known as Primero. The game was played with playing cards and included betting and bluffing. This game evolved and was played as Poque in France and Pochen in Germany. Poque was brought to Canada by the French and spread to the US, where it became popular and could be found all over the Wild West. In 1970, the first World Series of Poker tournament was held. Online poker began in 1998 with the first online poker room, Poker Planet, launching. Online poker exploded in 2004 when online poker tournaments became popular.
Poker Hand Rankings
Each hand in a game of poker is ranked and players win or lose based on the ranking of their final five-card poker hand.
- Royal flush – five consecutive cards, from ten to Ace, in the same suit.
- Straight flush – five consecutive cards in the same suit.
- Four of a kind – four cards of the same numerical value.
- Full house – three cards of an identical numerical value and two of another.
- Flush – five cards in the same suit.
- Straight – five consecutive cards in any suit.
- Three of a kind – three cards of the same numerical value.
- Two pair – two cards with one numerical value and two of another.
- Pair – two cards of the same numerical value.
How to Play Texas Hold'em Poker
The player to the dealer’s left must place the first blind – half the minimum bet and the player to his left must place the second blind – the value of the minimum bet. Each player will then be dealt two cards face-down (hole cards). A betting round known as the flop occurs when each player can call, raise or hold. The dealer will then deal three cards face up into the middle of the table.
The second round of betting will take place. One more face-up card will be dealt (the turn or fourth street) and a third round of betting will take place. The final and fifth community card (the river or fifth street) will be dealt face-up and players will bet once more. Five card poker hands will be compared (using the player’s two-hole cards, plus any three community cards) and the winning hand will be determined.
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