Talk:Texas hold 'em/1

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Early Comments[edit]

Is that probability table really necessary? What is it measuring, anyway? If a particular hand is against 9 other random hands, and all hands stick around no matter what until the river?

It's just the probable value of the hands, regardless of what happens until the river (or if it even comes to the river).

This type of probability has little to do with actual holdem play, and I don't see how its presence really informs a newcomer or gives them a sense of the game; if anything, it's probably misleading them.

Actually, I was the one who wrote the above criticism. I still see little justification for the table; it has very little to do with actual play...the rank of the hands is only roughly the order of their "value" preflop in a 8-10 handed game...and in other games (loose games, short-handed games, etc.) it's pretty INaccurate...not to mention it takes no account of position, previous betting, etc.

It can't take into account position or previous betting: it's probability.

For example, in a 10-player game, I would much rather have 65s than 77. 65s isn't a very good hand, but it plays well multi-way, esp. in late position. 77 is really only looking to flop a set, and if it doesn't, it's just garbage against more than 1 or 2 opponents.

And it goes without saying, I'd rather have 32 rather than 72 against a full table any day, ranking 72 above 32 against 9 opponents is just silly.

I ask again, what's the point of this table??? Revolver

SOME INACCURACIES (if you disagree with my reasoning, you can explain why you think I'm wrong...I'm not always right):

High Pairs: Pairs from Aces to Tens are always a good starting hand, you have the chance to improve on them

How? The only way pairs can improve is to catch one of the other 2 ranking cards; anything else improves everyone else, so is no improvement at all. Pairs, depending on the situation, are generally either considered made hands (say, TT/JJ or above) or drawing hands (trying to flop a set, say 99/TT or weaker). In either case, you still only have 2 outs to improve (discounting runner-runner or freak straights/flushes, etc.)

Middle pairs: They have very little strength, and cannot usually win without improvement. If it is not expensive, wait to see the flop and what possible drawing possibilities are there. If opponents are betting aggressively then fold. Possibilities are straight and flush draws.

There's only ONE drawing possibility -- you either flop your set, or you don't. If you don't, get out. One-card straight and flush draws are usually worthless.

High Cards: Two unsuited high cards should usually be played at least to the flop.

This is nonsense. Junk like KTo, QTo, and even ATo should never be played in early position, and thrown away most of the time. Most of the time, you will throw them away, (if you're playing by S&M standards).

The chances are that if you flop a pair you will have the best pair on the table.

But if you play junk like the above, you'll probably have the 2nd best hand and lose a lot of chips.

Suited high cards should be played more often, as a high card flush is now possible.

Can't argue with that.

Bet or call most of your drawing hands, if you have a four card flush or four card straight. Everyone may fold, or you may hit it.

This statement is so general and vague that it's misleading. Whether to bet or call a drawing hand is a complicated decision, based on several factors.

When you hit a flush or straight, be aware of the possibilities of other players having the same hand but higher. If there is heavy betting, it is probable that someone else has hit it as well.

Exactly. Which is why you don't play the junk suggested above.

If you have 2 pair, or 3 of a kind, and after the flop, and there a two suited cards in the flop, bet to knock a player off a flush draw, the same is true for connector cards (possibly making a straight) the goal being to keep players from seeing cards that may help them and not you.

This is often the goal, but you don't always bet to achieve it. Sometimes you bet, sometimes you check-raise, betting may actually keep people in (correctly) when you want to get them out.

Holdem strategy is not simple; it can't be summed up in short suggestions. There are some basic principles, but the application varies. I just don't want us to be giving potentially dangerous advice to people.

Revolver 04:58, 3 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Heh, are the instructions in italics online instructions, and the normal font the B&M instructions :) ? Pcb21| Pete 18:28, 31 Aug 2004 (UTC)

the order of betting...[edit]

It says: the order of betting remains fixed throughout all betting rounds.

I think this is wrong. Before the flop, the big blind acts last, but after the flop the dealer button acts last.

I think it's fine the way it was: you could consider the blind's "forced actions", and hence they are technically the first positions to act. In any case I think you need to clarify the current text: the "order of betting" is fixed in any variant of poker, no? The key thing about Hold'em, rather than Stud, say, is that the betting order remains the same through all the betting rounds (modulo your quibble about the blinds). Neilc 04:14, 5 Aug 2004 (UTC)
The big blind does not "act last", he/she posts a forced blind after the small blind, and then has the option to raise when it comes back around. The small blind acts first, just as in all rounds, preflop it is just forced. This should be made very clear in the article, though. To answer Neilc, when someone says "the order of betting is fixed" it's usually assumed that they really mean "fixed from betting round to betting round. In this case, the order is relatively fixed in stud (i.e. there is a fixed way to determine the order) which may change absolutely from round to round, while in holdem, it is absolutely fixed for all rounds. Revolver 21:29, 5 Aug 2004 (UTC)


I removed this section, not because all of it was completely wrong, but primarily because most of it could be said about any poker game in general, i.e. there was nothing specific about holdem given. Also, the discussion on check-raising was a bit simplistic. Check-raising isn't just about "trapping" opponents for more bets. Often, you check-raise to force opponents out. You might do this with top-pair, top-kicker against a large field, when in early position and you have good reason to suspect a late position player will bet. The purpose here is that you want the players behind you to fold so that you increase your chance of picking up the pot...if they call, well, that's incorrect for them to do, but you'd still prefer them to fold. This is much different than check-raising with the intention of "pumping up the pot". Coming over the top to trap someone is also something you're more likely to see in pot-limit and no-limit than limit play. Also, the part about pot-committal is a bit misleading. Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as being "pot-committed"; it is a fictitious concept. So, to say that you're "trapping" your opponents by making them think they're pot-committed is assuming that they're poor enough players that they even believe in the concept of "pot-committal" in the first place, which is a big assumption. Also, I don't know what "they usually know they cannot win because of the money in the pot" is supposed to mean. Strictly speaking, the amount of money (bets) in the pot has nothing to do with your evaluation of whether you have the best hand, a priori. Of course, the more money in the pot, the heavier the betting, the more likely someone has a monster hand. Still, someone who guesses the strength of their hand based on the size of the pot alone is misguided. The advice is doubly misleading, because often as the size of the pot increases, it becomes more correct to call, even if you strongly suspect you do not have the best hand. This is because you do not need to be correct very often. If the pot has $190 and it costs you $10 to call, you only need to have the best hand 5% of the time for the call to break even in the long term...if you have the best hand more than 5% of the time, you would incorrect to fold. This is why "fold as soon as you cannot win" seems likely to cause people problems...unless they are extremely skilled at reading hands, they will often fold too often on the end. Their problem is usually the opposite — namely, calling too often preflop and on the flop, not the river. Revolver 06:44, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)

User:2005, you're right, I think the list of "best starting hands" was originally intended for a full limit table. 22 is a (slight) favorite over AKs heads-up all-in before the flop. I think someone probably copied the first few hands from baby Sklansky without taking into account he was thinking of a particular type of game. (BTW, for a full limit table, the order of hands is roughly correct, regardless of whether it's loose or tight.) Revolver 00:45, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I think the concept of "pot-committal" is not ficticious but is used in different contexts to mean different things, some misguided and some perfectly acceptable. The "fictitious" concept you speak of is one I readily agree with (i.e. thinking that how much money you've already put in the pot has anything to do with whether you should put in more) and is a bad gambling habit I see again and again. The decision to continue a hand should be made from street to street. However, this is not the only way the term "pot-committed" is used. Sometimes the street to steet decisions are decided ahead of time because, for instance a flush draw, will always get the odds to draw in certain contexts where stack size and pot size converge to make not folding for the rest of the hand an optimal play: pot-committed. The reason the latter and the former are often seen as the same is that sometimes ones own bet creates this pot-to-implied-future-bets ratio on its own so it looks as though you chasing your nickel when in fact you are playing optimally. Another legitimate use of "pot-committed" is when it applies simply to your or your opponents call on the hand. In other words, given your read of your hand and your opponents you think that seeing it to the showdown is likely to win you the pot, then you are pot-committed. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water, because the term is useful for decribing certain contexts where you have eliminated folding in all but a few outcomes. I do agree however that it isn't specific to hold'em and that it should be more clear that money in the pot is nobody's money anymore (except don't tell that to my opponents).

Spacing in the game's name[edit]

Wikipedia is inconsistent as to whether it should be "hold 'em" or "hold'em" -- with a space or without. For example, in Wikipedia, it's Texas hold 'em, but Omaha hold'em. Perhaps we should make up our minds. :) - furrykef (Talk at me) 07:19, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)

River Card -- Forced to Use?[edit]

In the example of a tie that is given on the page, it mentions that the two remaining players are forced to use the Ace of Spades that turned up as the River card in their hand. However, no where else in the rules listed does it say players are forced to use the River card. As a matter of fact, in the first example, not all of the players used the 5th card in their hand.

Something should be included in the rules to instruct on when and if players are forced to use the River card. Otherwise, it's confusing. It's confusing for me, and I was tying to learn how to play. Is it an optional rule? Does it only come into play at certain times? Etc.

In Texas hold'em, each player makes the best possible hand from the combination of cards that they hold in the hole or the community cards on the board. This can be any five cards. No one is "forced" to use cards from any specific location, everyone uses the best five for their particular hand. This is always the case. If this doesn't clear things up, post again, and I'll give specific examples.
In Omaha, the rules are different, so don't count on this applying in every style hold'em poker game. --Unfocused 03:15, 17 May 2005 (UTC)

"Attacking" loose/passive players[edit]

loose/passive players have developed a weak style of play and should be attacked when vulnerable

Would we agree, though, that one shouldn't generally bluff at these people? I once saw just such a player triple his stack simply by calling all the time if he had any part of the flop at all. So many people were bluffing at him. Evercat

Theoretical maximum number of players[edit]

Article says 22, I think 23. Rich Farmbrough

Five on the table, one burn card before each of the flop, turn and river. 52 cards in a deck, minus 5 community cards, minus 3 burn cards equals 44 possible player cards. Two cards for each and makes a 22 player maximum, unless you want to change the rules to eliminate burn cards. But then again, some would argue that without the burn cards, it isn't Texas hold'em. Unfocused 06:50, 24 July 2005 (UTC)

Well, the game as played on the internet is real Texas Holdem, but doesn't need burn cards. I think either answer is correct... Evercat 10:37, 24 July 2005 (UTC)

Yes, and burn cards have zero effect on the game anyway. The only reason cards are burned in the first place is to prevent cheating (or at least make it less effective). When no cheating is going on in the first place, burn cards are useless. - furrykef (Talk at me) 23:46, 24 July 2005 (UTC)

The primary game you're referring to when you say Texas Hold'em is a card game. The internet simulation of that card game may be slightly different. That is to be expected. But the card game is what the article is about, and the internet game is the variant that can be explained in the article. For the purpose of this article, 22 is the correct answer, and 23 is trivia that could be added as an answer for certain variants if someone cares to do so. (I'll also say that I wouldn't play a live game where no cards are burned.) Unfocused 03:06, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

If anyone cares to find an internet game that allows 23 players, we can add that. Until then, I think 22 is the right answer. --Doradus 05:29, July 25, 2005 (UTC)
What kind of argument is that?? You're not going to find a live game that allows 22 players, either. This is why we say theoretical maximum. Moreover, the definition of neither "Texas hold'em" nor "poker" itself depends on burn cards, any more than the definition of shuffling involves cutting a deck. It's optional in theory, usually mandatory in practice. - furrykef (Talk at me) 07:53, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
It's the kind of argument you make when you're editing an encyclopedia, not a text on poker theory. Wikipedia has a no original research policy. We're not in the business of novelty here. Any opinion you or I may have on burn cards is irrelevant; if you want to say the game allows for 23 people, or that burn cards are optional, all you need to do is find a reputable source and cite it. --Doradus 02:28, August 11, 2005 (UTC)

This is getting needlessly pedantic, although as I have stated above, burn cards are not part of the definition of "Texas hold'em". But to keep everybody happy, I'm putting in a compromise. - furrykef (Talk at me) 07:53, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

I like your compromise, though I wish it weren't so conspicuous right up front in the intro. Arguably it doesn't belong there anyway, compromise or not. --Doradus 02:28, August 11, 2005 (UTC)

Hold 'em as a spectator sport[edit]

While this is a minor part of the article it has attracted some wildly false additions. Just to nip this sort of thing in the bud in the future... TV tournaments are heavily edited, and commentary is added after the fact. The World Poker Tour for example shows approximately 75 minutes of poker in each show, but the six-handed final tables normally last much longer than that. For example this report kindly shows a final table's start and ending times, a total of five hours and forty minutes, with over five hours of poker. Some events have run much longer. Another example shows a final table with over 115 hands played, while less than 20 are shown on television. 2005 01:25, July 24, 2005 (UTC)

Actually, you're incorrect about the commentary added after the fact. The ESPN's WSOP series does add commentary later, but the World Poker Tour is commented live. This is proven in the coverage of season three's WPT Mirage Poker Showdown. After winning a pot from Gabe Kaplan with an all-in reraise, Jim Meehan says "I heard Mike (Mike Sexton) on the mic, he said 'Jim bet all his chips, if he loses this pot, he's out of the tournament.' I thought 'Holy mother of God, can I bet a little less?" Unfocused 20:47, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
I can't believe this obsession of yours. The WPT commentary is not live! The idea that someone can see the cards, live, ten yards away from the action is just too crazy. They have a half dozen safeguards to prevent anyone who could say anything from seeing the cards while the action is underway. Sexton and Van Patten certainly make verbal comments, notes so to speak, but they tape commentary afterwards obviously. In any case, this stuff has nothing to do with this article. 2005 00:09, July 29, 2005 (UTC)
This is not an "obsession", it is simply the truth, and you are proven wrong "on camera". The Jim 'Minnesota Slim' Meehan quote I included above was spoken at the table, during the event, on camera, immediately following the pot. Jim Meehan was saying without any doubt whatsoever that he could hear Mike Sexton commenting that he could be eliminated on the prior hand. Vince and Mike then commented that they'd have to be a little quieter. Do you think they set up that whole exchange beforehand, for use during a million dollar tournament? (Cue the black helicopters, in case he says 'yes'.) I had to rewind the event on my TIVO four times to get the whole quote exactly right, since it was such significant and undeniable proof that live commentary occurs during WPT events. I haven't said that all their commentary is live, and I don't know if they have a feed from the hole cams, but live commentary has been proven.
I'm sure they add segues such as "we'll be back after these messages" in the studio, but at least some of the commentary during WPT events is live. I don't know exactly what portion is live, but since I've provided proof of live commentary, I think you need to prove your counterclaim or apologize. Reporting the different styles of coverage of events certainly is valuable additional material for the article. Unfocused 03:44, 29 July 2005 (UTC)
You haven't proven anything except you want to troll this article with off-topic comments. Just to state the obvious, so what if Meehan heard Sexton talking? There are lots of people in the room talking. There isn't the slightest evidence Sexton was talking for the camera. In any case, as I said, they do sit there and talk to each other obviously but it certainly is not the final commentary. And if you don't believe me, email and ask him. Jeez. 2005 05:18, July 29, 2005 (UTC)
Mike Sexton's comments were part of the coverage, part of the broadcast show. How can you make such a ludicrous claim that he wasn't talking for the camera, since that particular comment was part of the final show? Now I think you're just defending your earlier claim because you don't know what else to do. At least part of the commentary on WPT events are live. I've already proven that. Why don't YOU do your own legwork if you'd like to prove your obviously false counterclaim? Or better yet, admit you're wrong and move on? Unfocused 09:01, 29 July 2005 (UTC)
I'm with 2005 in that it isn't even relevant whether or not the commentary is live. It just doesn't really matter. - furrykef (Talk at me) 13:06, 29 July 2005 (UTC)
Who cares?

Raising with AA, KK etc[edit]

I think raising with these big pairs is certainly correct, for the reason 2005 doesn't agree with: you reduce the competition and increase the probability of winning. It wouldn't matter if you were guaranteed lots of action whether you're ahead or not, but the problem is that the pot will typically only become big when you're beat. So as the famous proverb goes, you'll either win a small pot or lose a big one. I think this is especially true if you fail to raise pre-flop... Evercat 23:00, 10 August 2005 (UTC)

It depends on if it's limit or no-limit. In limit I would think it's only wise heads-up and then only sometimes. In pot-limit or no-limit, it depends, still much better heads-up though, but the limp-reraise in early position is something of a slowplay tactic. - furrykef (Talk at me) 23:16, 10 August 2005 (UTC)

What is "it"? :-) Limping or raising? Evercat 00:33, 11 August 2005 (UTC)

Limping, of course. - furrykef (Talk at me) 05:41, 12 August 2005 (UTC)

Slow down, folks[edit]

Why are we writing a Hold 'em advice column anyway? Isn't this supposed to be an encyclopedia with no original research? I think we need to chuck half this article, and restrain ourselves to objective facts that come from reputable sources. --Doradus 22:24, August 12, 2005 (UTC)

I think the strategy of Texas Hold 'em is a legitimate subject for the article -- part of understanding how the game works is understanding what the strategy is. But the focus should be on the nature of Hold 'em strategy IMHO, rather than specific advice for players in specific situations. So I think we should refactor the strategy information (and cut some of it), rather than dumping the whole lot. Neilc 23:51, 12 August 2005 (UTC)
Some of the advice has been really poor, while other advice is fine, while even other advice is just a deceptive dead-end, since circumstances can be dramatically different, and this article is not specific to Limit, No Limit or Pot Limit. The article should be "what is it" and "how is it done", not "shades of grey that can be shaded dozen different ways in different circumstances". So, I'd like to see all or almost all strategy type stuff go. Facts, not philosophy. 2005 03:50, August 13, 2005 (UTC)
I have to agree with 2005 here, there isn't much encyclopedic that can be said about hold'em strategy. One can make broad statements such as "people tend to play too many hands and take them too far", but that really applies to any form of poker. One could possibly do a mathematical, objective analysis of a hand, but that would be boring. - furrykef (Talk at me) 06:55, 13 August 2005 (UTC)

20 different poker players likely will tell you 20 different ways how to play AK suited in early to middle position. However, those same 20 players would probably all agree that slowplaying big pockets against a large field, overbetting sets against a straight or flush board, etc are mistakes that novices tend to make. The idea of the "novice mistakes" section wasn't to sneak in one's personal philosophy of poker, but to summarize very basic hold 'em strategy, which was fine within the context of this article. Unfortunately, the Wiki geeks cried out "original research" and carved it up, which is a shame, since I felt that save for someone's persistent edits, my "novice mistakes" section was quite well written (lol). 8/15/05

Sorry about your section. If you can cite those "novice mistakes" from a reputable source, go ahead and add them back in. --Doradus 04:05, August 16, 2005 (UTC)
My issue with it is that, in addition to the other problems, it didn't sound like something that belongs in an encyclopedia. To be frank, it feels like an excuse to write a lot about hold'em. Encyclopedia articles on games generally don't have sections about mistakes often make, even in articles on poker, and I feel they probably would not do so even if they had the space. - furrykef (Talk at me) 15:00, 16 August 2005 (UTC)
It's just not appropriate. Novices often make mistakes. If this was an article about carburetors there wouldn't be a novice mistakes in builing carburetors section. It's just not the mission of a document like this, especially since mistakes usually aren't cut and dried. 2005 20:02, August 16, 2005 (UTC)

I simply ripped out the "basic strategy" and "novice mistakes" sections. It cuts the article length heavily but I really don't think the sections could be salvaged. - furrykef (Talk at me) 06:59, 13 August 2005 (UTC)

No complaints from me! Good edit! Now, if someone wants to carry the ideas over to the Wikibooks project article on Texas Hold'em, the portions removed could be useful. Unfocused 14:58, 13 August 2005 (UTC)

Move "Hold'em as a spectator sport" to subsection of "Texas hold'em in popular culture"?[edit]

Proposed move. I think the spectator sport aspect of hold'em is part of it's popular culture. Feel free to be bold and just do it if you agree. Unfocused 15:17, 18 August 2005 (UTC)

The more I thought about it, the more I thought I should just do it. Revert if you feel it's necessary. Unfocused 15:22, 18 August 2005 (UTC)

"See Also" section needed[edit]

I think we need a "See Also" section for this article very badly. We have articles for virtually every poker style and term in Wikipedia. We also shouldn't need to link to an external glossary; we probably should set one up internally. I would set both up and begin to populate them, but don't have time today. Thought I'd mention this as the most recent edit was a link to an external glossary. Unfocused 22:01, 18 September 2005 (UTC)

"See also" is sort of spread through the article, but a clear section would be nice. We have a separate hands article so a Poker terms one could make sense... although it will be endlessly trolled by nuts wanting to add their own "clever" terms/slang to it. (There definitely shouldn't be a Holdem terms article though, since most associated terms are general poker terms not focused on this one variant.) 2005 22:22, 18 September 2005 (UTC)

Bibliography looks rather sales-y[edit]

How can a real Hold'em bibliography not list Brunson's "Super/System", but list no fewer than four books from "Two Plus Two Publications"? Phil Gordon, et al, are just trying to sell books here with this "bibliography" as an excuse. I say scrap the "bibliography" section entirely.

  • You write a bibliography to reflect the books you've used as reference. You don't simply list popular books on the subject. If you doubt that these books were all used as reference, I'd suggest you ask the ones who added them, then consider removing them if the answers you get aren't satisfactory. If you think a broader range of publishers should be represented, get a reference book from another publisher to to support something that either exists in the article or is added to the article, then add the reference work as well. Wikipedia needs more references cited, not less, but false citation isn't helpful either. Unfocused 17:11, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

Origin of the name[edit]

I'm looking around the internet trying to find the origin of the name, "Texas Hold 'em". My guess is, it's not really from Texas. Anybody have a finite answer to this?

I've been trying to find out same thing... no luck yet...
The true origin of both hold'em and its name are unknown. A lot of people seem to believe it is in fact from Texas, including Johnny Moss, who reportedly said it came to Dallas in 1925 (and implied that it got there from some other place in Texas). Others do believe it wasn't invented in Texas. Either way, it was certainly popularized in Texas, and most of the people who played it well a few decades ago were from Texas. It was also Texans who brought the game to Las Vegas. - furrykef (Talk at me) 07:30, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

Sample hand[edit]

Does it make sense in the sample hand that Ted is folding pocket kings? -Markymarkmagic 07:33, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

That confused me too at first. If you look closely you'll see that the sample showdown and sample hand are totally different situations. Maybe it could be edited to help clarify. Thebogusman 22:13, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

Castle Hill Hold Em[edit]

Castle Hill Hold em is a variation of texas hold 'em invented in Castle Hill, NSW Australia late in 2005. The two main variations are:

1. All players put in a blind bet. One player puts in a big blind, and every other player places an equal small blind. After receiving their cards, the small blind players must then either match the big blind or raise to be in, or fold to go out. The point of blinds is to always have chips in the pot, so why not extend this to all players! you can't get out of folding without losing at least a small blind bet.

2. Each player only has one opportunity to raise per round of betting. This means if you check on your turn and another player raises after you, you can only match that bet and cannot raise further. Similarly, if you raise on your turn, and a player after you matches and raises further, you can only match their raise and cannot raise yourself again. This not only quickens each hand, it makes the game more enjoyable. Each player has a greater chance of making it to the end of the hand, giving a further air of uncertainty right towards the end. Importantly, at each turn of betting each player must choose carefully how much to bet; too little and you may not take advantage of a good hand, to big and you may give it away. Takes more skill to suck other players and take a big advantage of it. Also stops those tedious backwards and forwards betting seen on competition poker that leads to one player taking a large pot, after 10 long minutes, BEFORE THE FLOP HAS EVEN COME OUT.\

A third, occasionly used variation (which differs from all poker) is that all flushes are equal, no matter how high your cards are. This variation is not always played and the two variations above are what really separates Castle Hill Hold em as a distinct and more enjoyable game.

Feel free to play and experience the Castle Hill Hold em sensation.

- This is terrible. Can you say "luck fest"? ShardPhoenix 13:45, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

I agree. It may be fine as a recreational game, but it's terrible as a proper form of poker as it leaves little room at all for skill. In any case, I don't really think variants of hold'em really deserve mention in the article (except maybe as a "see also" at the end); if they belong anywhere, I would guess it's community card poker. - furrykef (Talk at me) 20:13, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
The dozens of invented variations on the game do not deserve mention here. 2005 03:10, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Ivey position merged here[edit]

See Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Ivey position. Johnleemk | Talk 13:10, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

The idiotic text has been deleted. 2005 20:53, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Betting Structures[edit]

I modified the section on betting structures to provide a little more precision on no-limit. The key message is that no-limit is more than just going all-in. It is the ability to bet any desired amount above the minimum bet (or minimum raise). I also described straddles since are they are fairly common in cash games (and found in the new TV series High Stakes Poker). It seems like a big edit, but it seemed like one that needed to be made. Probably a better approach to straddle discussion (and side-pots for that matter), would be to create separate articles describing the intracies of those topics (e.g., Mississippi/button straddles, etc.). There probably should also be topic describing the various (sometimes complicated) blind correction methods (e.g., dead button) when a player busts out in the blinds. --Toms2866 04:56, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Also added description of pot-limit betting structures. I included an example (since many folks get confused the first time they encounter pot-limit), but it doesn't "read" very easily. Ideas to make this easier to explain? --Toms2866 16:54, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

I'm an idiot. I screwed up the pot-limit description. I searched a little and found a very good article on Betting (poker) and recycled its description of pot-limit. A much better solution would be to remove all of the discussion of betting structures from this article and instead reference the Betting (poker) article to avoid redundancy. Before ripping out the whole section on betting structures and replacing with a few sentences and a link to Betting (poker), any opinions?--Toms2866 17:15, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

I'd replace the whole betting section. It would be silly to repeat the same text in all game articles. This article should just refer to the betting article. 2005 06:11, 25 March 2006 (UTC)
I replaced the entire betting structures section with brief overview and reference to betting (poker) article.--Toms2866 22:41, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Featured article.[edit]

Can someone tell me how to nominate an article to be featured? Vemund 16:29, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Have a look at WP:FAC. The nomination will likely fail, however. The article is far from featured level. It would be best if you tried out on peer review first. Johnleemk | Talk 16:42, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I agree, it is not ready to be a FAC. It will even have a rough start in peer review. At least one person, probably more, will need to be dedicated to working to implement the feedback from the peer review process. I'm willing to participate, but probably not at a level sufficient by itself for peer review. —Doug Bell talkcontrib 19:00, 23 March 2006 (UTC)


Hello - There seems to be some disagreement over whether or not to use TOCRight. The two versions to compare are: [1] and [2]. Personally I prefer the former, it puts the (rather attractive) image up front instead of the ugly table of contents. Additionally, it conforms to the generally accepted style for wikipedia articles more. --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 23:17, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

I put the picture above the TOC.--Toms2866 01:43, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
ps I think pictures jazz up the articles. Thanks. The popular culture/spectator sport section probably would benefit from a pic.--Toms2866 01:49, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
Ohh that looks a lot better. Thanks, I don't know why I didn't think of that. No trouble for the picture. But don't thank me, I found them on Flickr. The author has a very nice set of poker images all licensed under the creative commons license. --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 03:43, 3 May 2006 (UTC)


I would like to add a (brief) section on basic strategy. I'd like to see what others think ought to be included. I thought I would say something about the standard Tight-Aggressive approach recomended by so many authors. In addition, I would note the focus on limiting starting card choices and on position (as suggested in the introduction). I also thought about saying something regarding the general consensus that the limit and no-limit forms are strategically very different. Any additions or subtractions? --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 05:44, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

In general I think we should avoid any discussion of strategy. A link to the poker strategy article should suffice, which covers the basics of its better to be in position. A statement to the effect that strategy for limit and no limit differ would make sense though. That's commenting on differences, and not what is good strategy. 2005 11:41, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
I agree with 2005 that this article should at most only have brief mention of strategy and link to Poker strategy. The Poker strategy article has a paragraph about structure considerations (e.g., limit/no-limit differences), but it is pretty thin. Feel free to improve it. Limit structure is also mentioned in the Manipulating pot odds section in pot odds. The hard thing about strategy is to limit it to basic concepts that can be explained in an encyclopedic fashion (that is, no advice or opinion). Try to avoid getting too specific about Texas hold'em in the strategy article - examples are fine, but the primary discussion should be high-level enough to apply to most poker variants.--Toms2866 15:48, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
I share the concern that any discussion of strategy remain encyclopedic, and I do/did intended to write the section is a descriptive rather than normative tone. I disagree with the suggestion that strategy not be included for two reasons. (1) As it stands, the article seems thin to me. I would like to get it up to FAC standards, but in its current form I suspect people will think it incomplete without at least a paragraph on strategy. This is consistent with other articles on card games, for instance Bridge (card game) and Gin rummy. (2) Try to avoid getting too specific about Texas hold'em in the strategy article. Right. This is why there ought to be a strategy section in this article, because being overly specific about texas hold 'em strategy would be inappropriate for an article about poker strategy in general. --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 16:53, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
You're right about the article seeming a bit thin. After further consideration, I agree the article should have a brief section with strategy highlights, especially those that make poker unique: vying for a pot, incomplete information (e.g., compare to chess), deception, and importance of math (probabilities, expected value). These elements are what make poker special and deserve main-article exposure.--Toms2866 19:10, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

Okay, I've added a strategy section. What do you think, folks? --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 01:32, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

I think it wasn't written very well, especially with typos, but I did my best to edit it. I don't know if I should have edited the CAPS in Brunson's quote, but I did. They were bugging me. Thekohser 02:23, 14 May 2006 (UTC)
Yeah well... Was it merely the spelling or do you find the sentences confusing or disorganized? --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 02:37, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

Moneymaker and fair use[edit]

I think we cannot use the Chris Moneymaker image in this article. It is being used in the article on Chris Moneymaker under fair use criteria, which I don't think aplies to this article. (For more details read the copyright information at Image:Chris moneymaker.jpg.) Although its a much less cool image, I suggest we replace it with Image:JoeHachem.jpg. --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 03:24, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

I think you're right. Good change.--Toms2866 01:03, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

Reference/Further reading[edit]

User:2005 recently changed the "sources" section into "references" and "further reading" All of the materials listed in both "references" and "further reading" are referenced in the text of the article. Harrington, Jones, and Miller, et al. are all used in the strategy section and Alspach in the starting hands section. I suggest that these two sections be merged into one. --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 21:57, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

I readded them. My IE search this page thing didn't see their references in the article. I do think it would be better to use the "ref" links where they appear in the article. 2005 22:32, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
Thanks! <ref> is cool with me. To be honest I just used the () reference notation out of habit. I'll change them, unless you beat me to it ;) --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 22:42, 18 May 2006 (UTC)


Perhaps a article on bluffing. I.E. tells, sunglasses, how much is right to bet

Have you looked at bluff (poker) or tell (poker)? --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 16:54, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

Famous games[edit]

I was thinking the other day, it might be nice to add a section on famous hold'em matches. Unfortunately the only one(s) I can think of are either part of the world series (already covered) or the games with Andy Beal. If there are others it might be worth adding a small subsection somewhere. Can anyone think of any others? And what do you think about adding them? --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 20:51, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

How bout the world poker tour?

Why is Hold'em a redirect?[edit]

Why is Hold'em a redirect to this article? It would seem more logical to me if Hold'em was an article about the hold'em family in general, with wikilinks to this article and Omaha Hold'em and the other hold'em games. Entheta 19:01, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

I would guess Hold 'em redirects only because no such article like you have described exists. On the one hand, it would seem a good idea to have a Hold 'em article, but it should be redundant to the community card poker article... which would be kind of hard. If you wanted to look at (and edit) that article and make a Hold 'em article that makes sense to exist to exist too, then it would seem a good idea to put an article in the Hold'em slot. (Hold 'em with the space, to be consistent with other articles.) On the other hand... perhaps the better thing to do would be to change the redirect to aim at community card poker where Texas and Omaha are linked, and Pineapple explained. 2005 21:20, 22 July 2006 (UTC)


Links labeled NLHE link here. Perhaps the acronym should be mentinoed in the article? I'm reasonably sure it stand for No Limit Hold Em, but I could be wrong. It could be winner take all tournament style no limit texas holdem, like we see on TV Mathiastck 21:03, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

NLHE does refer to No Limit Hold Em. Can you say where these links are? We shouldn't be using any acronyms without first explaining them, and I would like to correct them. Thanks! --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 21:13, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
Yeah I meant to do so, but had too many balls in the air and droppd that one. It's in the wikipedian poker category. I'll get it to you in a moment. Mathiastck 21:37, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
A long moment :) Wikipedia:WikiProject_Poker Mathiastck 15:59, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Good Article? No[edit]

A good article has the following attributes.

  1. It is well written. "pass" (but just borderline)

The article has a number of rough points. "In fact, considering suits to be equivalent unless both cards are the same suit, there are precisely 169 distinct possible starting hands in hold 'em" is an example. The PDF from Alspach takes a few more words to explain how the number 169 is derived - but those words are no waste of space.

There are other areas where you attempt to put across confusing concepts in too-few words. It's borderline, but I'm giving you a "pass" on this criteria.

  1. It is factually accurate and verifiable. "fail"

Doyle Brunson says he invented Texas Hold'em,,,1570846,00.html so if you're going to assert that the first game was played in Robstown in the early 1900s, you need to provide a source. In fact Wikipedia:Verifiability says that

That means you need to show where you got everything that's in the article. If you're citing a URL, you need to give the date you accessed it; if you're citing a book, you need to give a page number.

I'm not going to argue that saying Doyle Brunson makes the article inaccurate. After all, poker players make their living by telling convincing lies (also known as "bluffing"). However, the standard for Wikipedia isn't truth, anyhow. It's verifiability. If you get your ducks in a row with regard to citations, you can have a pass. At this time, the article fails.

Your use of <ref>Ibid</ref> is unacceptable, because another editor may come along later and stick an intervening citation in the middle. Instead, you should use named references - <ref name=ss1>{{cite book | title = Super/System: A course in power poker | author = [[Doyle Brunson|Brunson, Doyle]] |publisher = B&G Publishing Company | year = 1978}} for the first instance, and <ref name=ss1 /> for later references.

  1. It is broad in its coverage. "pass"

If you missed anything significant, I didn't notice it.

  1. It follows the neutral point of view policy. "fail" (but just borderline)

"Most poker authors recommend a tight-aggressive approach to playing Texas hold 'em." This looks like it's NPOV on the surface, but in fact, it's not. You need to say who's recommending this approach, and let the user make up his mind.

  1. It is stable, i.e. it does not change significantly from day to day and is not the subject of ongoing edit wars. "pass"
  1. It contains images, where possible, to illustrate the topic. "pass"

You've got a fairly good start on a topic that's fairly difficult to explain. It shouldn't be too much work to bring this up to Good Article level, and I hope you do that. Citations should be easy to find for most of what you've written; when they aren't, that's a clue that it may not be NPOV. (It's OK to say "Mike Caro says most poker authors recommend a tight-aggressive approach"; you're dropping the hot potato in Mike's lap. It's just that we need to be very careful about putting words in Wikipedia's mouth.) Let me know when you're ready to renominate the article; I'd like to see how this article turns out. ClairSamoht - Help make Wikipedia the most authoritative source of information in the world 00:36, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Thank you for your quick review. I have a few comments.
  • Regarding Brunson. The claim is cited, footnote [1] applies to both sentences which precede it. Brunson does not claim to have invented Texas Hold'em in the article you point to, the interviewer does.
  • Regarding "most authors. I'm afraid the alternative you suggested won't communicate the same thing easily. How shall I say it? "Sklansky, Malmuth, Miler, Zee, Cloutier, McEvoy, Harrington, Hellmuth, Brunson, Baldwin, ... recommend..."? WP:NPOV contains this example: "For instance, that Shakespeare is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest playwrights of the English language is a bit of knowledge that one should learn from an encyclopedia. " Isn't this equivalent? (P.S. I have added a cite for the claim)
I will correct the remaining problems. Thanks again. --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 03:31, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
Actually, one more thing. I tried to reword the section on counting starting hands. I couldn't figure out anything more to add that wasn't already there. I know one pitfall of my writing is that it's sometimes overly compact, but I really can't think of anything to add. I took a look at Alspach, and actually he says less about this calculation than we do, so he was no help. Can you perhaps suggest something that might help make it more clear? Sorry to need such hand-holding. --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 03:57, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
I don't mind hand-holding although I usually end up with 2-7 offsuit, then after I fold, the community cards turn out to be 3-4-5-6 in the suit that I had a seven in, and someone wins with a pair of treys.
The interviewer says he invented it and Dolly doesn't correct him. When I was reviewing this article, I got out my copy of SuperSystem 2 (it's NOT Super System II) and tried to find something about a 1925 game of Hold'em. I couldn't find it. Tell me what page it's on.
When I googled on "most experts" strategy hold'em, I quickly found a quote at that said "Most experts agree that in Hold'em you should see the flop only about 20 percent of the time." You can start with a quote like that, then get more specific. "Mike Caro, for instance, says that if you average a big profit by calling, you're not calling enough."
Is this explanation clearer? Because no suit is more powerful than another, there are only 169 different hole cards combinations. Thirteen of those hards would be pairs, from 2 through A. There are 78 ways to have two cards of dissimilar rank (12 possible A-high hands, 11 possible K-high hands, 10 possible Q-high hands, on down to 1 possible 3-high hand). Hole cards can both be used in a flush if they are suited, but pairs are never suited, so there would be 13 possible pairs, 78 possible suited non-pairs, and 78 popssible unsuited non-pairs, for a total of 169 possible hands.
In terms of breadth, it occurs to me that you've not mentioned the "High Stakes Poker" television show, or the difference in strategy between tournament play and cash games. In a tournament that has 2000 entrants and 10 positions that pay, you really need to be aggressive in the first rounds, because finishing 12th is no better than 2000th. Get a tall stack right away, or you're history. If ending with 300 chips is $250 better than ending with 50 chips, being initially aggressive isn't quite such a good idea.
Dolly says that the game has changed considerably due to online poker, because all the new players are very aggressive. When big name players play against each other, they figure that the other guy is going to stay in the hand when it makes sense, fold when it makes sense. When you're playing against idiots, it's a lot harder to put them on a hand. He'd never say it exactly that way, but I think that's what he meant. Come to think of it, maybe he'd WOULD say that. On HSP, he apologized to Ted Forrest for calling him an idiot on national television in an earlier episode. When Doyle won the 2004 Bicycle tournament, he was close to having his first losing year in five decades; I don't think it's that he's getting senile, but that the game is different. ClairSamoht - Help make Wikipedia the most authoritative source of information in the world 07:02, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the response.
  • 27o, don't be so results oriented :)
  • Super System 2 I don't own a copy, unfortunately. As a recall there was a quick history of hold'em chapter in the beginning which says this. I didn't add the reference myself, but another author did. If its wrong, then it should be corrected
  • I already cited harrington on hold'em for the "most experts agree..." bit. Is that sufficient for NPOV?
  • 169. That's a nice explanation. I'll add it in the next few days.
  • HSP. The article was written before this TV show. It probably should be mentioned. I'll add something.
  • Tournaments. Good idea. I'll add something about that to the strategy section.
  • Internet poker. That's a good idea, I'll try to think of what can be said that is specific to hold'em about the internet's effect on HE. I'm not sure about what you say about Brunson. In fact, I think he said exactly the opposite, that players are much better because of the internet than they used to be. I don't actually think Forrest plays on the internet, he's one of the old school.
Thanks for all the great suggestions. --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 07:22, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
If you keep saying such nice things, I'm going to have to buy a larger hat.
There's a not-too-short chapter by Crandell Addington on the history of hold'em, but he basically starts off with hold'em being introduced to Nevada. News stories scroll off the internet pretty fast, and this one only exists in Google's cache, but there's no reason you couldn't cite [3] anyhow as Nueces County Record-Star, September 13.
I was thinking more about cash game versus tournament, but mentioning the TV show may be appropriate. I suspect that internet poker is more popular than real-life poker, but in any case, tournament and television poker for big bucks is small potatoes compared to friends sitting around a table playing for small stakes.
Brunson wasn't saying that poker was easier because of the influx of idiots, he was saying that it was more difficult. Knowledge is power. If you can't figure out what your opponent is doing, it becomes a game of chance instead of a game of skill.
You might want to do a discussion of legality, state by state, or perhaps that needs to be a different article. California outlaws games of chance, and thus stud poker is illegal, but a long time ago, the attorney general decided that draw pokers were games of skill, and thus legal. I researched Pennsylvania law a few months ago. There are penalties for illegal gambling, but nothing defines what makes gambling legal or illegal. (A hotel in PA started holding poker tournaments, and the local DA stopped them, telling the media that home games were OK, but organized poker, whether touraments for prizes or playing for cash money, was illegal. That's not binding anywhere else in the state, but other DAs might come up with the same dichotomy.)
Lots of interesting stuff here. Expand the article to cover all these things, do it well, and you could have a Featured Article on your hands. Your mother would be proud of you. ::grin:: ClairSamoht - Help make Wikipedia the most authoritative source of information in the world 16:32, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Tied hands[edit]

I think a section needs to be added on tied hands. This is following a discussion I've been having on another forum. The example I gave was two players (it could be out of a field of 20, it doesn't matter at the moment), one with an AK hand and one with a 25. The community cards are AKQJT. Considering I haven't been able to find out exactly what happens in that situation yet from an expert I won't add anything now, but if someone could in the near future that'd be great. Ephphatha 06:56, 18 October 2006 (UTC) Edit: Oh the dispute was that players make the best hand out of the seven cards available yada yada yada. In that case both players would have an Ace high straight, even though the second player was delt rubbish, and a tie would be the result. This obviously seems wrong to me, which is why I'm not doing anything with it. Ephphatha 06:58, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

The description is correct. You make you best five card hand out of the seven cards available to you, so in this case both players have an ace high straight and the pot is split. 2005 08:29, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
True, could even go beyond two players, to take to the extreme all nine players going all-in and would split if the strongest hand was what was on the board, players 1) has AcAh, 2) KdKh, 3) 8s8c, 4) 5s6s, 6) 7h2c, 7) 2h4c, 8) Ad2d and 9) 4s9d the board is 10sJsQsKsAs then everyone has a royle flush :) --Sirex98 11:46, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
Yes, in hold'em--as in almost all forms of poker--hands for comparison have exactly five cards, regardless of how many are dealt or how they are formed. It is very common for players to tie when there is a straight on the board, and in other situations, such as boards like 99JJA, QQQ77, 3333A, and so on. In the three cases of an ace-high straight on the board with no three cards of the same suit, or a royal on the board, or quads with an ace, it is impossible for any player's hand to beat the board, and so the pot is split among all eligble players (those who called all bets). In the other cases (like a lower straight or a full house on board), it is possible that someone can have a higher hand, but very common that no one will. I played a tournament hand once where I had pocket kings; the flop was K77, giving me kings full. My opponent bet, I moved in, and he called with 98 (suited with two of the board cards for a flush draw--of course I thought he was drawing dead). The turn came a 7, and the river a 7, allowing him to escape with a split pot since my kings were now worthless, and we were both playing the board of K7777. --LDC 15:02, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

Casino Hold 'Em[edit]

I am having trouble locating information on how Texas Hold 'Em works at Casinos. How does the Casino make money on the game?

The same way they make money from any poker game--either by raking each pot (typically 5% to a maximum of $4), a fixed per-hand fee ($3 on the button, for example), or charging an hourly fee (common for larger games). A casino has no interest in the outcome of any hand--players play against each other, and the casino simply charges for their services. --LDC 16:51, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

GA pass[edit]

I'm passing this, it's well referenced and reads pretty well. It definitely needs a good one-over if the eventual goal is featured article, but it's definitely a good article now. --badlydrawnjeff talk 16:58, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

Online stuff[edit]

A little while ago User:2005 removed the following paragraph:

The first online poker site, Planet Poker, was established in 1998. Although several more online poker sites entered the market over the next few years, online poker did not experience substantial growth in popularity until Party Poker began a television advertising campaign in 2003. Although this campaign helped grow interest in online poker, Chris Moneymaker's online qualification and victory at the World Series of Poker in 2003 helped to encourage players to try their luck online.[1] A new law passed in 2006 in the United States is expected to negatively impact online poker substantially,[2] although some dispute this prognoses.[3]

2005's reason was that it was off topic, covered in Online poker and pov. I disagree that I think its off topic, since that section is a brief summary of online poker in an attempt to explain the phenomenon of the "hold'em explosion". Of course it is covered in online poker, but that's not a reason not to include it here. Regarding POV, I assume the concern is over attributing the explosion to Party's advertising campaign. Since its cited, I don't find it a problem, but I understand the concern. Can we perhaps discuss a compromise here? --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 19:52, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

Citing POV doesn't make it less POV. The wording is obviously inappropriate as it was, as minimially it needs a "some people assert" weasel words to justify the opinion. However, the main thing is Texas Holdem playing has grown due to TV and online poker. Asserting anything here about the tv commercials is bizarre. The TV show's existence was the key thing. But again none of that is encyclopedic. Hold'em grew in popularity because of television and easy access to online play. One sentence that is factual and has no POV. (added... and that is already in the article. Why should we discuss opinions on what was more important?) 2005 00:01, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
In order for this sentence to violate WP:NPOV, then it must be the case that someone asserts the contrary. Does anyone claim that online poker experienced a surge in popularity prior to party's advertising campaign? Does anyone claim that online poker did not experience a surge after, or that if it did, the surge was unrelated to the campaign? If you can find any sources which contradict any of the claims made in the above paragraph, then I concede it should be rewritten or removed. Otherwise, I see no basis for removing it for violating NPOV. --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 00:43, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
"Does anyone claim that online poker experienced a surge in popularity prior to party's advertising campaign?" You mean besides virtually everybody? C'mon the World Poker Tour is the main reason for the surge in popularity of the game, followed by Chris Moneymaker. Why would anyone assert it was TV commercials, and we certainly aren't going to include some assertion that flies in the face of all facts and logic (you have to watch a TV to even see a commercial)? (And just to state the obvious, the current cite has Mason Malmuth saying "But then a little over three-and-a-half years ago, the first World Poker Tour shows appeared on TV and a new interest in this game began" so let's avoid POV assertions to the contrary). 2005 01:16, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
If everyone says it, you should have no problem finding one of them and providing a source. From your comments, it's not clear to me what your disagreeing with. Moneymaker is mentioned in my addition. TV programs have an extensive section above where this paragraph was added. Am I right in understanding that you are only disagreeing with the sentence: "online poker did not experience substantial growth in popularity until Party Poker began a television advertising campaign in 2003"? If so, we can probably add the rest of the paragraph back in and just discuss this one sentence. --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 04:04, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm saying the article covers the reasons for Texas Holdem's growth. What you have above is irrelevant and redundant to the article. Exactly what do you want to include, and why? 2005 05:55, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
I disagree in part with this statement "online poker did not experience substantial growth in popularity until Party Poker began a television advertising campaign " I would say it’s mainly 4 reasons, where ads make up the ladder (1) the introduction of the lipstick cams that showed the players hole cards, the WSOP on TV was ok to watch in the past, but seeing who could bluff , read hands (and be right about the read) making great lay downs etc. drove the interest (2) in online play sky high, (3) the moneymaker effect now considered by many as a lucky dog, though at the time seeing an amateur that was able satellite his entry online with only $40 and then winning the 2.5 million championship by beating some of the truly greats in the field, this helped generated a mass craze in online games which made the online poker companies wealthy enough to blitz (4) with mass advertising, there also a lesser fifth which is the magazines and books and non playable poker website (which is why Wikipedia get spammed all the time (grrr)), it's combination of these factors, with that said television advertising is very powerful these company are in business of making money and wouldn’t waste millions of dollars ,euros etc otherwise. Having a source of their advertising budget/spending in a timeline showing growth might make an interesting addition to the article thoght the data may be a little bit misleadng b/c of the above factors, I would say that the ads are buggy not the horse that makes online poker what it is today, anyway that’s my POV two cents ;) ▪◦▪≡ЅiREX≡Talk 06:08, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
On second thought maybe any addition should be very brief linking any addtional history of Online poker television advertising in the online poker article. anyways I feel like reverting my last addition here, I should had done some research rather then make a comment on how I see the history, too blogish on my part <grin> ▪◦▪≡ЅiREX≡Talk 07:16, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
How about this paragraph as a compromise?
The first online poker site, Planet Poker, was established in 1998. Although several more online poker sites entered the market over the next few years, online poker did not experience substantial growth in popularity until 2003, when interest in online poker grew rapidly. The cause of this explosion is unclear, but some site the growth in popularity of TV shows, advertising campaigns by online poker sites, and Chris Moneymaker's victory in the 2003 World Series of Poker as potential causes for the sudden interest in online poker.[1] A new law passed in 2006 in the United States is expected to negatively impact online poker substantially,[2] although some dispute this prognoses.[3]
I have made it less redundant (it no longer repeats the explanations provided in the TV section, just mentions them). I have set it apart with the "some people site" in order to make it more NPOV. I have included TV in the list of explanations. Are there objections to this new formulation? --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 18:18, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
It's not accurate unless you take the POV that online poker as a fifty or sixty million a year business previous to the World Poker Tour was not "substantial". And then, why exactly do you want this in the article? It's 100% off topic and fully irrelevant to this article. If this were added, why not sections on the growth of poker in Califoenia in the 1980s and in Nevada in the late 1970s. All three of these are about poker generically and should be covered elsewhere, not here. 2005 22:17, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
We say that hold'em's growth is the result of two synergistic factors: the appearance of poker on television and the ease of introduction available online. We then detail the history of poker on tv in order to give context to the growth of the game. Since online play is also responsible, we ought to have something like a parallel section for online poker. It is not exactly the same as covering the growth of poker in nevada and cali because in those places poker games other than texas hold'em were popular (stud and draw). Online poker grew largely (although not exclusively) with hold'em. --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 22:39, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
"Online poker grew largely (although not exclusively) with hold'em." And again, that is certainly not true. In fact it is demonstrably not true, as other games are far more prevalent online than in casinos. (Try and find a 2/4 game anywhere anywhere in a casino.) The parallel to California and Nevada is accurate because you are just talking about poker in general. Perhaps the TV section should be cut down, but the TV section is far more relevant because except a small number of WSOP events on ESPN, Holdem has been the only thing shown, and it was the only thing on the WPT during that critical time. Online poker helped increase the popularity of Texas hold 'em, but we say that, and we link to the online article. That's how an article should be structured, especially a long one like this. We should not be looking to make longer with off topic comments an article already giving a length warning.... Take a look at the article. It is structured exactly how it should be... first, hold 'em explosion aknowleged; then a section on specatator sport, this could perhaps be trimmed and the Poker on television article reworked a bit; then a short mention of playing online, with a link to the appropriate article. 2005 01:13, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
I moved the three very off topic paragraphs from the TV section to the Poker on television article so now the two sections are more in line and only talk about hold 'em. 2005 01:27, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm afraid that we simply disagree about the relevance of this paragraph to the article. I will solicit opinions from other editors. --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 17:46, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
That's fine of course, but you still really haven't said why you think a general paragraph should be in this article, in a way different than how similar things are handled not just in the poker articels, but in the Wikipedia in general. Duplicating information is not good; linking to where the information exists is. 2005 03:15, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
This is a very strange requirement, which contradicts standard practice on wikipedia. Most good articles which are about large areas of study are nothing but duplicated information of more specific daughter articles. What should, game theory be for instance? Just a list of sub-topics? About daughter articles WP:SUMMARY says, "The summary in a section at the survey article will necessarily be at least (if not more than) twice as long as the lead section in the daughter article. The daughter article in turn can also serve as a survey article for its specific part of the topic." Similarly, WP:POVFORK says, "Clearly Joséphine de Beauharnais will contain a significant amount of information also in Napoleon I of France, this does not make it a fork." Both of these suggest its standard practice to duplicate information. The question should not be whether the information is duplicated but whether or not it's helpful. --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 23:40, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
"The question should not be whether the information is duplicated but whether or not it's helpful." How can you say that? This obviously not true. WE can add tons of helpful but redundant info to most articles. We don't reproduce how to play Texas Holdem in the Poker article. We don't reproduce the growth of poker info in the Gambling article. We don't explain gambling in depth in the Games article, etc. Additonally Wikipedia has policies about article length. Exceedingly long ones should be looking for ways to be smaller, not larger. I think you are misunderstanding standard practice. You just have to look at the above mentioned articles, and not the Games one is not 1000kb long with every sort of detail on subtopics. This article is about Texas Holdem. Online poker increased the popularity of Texas Holdem, and we link to the online poker article where issues regarding its growth can de discussed in appropriate depth. At the same time, we also don't list how to play Texas Holdem in the online poker article. Your original text had the Party Poker POV problem, but other than that the text is appropriate to the online poker article and I'd suggest you look at that and add any text, sources or concepts you think are missing. 2005 03:41, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

2005, this is why I suggested that we get some outside opinions. Of course, I understand that true things shouldn't be added to every article. I didn't mean my sentence that you quoted to imply that. I think the paragraph I added (or the second compromise one I suggested) are helpful to this article and would be information of use to people reading about texas hold'em. You disagree. I understand, but I don't suspect you and I can resolve this difference on our own. --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 03:50, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

  • Has anyone considered just taking the "disputed" paragraphs and just having them in a history section in online poker? Looks like you guys have, but you could always move that info over there. As for how to deal with this article, I'm not seeing too much of a problem with the paragraph in place. Online hold'em didn't start getting big until Moneymaker's WSOP win, true. It seems wthat the problem isn't even the info itslef, just the fact that it's there and also in the online poker article. As long as you have a paraphrased version (which Kzollman has) and as long as there's a link to the larger article, then I don't have a problem with it. I'm not disagreeing with 2005 so much, as there's no reason to have a huge thing on online poker in the Texas Hold'em article. But what we have now is decent.

I just hope I understood your guys' dispute right. --Wizardman 04:05, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

As I've said more than once, moving the content to the online poker article is what should be done, but that is only part of it. The POV is the other. The commercials part was just plain wrong. To break it down further...
"The first online poker site, Planet Poker, was established in 1998." Accurate, but irrelevant to this article.
"Although several more online poker sites entered the market over the next few years, online poker did not experience substantial growth in popularity until 2003, when interest in online poker grew rapidly." Personally I consider this false. Online poker was a eight figure business before the World Poker Tour. By any reasonable measurement, that is a substantial industry. Deceptive and inaccurate sentence... although it boils down to the POV of "substantial".
"The cause of this explosion is unclear, but some site the growth in popularity of TV shows, advertising campaigns by online poker sites, and Chris Moneymaker's victory in the 2003 World Series of Poker as potential causes for the sudden interest in online poker." Again POV. It's not unclear. The WPT, commercials, and Moneymaker accelerated growth dramatically.
"A new law passed in 2006 in the United States is expected to negatively impact online poker substantially, although some dispute this prognoses." Irrelevant sentence to the Texas Holdem article. I really don't see why you would want to include this Kevin. 2005 04:14, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
On second thought, I have a better idea. Would this paragraph be a good compromise? I reread the article and realized that it was kinda long.
Online poker did not experience substantial growth in popularity until 2003, when interest in online hold'em grew rapidly, due partially to Chris Moneymaker's victory in the 2003 World Series of Poker, as he won his spot in the tournament through playing Texas Hold'em online.[1] How's this? You guys can add in a sentence at the beginning if you want, not sure howto start the flow. --Wizardman 04:10, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
This is the current sentence... "In the first decade of the 21st century, Texas hold 'em has experienced a surge in popularity in the United States. Many observers attribute this growth to the synergy of two features, the presence of Texas hold 'em as a spectator sport and the invention and growth of online poker." I'm going to remove the United States part after I post this as the growth is worldwide. This sentence could be improved by more clearly stating WPT/commercials/Moneymaker, but the substantial growth stuff is pure fiction. 2005 04:18, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
Okay, you don't like the implication that online poker wasn't growing before Moneymaker. How about this? "Although online poker grew from its inception in 1998 until 2003, Chris Moneymaker's 2003 win at the World Series of Poker, the prominence of poker on television, and advertising campaigns resulted in a tripling of the industries revenues in 2004." ("Tripling" is from [4].) --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 04:33, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

I've changed the current sentence to reflect the worldwide nature of the increased popularity, as well as the four factors involved, online/TV/commercials/Moneymaker. It could still be tweaked of course, but each of those four (except the commercials) elements is now linked to the article with more info on the element. 2005 04:27, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

With the new sentence, can we add the following (modified version of the above) to the online section? "Although online poker grew from it inception in 1998 until 2003, the above cited factors resulted in a tripling of industry revenues in 2004." How's that sound? --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 04:40, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
Basically,I would just combine those two sentences you have now. Both have enough substance.

In the first decade of the 21st century, Texas hold 'em has experienced a surge in popularity in the United States. Many observers attribute this growth to the synergy of two features, the presence of Texas hold 'em as a spectator sport and the invention and growth of online poker. Although online poker grew from its inception in 1998 until 2003, Chris Moneymaker's 2003 win at the World Series of Poker, the prominence of poker on television, and advertising campaigns resulted in a tripling of the industries revenues in 2004." ("Tripling" is from [5].)

Even just that raw combination of the two works okay, it just needs to be written a little neater. --Wizardman 05:31, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Either of the above is fine with me. 2005 07:33, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

New law[edit]

Great. I'm glad we could reach a compromise. I would also like to include the last sentence about the new law about online poker. I included it initially because I thought the articles was incomplete. Many are declaring that the glory days of poker (and hold'em specifically) are over (at least the glory days of online poker/hold'em). While I'm not sure I agree with this, I thought it important to include it in the section where we discussion hold'em's explosion. What do you think? --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 02:33, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
No. It is not even relevant to Texas hold'em, and who cares what someone's opinion is? No sensible person would declare the "glory days" are over, and I personally would find it embarrassing to have the article quote somebody who would even speculate about such a thing. 2005 07:02, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
2005, the sentence says that this prognosis is disputed. The cite is to a newswire article, which is certainly a reputable source. Since such prognosis were printed in major newspapers, leaving them out would be to leave out something which is relevant. As to whether its relevant to Texas Hold'em, we say that one the causes of the Texas Hold'em explosion is the availability of online poker. If online poker is no longer available, it seems reasonable to think that the explosion might end.
I must say, that comments like this one really make it seem as though your just being difficult for difficulty sake. Why don't you think its relevant? I said in my comment why I thought it was. Why would "no sensible person" say that the glory days are over? This seems especially strange, since you have access to the specific citation I provided, and you are free to indite it specifically (if you think there is anything wrong with it). And, of course, the comment about embarrassment is merely to take a more extreme position without adding anything important to the discussion. It makes you seem less amenable to discussion, and suggests you are trying to use your authority to intimidate me. Odd, since I don't know who you are. --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 19:13, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm doing no such thing. What I am at a loss about is why you keep proposing to add off topic POV. It is obvious no sensible person can "know" the glory days are over. That is a nonsense crystal ball statement, and utterly irrelevant to an article on Texas holdem. Likewise, this where does "If online poker is no longer available" come from? Why would we speculate about something impossible? Why are you wanting to speculate at all about online poker in a Texas hold'em article? I'm not trying to intimidate you, that's silly. I'm encouraging you to not add off topic content, especially proposing a bizarre POV. Please check the crystal ball at the door. Citeable, on topic, encyclopedic facts please. If Texas hold'em ever gets less popular, we can cite factual content saying that at that time. 2005 06:53, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
Please assume good faith. Why would I knowing want to add off-topic POV? I am a long-standing contributor to this project, I agree with and abide by wikipedia's policies. I want to add those sentences because I think they are not off-topic and not POV. I may certainly be wrong about this, but repeating those accusations are unhelpful. The sentence I'm adding makes the speculative nature of those predictions clear. WP:CRYSTAL says, "It is appropriate to report discussion and arguments about the prospects for success of future proposals and projects or whether some development will occur, provided that discussion is properly referenced" (emphasis in original). It's cited. So, the question remains if its relevant. I think anytime a statement of the form "x caused y" is relevant to an article a discussion of the continued presence of x is relevant. In this case, y is the hold'em explosion and x is the wide availability of online poker. I feel like I'm repeating myself, I apologize if you've responded to this claim. I feel, however, like you are ignoring my reasons in preference for repeating your attitude. --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 07:13, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
I have assumed good faith and continue to. That's why I keep asking why you want to add this. Perhaps a different question this: do you intend to add this same text to the stud article? Will you also add the same text to the Omaha article? Will you add the same text to the poker tournaments article? If you think it is appropraite for an article on one game, and don't think it is appropriate for the others, why not? Clearly there has been an explosion of tournament poker of a far greater degree than the hold'em explosion, so why wouldn't it be there if you want it here? Why have you not added it to the online poker article? You have not made a case for why content not on the topic of the article should be included in the article, which also then begs the question of how many of the similar articles should have the content. Absent any rationale on those points, and absent a response on why content about online poker is not added to the online poker article, I just don't see what you are trying to accomplish here. You might also want to check out WP:AWW. Finally, what would be the point of additional citations of people speculating that US casino poker will increase if US players to online poker is diminished? That is not the topic of this article. I don't know how it could be any plainer. The topic you are bringing up could be the subject of several paragraphs of cited speculation, but it isn't on the topic of THIS article. If you want to cover this specualtion, put in the article that is the subject of the speculation. 2005 10:40, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

While I remain unconvinced, its not important enough for me to continue fighting about this. --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 18:21, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Blinds when dealer goes out three handed[edit]

My friends and I can't agree on where the button goes. One friend says that the button goes to the small blind like normal, and the blinds would be small small. I say that htis is the only situation in poker that the small blind doesn't inherit the deal button and the small blind, the old small blind would be the big blind. Can somebody clear this up for me, and possibly provide a source? 02:52, 3 January 2007 (UTC)AJ10101

Different casinos have widely different rules regarding how the blinds are placed when either of the blinds leaves (or is eliminated from a tournament). I suspect there is no "answer" to the question you're asking, but rather several answers which depend on the casino in question. For a home game, adopt a rule that seems fair. (We probably ought to add something about the varying rules for progression of the blinds at blind (poker)). --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 03:10, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree, that there may be different rules for this problem. But the most common rule seems to be: passing the button to the former big blind in this situation. To maximize the fairness, don't ask yourself who should recieve the button. Rather figure out who should post the big blind next (this should be the former small blind in your example, so that nobody has to post the big blind twice in a row), afterwards pass the button to the new small blind. I also have a link, where the problem is described very well (including pics ;)):
Sorry for my english - I'm no native speaker...
Greets, Kai -- 14:09, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Possible correction[edit]

I prefer to post here instead of correcting there cause I'm still learning how to play it. In the second example, when it says "as that would give her a Queen-high straight", wouldn't Alice have a Queen-high flush instead? Because, in the example, she would have no sequential order: 4-9-10-J-Q, same suit. From what is described previously in the article, there's a need for sequential numbers to make a straight, and any five of the same suit to make a flush. It's just a doubt of mine, really.

The article is correct. The board contains an 8, so if the river had been a jack, she could have constructed the hand: 8-9-T-J-Q. --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 06:38, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
Oh, I see. Thanks for appreciating the issue. There is actually a reason why I'm still learning :)
But, again, if we consider that the best hand is the one to be considered, she would indeed have a flush (4-9-T-J-Q, same suit), which is higher than the straight pointed (8-9-T-J-Q, diff suits). Maybe it's a matter of reelaborating that paragraph for better comprehension?


I removed a reference to the most recent Bond film. We cannot include every mention of texas hold'em in popular culture, and I don't see a reason why it is particularly notable (above other mentions of hold'em). --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 01:10, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Question about re- buy ins in a cash game[edit]

Say there is a five person game and at $20 buy ins. Then 3 players go all in. 2 lose and are out of the game. Then these 2 losers each buy in at $20 each. Is it OK for the winner to cash out his winnings (or any amount) and quit before the conclusion of the game? And, Is it OK for the 2 losers to buy in from additional cash in their wallet, or do they need to buy in from chips already in the game, so that no more than $100 dollars worth of chips are in the game at one time? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 23:37, 1 February 2007 (UTC).

As with most things in poker everything depends on the rules of the cardroom. In most cash games people are free to leave at any time. The winner can leave with his winnings (but cannot cash out for part of his winnings and continue playing with less). In cash games people are always able to buy back in. Some games allow you to buy in only for the original maximum, other times they can buy in for up to another amount (usually higher than the maximum). --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 21:50, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Correct punctuation should be: Texas Hold 'em[edit]

Is the 'h' not capitalized because of technical limitations? "Texas Hold 'em" is the preferred capitalization. "Omaha" is NEVER referred to as "Omaha Hold 'em" (either its "Omaha", "Omaha High-Low" (or "Omaha High-Low Eight or Better"). Also, "The Hold 'em explosion" always referred to the tremendous growth experienced in California in the early 90's when it was declared legal (actually declared "not illegal"). HappyParrot 18:27, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

If you have a reference for the California connection, please feel free to add that to the article. If you have a reference for the name, please discuss hear. Personally, I agree with Texas Hold 'em as the proper name. With Omaha, even though it is not usually referred to as Omaha Hold 'em, I believe this is the true name of the game. —Doug Bell talk 19:07, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
I don't really care about the name of this article. The only problem is that if we change it, we'll have a lot of standardizing to do (since this was the accepted name prior). Regarding "Omaha" while the sorter name is more common, I think this is just the same as "Hold'em" being the more common name of texas hold'em. Certainly the claim that it is "NEVER" used is a bit too strong. --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 20:13, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
The fixup effort is not really that big of a deal, so it shouldn't factor into the decision on the name. —Doug Bell talk 20:27, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
The fixup effort would be enormous, and is reason enough to not discuss it further. Capitalizing hold 'em and then every game name would be a huge endeavor. This discussion took place more than a year ago so let's not go over the same ground again. 2005 00:15, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
There is no "proper name". It is spelled many ways, and Texas hold 'em is correct stylistically with how stud and draw are also not capitalized. Also, I don't know where you come up with the idea that Omaha hold 'em is never used as it obviously is, and that is in fact the longstanding, correct name of the game. 2005 00:15, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Featured Article?[edit]

I think this is good enough for featured article, personally. It's also good to have something more people know of as a featured article- One of the most popular card games in the world is more worthy than an Arctic Tern. MJPerry 13:11, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

A couple things wrong here.
  • The most popular card games in the world" is not sufficent incentive to nominate an article. China is the most populous nation on the planet but is not featured, Russia is the largest country on the planet and is not get my drift.
  • You failed to properly create the FAC nomination, I did that for you.
  • Though not a criterion, you have not edited the article yourself. FAC has a recurring problem with these "drive-by" nominations. Before an FAC nomination, it is advisable to notify the people who have edited the article the most and see what they think. That would appear to be 2005 (talk · contribs) and Kzollman (talk · contribs). Either of them probably would have told you if it's anywhere near ready or not. --Phoenix (talk) 18:49, 29 April 2007 (UTC)