Texas Holdem hardly needs an introduction. Not only is it the most popular poker variation by a long shot (no other game even comes close), but it’s also the first game most people think of when you say “poker.” If you’re want to make a lot of money with poker, this is the game you should learn first. You’ll never have a problem finding a little Holdem action wherever you go.

Crazily enough, the game is even more popular on the internet. I’d be willing to bet that at least 95% of all poker hands dealt online are dealt in Holdem games. It’s just that entrenched in today’s poker landscape. Anyways, I’m sure you already know all this, so let’s get to business. Here is my hand-picked list of the best Texas Holdem poker sites:

Here’s why I believe these are the best places to play Texas Holdem online for real money:

  • Each site is safe with a long term reputation for security
  • These sites have high player traffic so that you can find games any time of day
  • Each site offers no-limit and fixed limit poker cash games and tournaments
  • Each site is home to soft games (not as many sharks)

When you break it down like that, it’s a fairly simple job to figure out which sites are the best for Texas Holdem as long as you’re familiar with a variety of poker sites. Over the course of my poker career, I’ve probably played at two dozen poker sites and talked with people about a hundred others. With that information at hand, it was easy to narrow it down and give you accurate, reliable recommendations.

Why Should I Play Texas Holdem?

Everyone should know how to play Texas Holdem and have an understanding of basic strategy. Even if you eventually move to other games, Holdem serves as a great starting point because it is simple to learn. Other games are loosely based on Holdem, and because it’s the one game, you can always count on finding wherever you go.

The strategy skills you develop in Texas Holdem will come in useful even when you move on to completely different games. In Holdem, you learn how to manage limited information, estimate opponents’ hand ranges, and deal with bad beats. It doesn’t take much to grasp these basic strategy concepts, and they will prove useful in the future.

Mostly though, it just comes down to traffic. No matter where you end up playing, the vast majority of the tables and tournaments will be Texas Holdem. It would be a little ridiculous to limit yourself to 2-7 Triple Draw or some other form of poker when those games never run with any real frequency.

Texas Holdem is the Perfect Form of Poker

Walk into any card room or turn on the TV to any poker tournament, and the chances are you’ll be greeted with Texas Holdem. This is the game that Doyle Brunson once called the “Cadillac of poker” because it’s just so perfect. It is easy to learn, easy to understand, and strikes the right balance between information and mystery.

I mean by that last bit that the rules of the game reveal just the right amount of information about everyone’s hands without going too far in either direction. You are given enough information to make educated guesses about what your opponents may have, but there’s just enough mystery to keep everyone guessing.

One glance at the community cards, and you know the entire range of possible hands instantly. If the flop comes out with three spades, for example, you know there may be a flush lurking out there somewhere. What you don’t know are the contents of each opponent’s two hidden hole cards.

Take 5 Card Draw. In that game, no cards are ever revealed through the course of a hand. The only information you have to go on is each person’s betting patterns and the number of draws. Five-card draw games among casual players tend to either grind down to a halt or end up in everyone trying to out-bluff one another. There’s not as much room for strategy with so much missing information.

Texas Holdem is also friendly to fishy players. You don’t need to be a student of the game to take a seat and get the general gist of the game. Even the most casual players can get a pretty good idea of what’s going on and what possible hands each other is holding.

Compare this to 7 Card Stud. That game provides a balanced mix of revelation and mystery, but it’s a whole lot harder to keep track of what everyone has and what the possible hands are. You have to possess a strong memory to keep track of what everyone has, which cards have been revealed and whether or not any specific hand is possible.

Texas Holdem doesn’t require a photographic memory. Everyone shares the same community cards, so you don’t have to keep track of who got what, which cards have been discarded, and how all the possibilities pan out given that information. It’s good for the fish, and the fish are good for the sharks.

This is why I believe Texas Holdem is the perfect form of poker. It’s friendly to casuals yet laden with strategic implications. To borrow an old cliché, Texas Holdem is one of those rare games that take minutes to learn but a lifetime to master.