The online casino industry is constantly growing. As of 2016, online casinos accounted for an impressive 33% of the gambling market in the UK — a number that continues to grow.
One of the early frontrunners in the online gaming andscene was poker; just ten years ago, Texas Hold’em was the face of social and online gaming. It remains one of the most popular variations of online poker games, which reports reveal accumulated £101 million in 2017. While this only accounted for 5% of the online casino market’s gross gambling yield, online poker remains one of the best online gambling games.
Here are five reasons why you should try playing it.
It’s great to play on the move
From social media to remote working and entertainment; more people than ever are accessing the digital world on the move via mobile devices, including smart phones and tablets. The UK Gambling Commission reports a steady increase across all age groups in the percentage of online gamblers that gambled via mobile or tablet. As event faster internet, like 5G, becomes accessible, online gaming on the move will continue to grow and evolve.
Poker has always been a great game to play online — and online casino apps have made it even better. Because of its popularity with celebrities, professionals and fans, apps for poker games are about as high quality as you’re going to get. With slick interfaces, incredible UX design and lots of advanced features, including multi-tabling, searching and tracking players and history-hand reviews — poker playing is a top entertainment experience, wherever you may be.
It’s always exciting
There’s a reason why people travel across the world, or tune in on their TVs and computers, to watch big poker tournaments like the World Series of Poker; it’s just so exciting. This is in part due to the high stakes — WSOP 2019, for example, is expected to award its players more than $200 million in prize money — but also the entertainment culture and professionalism of the game.
From Daniel Negreanu to Fedor Holz, professional poker players have become stars in their own right; fans enjoy following their careers and brands try to get players on board for corporate sponsorship. More than almost every other game, poker is a fascinating viewing and playing experience.
Just like in land-based casinos, advances in online gaming means you can play with live dealers and other players; bringing the same excitement that builds around the poker table, right to your home.
There’s a lot of skill involved
When it comes to online gambling, there are a plethora of options of games to play. But many of them, like slots and roulette, are based fully on chance — entertaining of course, but not a lot of opportunity to get better. Poker on the other hand, is a professional game — it’s all about the strategy and skill.
Part of the draw for playing poker is that novices can build up and get better; and professional players can compete on a high level, adding to the excitement and drama. Online poker is a great place to learn how to play and even get better. The fact that, unlike video games, there’s real money to be gained gives players all the more reason to try and get better.
Novice needing inspiration? Remember, even the top poker players in the world started knowing nothing, either. Take Daniel Negreanu, for example.
He says: “I started out as a teenager I was a snooker player, or pool player. Through that I met some other teenagers that were gamblers, if you will, who started basement games. I was just sort of learning on the go, losing my $10.”
There are so many variations to the game.
The shear amount of variations on the game of poker is an indicator into how popular the game is today.
For a beginner, it’s recommended to start out with one of the most popular versions — Texas Hold’em. Not only is it exciting to watch, but it’s an easy one to learn; each player is dealt two cards that only they can see. The dealer then spreads five cards, which are then used by players to make the best card hand; as each card is revealed, players take turns betting based on the two cards they have. The player with the best hand is the winner.
Another popular version to try is Omaha (of which there are several variations in itself!). Omaha is similar to Texas Hold ‘em, the main difference being that instead of being dealt two-hole cards at the start, players get four. Other types of online game to play include Razz, Seven Card Stud and Draw poker. Once you’re good at one, try switching it up and having a go at another until you find a favourite.
Finally — just about anyone can play!
Young and old, novice or professional — poker is an online game that can be learned, and played by anyone over the age of 18. There are so many different variations to try to suit almost every skill level and playing type. This is one of the main reasons the game is so popular with gamblers; almost everyone can get good at it — and even earn some fantastic prize money, and bragging points, as a result!