Online poker has grown increasingly popular over the past few years, thanks to advances in technologies and platforms. As a result, it’s become an incredibly profitable industry for online gaming operators.
However, with the Coronavirus and social distancing, it appears unlikely that poker will return to pre-pandemic levels. Here are some potential future trends which could shape how poker plays over the next few years.
Online poker is a game of skill, yet many states view it as gambling. This creates an intricate legal framework.
A major concern is the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, or UIGEA, which makes it illegal for banks to process payments for unlawful gaming sites. Thankfully, this law does not apply to state-regulated poker websites.
Good news: A multi-state agreement has been formed by New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada that allows sites to pool their player pools – an essential step for creating large tournaments and a healthy poker ecosystem.
Multiple conservative states have proposed legislation to legalize real money online poker. Indiana, for instance, has had online sports betting since 2019. House Bills 1356 and 1337 were introduced in 2021 but neither passed the first reading stage.
Live online poker is becoming an increasingly popular way for both amateur and professional poker players to showcase their play and reach a global audience. From the biggest tournaments in the world to micro stakes grinders, there are hundreds of hours worth of high-quality content available to watch online.
Some players have launched their own streaming channels and amassed millions of viewers. Others have collaborated with major online poker sites to broadcast major events via Twitch.
Many online poker streamers possess a solid poker background, while others simply love the game and love to entertain their viewers. Some even incorporate comedy or other entertaining elements to keep their audiences engaged.
Some of the top poker streamers on Twitch include Jaime “PokerStaples” Staples, Parker “TonkaaaP” Talbot and Doug “WCGRider” Polk. Each has all the essential ingredients for creating an incredible poker stream: genuine interest in the game, skills at winning MTTs and an entertaining persona.
One of the fastest-growing trends in online poker today is Virtual Reality (VR) games. These free-to-play, immersive poker titles provide players with a believable gaming environment.
VR gaming is becoming increasingly popular with young gamers who want to feel the rush of poker without leaving their homes. It also makes for a great option for budget-minded individuals who wish to avoid traveling to an actual casino.
Unfortunately, there are only a few VR poker games currently available. PokerStars VR being one of them.
PokerStars VR, developed in collaboration with Lucky VR, brings together elements of online poker with those of its live counterpart in a virtual reality environment.
Players have the unique opportunity to enjoy playing in luxurious locations like Monte Carlo Yacht or Showdown Saloon. Plus, they can order drinks and cigars while they relax.
Texas Hold’em is the most popular variation of poker, but there are numerous others to choose from. These include various betting structures, rules and formats.
Before Texas Hold’em became popular, seven-card stud was the go-to game for both beginners and experts alike. It’s an easy-to-learn variation that rewards patience and skill with unique gameplay and strategy.
In this poker variation, you are dealt two cards face-down and one face-up. From there, you use those cards to determine whether to stay in the hand or fold.
This poker variant is similar to 2-7 Triple Draw and Badugi, but it utilizes a hand ranking system which may prove more challenging for experienced players. Nonetheless, it remains an enjoyable alternative when looking for a quick break from traditional poker.