The game of poker is more popular – and accessible than ever. But how have we come to a time when pretty much anyone can take out their smartphone and find a fitting game of poker to play online? Online poker was not always as popular or as easy to get started into as it is today. The rise of certain brands has certainly contributed, but to truly understand the phenomenon, we need to look at some of the factors that have contributed to poker’s status as it is today.
Technological Leaps and Bounds
The first and most relevant factor to poker’s success today, and the game’s future online, has to do with the advancements that have been achieved in the technology that makes this gameplay possible in the first place.
Platforms would once struggle to maintain even dozens of players running at the same time, but today’s platforms, will easily host thousands of players who are playing Omaha and Hold’em, cash games or tournaments, on regular basis.
Powerful computing has enabled poker sites to offer a sterling service that allowed them to quickly gain prominence around the world. The United States was a pioneer, and online poker for US players was one of the first instances of the game being launched online.
Advancements in web technology have made it so that players could connect with poker sites remotely and reliably. This is just one of the reasons why online poker has become such an accessible commodity today. There is, of course, more.
Booming Internet Economy
The connection between the upswing of the Internet economy and the popularity of online poker may not be immediately clear, but it’s there. A booming e-commerce sector has given consumers confidence that Internet payments are safe, enabling them to try many new things.
Poker just happens to be one of those new things. An inherent understanding of how online payments work was only made possible thanks to the fact that people today may purchase things on the Internet quickly and reliably.
Online poker sites have made sure to leverage this, but they have also been offering a lot of free entries into tournaments and cash games for new players to try, bestowing an additional layer of trust between their platform and the end-consumer.
More Brands Breaking Ground
Yet, relying on just one or two brands to make the online poker the best place for netizens to enjoy would be a mistake. This is why there have been many brands pushing their game and brand online and succeeding.
This natural competition amongst online poker sites has contributed to the overall accessibility of poker such as we know it today. Card rooms have been in fierce competition with one another. Many enter the same markets, and this is especially true in the United States where BetMGM Poker, 888poker, PokerStars and PartyPoker are just some of the brands trying to secure the biggest market share.
This has created a vibrant ecosystem in which brands are doing their best to remain not just competitive – but to actually create the best online poker experience for customers. This has made the game not just accessible – it’s also made it fairer, given more opportunities to play in important events without risking too much out of your own money.
Pragmatic Reasons for Joining Up
Online poker is not just a matter of accessibility or convenience. It’s also a matter of making a lot of financial and economic sense for players to try. Although there is a clear difference between online games and the land-based version of the game, insomuch that you cannot really read someone’s poker face, online poker still makes tons of sense to try.
Especially if you are playing on a budget. Online poker makes sure that it has a very accessible entry level which has to do with the low stakes. Players may “grind” their way and start with as much as a dollar as they gradually scale their presence in the platform. Some players would even end up entering a platform and making their way to the World Series of Poker.
Chris Moneymaker, one of the biggest inspirations of the poker scene, went to become a multi-million poker winner after he qualified for the Main Event as a result of an online tournament. He is perhaps one of the best examples of how online poker can be a very pragmatic choice when looking to play and how online poker has become more accessible.
Variety, the Spice of Online Poker
Another reason why online poker is so popular – if not only accessible – is the fact that there are all sorts of versions of the game you can play online. This includes not just the all-time popular Texas Hold’em, but also other successful iterations, such as Stud and Omaha, all of which are easily available at online platforms.
Texas Hold’em is pretty much the most popular version there is today, but the fact is that online poker sites will be just as keen to provide you with alternative versions as well. This variety contributes to the overall accessibility of the game.
It’s also worth noting that the way poker has evolved online, the game now allows for many different cash games, formats, and even quick weekday tournaments, which you can attend remotely and keep adding to your bankroll as a result.
Legal Changes Across the World
Not least, online poker is more accessible today thanks to the fact that lawmakers are seeing the game as one of “skill” and not one of “chance. In other words, regulators and lawmakers have made it possible for operators to obtain a license and offer their services above board.
This has come with a number of great benefits for the end-user. Not only are poker players assured that they are playing in a safe and reliable environment. The card rooms themselves can invest more in making sure that players get the best possible tournaments, cash prizes and more, as they never have to fear regulatory blowback!