What Could the Future Hold For the Poker Industry?

It’s amazing to think that it hasn’t even been twenty years since the start of the poker boom. It certainly seems like the card game has been mainstream for much longer than that, and an awful lot has happened since the start of poker’s rise to fame.

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Texas Hold’em has changed a great deal, and there is no doubt that it is continuously evolving. Now, there is a new breed of online poker players at the top. Considering the massive leaps this form of entertainment has already taken, it is hard to imagine what the poker industry could look like in another twenty years and how it can further progress.

A Lot Has Changed in a Short Space of Time

The early online poker sites were rudimentary and unexciting compared to what can be found today, but they managed to do the job. Players were attracted to them simply for the opportunity to play poker online at any time of day, for varying stakes. As the market became more saturated, operators obviously had to do more in order to keep appealing to players. As other sites began to offer more varied playing experiences, the industry had to innovate and evolve to attract a greater number of people.

Online poker brought about a brand new way of playing which was promoted and spread through the rise of online tournaments. In the pre-internet days, the masters of the game like Johnny Chan and Doyle Brunson had made names for themselves as masters of the psychological side of the action. Online poker removed the aspect of the game that gave players a chance to learn the strategy of deciphering other players’ emotions, and instead nurtured skills that made the game more scientific.

The breed of player that has been brought up in the internet age must have a firm grip on mathematics and probability. Still, there have been players that existed before the poker boom and have thrived online as well. For instance, Daniel Negreanu was established as a professional before the poker boom, but he found his success after the game became popular.

Along with different ways of playing, twists on the traditional game have also become available. Modern players are often in search of faster-paced versions of poker, which are more in line with the pick-up-and-play titles that are popular on mobile. Some of the modern ways to play include blitz games, which only give players limited time to act. These appeal to participants who want to play a vast number of different tournaments in a row. There are also snap fold offerings that completely eliminate the waiting time between hands. Whenever a player folds, they are instantly transported to a brand new table where another hand is just starting.

Does Poker Need to Evolve Alongside the Casino Industry?

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Poker may need to take a leaf out of the book of online casino comparison sites, which have always managed to stay relevant as technology has progressed. The online casino industry is booming and is expected to grow to be worth $160 billion by 2026. For it to reach this incredible valuation, it will need to continue to expand and evolve. Poker operators should arguably look to replicate some of the moves that some online casino comparison sites are making so they can also cash in on this growing market. That could mean offering a greater variety of games with modern twists.

Looking at the way online casino table games have progressed since the beginning of the industry may give an indicator about where poker could go. In the early days of online casinos, players could usually access basic forms of roulette, blackjack, and the other main table games. Nowadays, they are spoilt for choice with options such as Let It Ride, Sic Bo, and Astro Roulette among others on casino comparison sites. There are also a lot of themed casino games that are designed to be eye-catching to players. Poker sites may choose to copy the library model on offer at some online casinos and feature a wide range of options, including some modern twists and variants in order to stay abreast of trends and innovations.

Could New Technology Bring About a Split in Players?

Along with possibly replicating some of the features of online casinos, poker sites will have to incorporate new technology as it emerges in order to stay relevant in the modern age. This could come in the form of augmented and virtual reality, which may help to merge the worlds of live and online poker.

Any developments in the poker industry are likely to upset certain groups of players. When the game moved online, a lot of the purists believed that the new version of poker didn’t stay true to its core principles. So any future advancements are likely to have the same effect and could cause a split in the industry.

Moving with the times is something that all industries need to do, even one as big as poker. Since the spike of playing numbers during the poker boom, the amount of new poker players each year has levelled out somewhat. It is clear that embracing new technology and replicating the online casino industry is the way for poker to flourish in the future.