With the onset of the global Covid-19 pandemic, many gambling venues including casinos and traditional bookmakers were forced to close their doors for health reasons. It is still unclear when these businesses will be allowed to reopen, social distancing rules could be in place for some time in many countries, and with such large amounts of money at stake people are turning in their millions to online gambling and online poker more specifically. An industry that was already popular, online poker is fast becoming the favorite pastime of many people who are experiencing Covid-19 restrictions.
Poker has always in its many formats been popular, adapted from a French game called Poque which was introduced to the world via colonialism in the 17th century. The game has been developed and many different versions are played all over the world with Texas Hold 'Em being the most popular in most western countries. It's not just poker that has grown in popularity recently, playing virtual slots and other casino games online have all become very popular with gamblers or people who just want to play for free and have fun.
How Big is The Online Gambling Industry?The ease at which adults can now legally gamble has led to a huge growth in online gambling sites, it is estimated by the American Gaming Association (AGA) that in 2018 over 2800 legally registered sites were operational around the world. With the rapid growth of online gambling sites, there has been a big shift from the traditional casino and brick and mortar gambling establishments.
Just how much is this fast-growing sector worth? Estimates place the annual figure of online gambling at $73 billion annually and growing rapidly. This figure is predicted to grow to $127 billion by 2027, to put that into contrast, the GDP of Southeast Asian country Laos is $19 billion. With the availability of access to the internet with many people owning smart devices and laptops, it is possible to go online anytime and anywhere and access their account and play casino games such as poker or place bets on sports. Many countries have also relaxed the domestic rules for gambling, making it easier than ever to gamble.
Which Online Poker Games Are The Most Popular?With poker being the most popular game on online gambling sites it can be a bit confusing for a beginner, which game variant suits you best is your choice. With many different forms of poker to choose from it is a bit daunting, here is a list of the most popular poker games played online:
- Texas Hold 'Em is without a doubt the most popular online poker game, every site will have this game available to play. Easy to learn and great fun to play online or with friends and family at home.
- Seven-Card Stud is an old game that is played widely across online poker platforms, a great game for beginners with simple rules. For beginners, it is the perfect game to try your hand.
- Pot-Limit Omaha is for more experienced players and high rollers, it is best suited to players who know how to bluff at the correct time. Bluffing is an essential skill that you can only perfect with practice.
- High / Low Chicago is another popular online poker game with a bit of a twist, not only can you win by having the highest hand but also the lowest. This makes the game a bit more fun and interesting.
There are so many variations of poker both online and at regular casinos that are not difficult to learn but hard to master. It's worth trying a few first and finding your favorite. Most online gambling sites offer free-to-play games so you can practice before you start to place real money on games first.
The Advantages of Playing Online PokerThe success of online poker and gambling sites is largely due to the convenience of being able to play anytime and anywhere. By playing online you cut out the need to travel to the traditional casinos, this can be expensive depending on where you live. Parking whilst you are at a casino can be expensive and adds up over time. Food and drinks at casinos are also expensive and if you have a few too many to drink and need a room for the night it's not cheap either unless you're a high roller which means it's free. Most casinos also do not have the space for tables for the number of games that online poker can provide or the trained staff.
Whilst many traditional casinos do stay open 24 hours many are not, with online poker it never stops. You can play at your discretion whenever you have free time, with daily and even hourly tournaments there is always a game for you. More experienced players can also play multiple online tournaments or tables at the same. It is also quite intimidating for beginners to sit at a casino table whilst learning to play, online poker is anonymous with other players only able to see the chosen name you have put on view when opening your account. Also, online poker sites much like any other gambling site offer different games such as slots or bingo which can be a nice change from poker.
SummaryWith the Covid-19 pandemic showing no sign of abating, traditional brick and mortar casinos remain closed in many parts of the world and many people have switched to playing online. With incentives for new customers and deals for existing ones, online casinos are taking off like never before. With the ease at which play, online poker is fast becoming many people's choice, lack of travel, 24 hours non-stop games, and the ability to play in any location it is hard to see many people returning to traditional casinos when they reopen their doors.
So many different variants of poker are available online it's easy to find one that suits everybody, whether you are a beginner or a pro player.