Poker has evolved over the years from a game played by settlers, cowboys and bandits to a mainstream gaming experience that many people enjoy thanks to the advent of online poker. But what does the future hold for poker?
We take a look at some of the possible poker trends that you should keep an eye on that may change the future of poker forever.
More Legal Online Poker Options Across the US
Not so long ago, if you wanted to gamble legally, you didn’t have many options apart from hopping on a plane and heading to Vegas. However, more states have begun to realize the benefits of legalizing gambling, making it even easier for people to enjoy betting in their home states.
Online sports betting has been made legal in 36 states with certain other types of online gambling being legalized in 16 states. Unfortunately online poker trails far behind with only six states allowing residents to play at online poker sites. That said, as gambling legislation warms up to other types of gambling, we’re likely to see more laws making online poker legal in more states.
Cryptocurrencies As a Payment Option Will Become Increasingly Popular
Whatever your thoughts are on cryptocurrencies, there are many companies that have started to accept certain types of crypto as a legitimate payment method. Certain companies in the online casino and online poker industry have also begun to allow customers to use cryptocurrency as it offers a number of benefits, including faster deposit and withdrawal times, lower fees and more secure transactions. Even if it doesn’t completely replace traditional currencies and payment systems, it’s likely that crypto will become increasingly used for certain types of online transactions due to these benefits.
More Poker Sites Will Offer Responsible Gaming Resources
In the past, most online poker sites have primarily been focused on offering their customers a fun and exciting experience. However, as society has become increasingly aware of mental health issues and addiction, even more poker sites will start to offer resources to ensure that you continue to have a great time while also protecting you when you play online. Whether this means voluntary opting out or installing spending or time limits, sites will offer players a variety of tools to ensure players can manage the time they spend playing at their poker sites effectively.
VR Poker Could Still Be a Game Changer
VR (Virtual Reality) exploded onto the scene with the Oculus Rift in 2016 and since then VR has had a significant impact on the future of online gaming. The online casino industry has also been paying attention and has begun to offer players a chance to enjoy their favorite casino games, including poker, in virtual reality.
While VR is still relatively niche, the cost to purchase VR hardware and the quality of the experience it offers is getting better every year and is helping to drive interest in VR gaming. Products like the Oculus Quest 2 offer a completely wireless gaming experience, while Sony’s latest headset, the Playstation VR2, offers incredible visual quality thanks to its OLED screens.
It’s only a matter of time before standalone, wireless VR devices that offer a console- or PC-like experience will arrive and give game developers all the power they need to make almost lifelike VR poker rooms a possibility.
More People Will Play Virtual Poker on Mobile
Smartphones and tablets have gotten even larger screens and more powerful computing hardware, making them great multimedia devices that you can easily take with you wherever you go. This has helped these devices become popular options for gamers around the world, including those who like to play poker online.
Sure, these devices may not offer everything a PC or laptop can offer poker players (such as poker HUDs and plenty of visual real estate for multi-table poker) but their benefits make them an excellent alternative for most poker players and help drive their popularity as the default way to play digital poker games on the internet.
New Poker Variants Will Appear
Poker has been played for centuries and many new variants have appeared over the years. Some new variants that have gained popularity in recent years include games like Chicago, Countdown, Five-O and Chinese poker, all with their own unique twists on the classic poker formula. As people grow tired of formats like Seven Card Stud and Omaha, it’s very likely that inventive players will start to experiment and introduce new variants to help spice up the poker scene. And who knows, one of these titles may even rise up to replace the current king of poker, Texas Hold’em.
Just Like Chess, Poker May Become a Sport
Even though there’s a lot of debate around whether chess should be considered a sport, it has officially been recognized as one since 1999, allowing it to be included for the first time in the 2000 Olympics as an exhibition event. Due to the increasing popularity of poker, some members of the poker community are now pushing for poker to join the ranks of chess as an official sport. There’s also the fact that many esports competitors now have the chance to compete in the official Olympics Esports Series, which further strengthens the argument that poker could make the leap and become an official sport in the future.
Online Poker and Live Dealer Poker Will Continue To Grow in Popularity
The rise of online gambling has forever changed the future of casinos as technological advances have made poker games more accessible and allowed more people to enjoy these experiences from the comfort of their home. As developers continue to push the boundaries, more live dealer games and new gaming developments will help close the gap between the real and virtual casino experience.
Enjoy the Best Poker Online Today at BetMGM
While we wait to see how the future of online poker turns out, you can play poker online at BetMGM. At our incredible online poker site, you can sit down for a few quick hands of exciting cash games or settle in to test your skills with any of our competitive online poker tournaments. We also offer a fun range of poker variants for you to play, including Omaha, Seven Card Stud, Texas Hold’em and more.
Register at BetMGM to join in all the online poker action.