The past, present and future of poker

Poker is a traditional casino game that’s been around for centuries. Today there are more than 100 million poker players worldwide and while the traditional poker games played in land-based casinos are a classic, technology has ensured poker continues to be popular with younger generations.

From the traditional 52 card deck to online variants where players can now even benefit from live games with a real-life dealer, the evolution of the game has transformed the casino industry. Below we’ll take a look at the history of poker, how it has evolved and what the future of the poker industry looks like.

The history of poker

poker cards

The origins of poker derive from several cultures and regions across the world. The earliest form of poker is thought to date back to the 10th-century where it was played by a Chinese emperor as a domino card game. There are also traces of poker in the Persian empire in the 16th century where a similar game called ‘As Nas’ was played.

However, the closest historic variant of poker was found to trace back to Europe in the 17th century. One variant was played in France and was named ‘Poque’ and another German variant was named Pochen. Both these games were thought to be derived from the Spanish game Primero. This game involved each player being dealt 3 cards, in which the players would then use a series of bluffing to fool their opponents.

During the colonization of North America, French settlers introduced the game to the continent. From then it became a popular game in the likes of New Orleans and surrounding areas in the South. By the 19th century, the US had introduced the modern version of the game back into Europe where Queen Victoria enquired with the US minister about the game. Poker also became more widely accepted across Europe again during the first world war where US soldiers were influential in encouraging the adoption of the game.

Today, poker is one of the most popular land-based casino games across the world, where several game varieties exist, including Texas Hold’em, Omaha, 7 card stud and 5 card draw.

The transition to online poker

Poker chips

The digital revolution changed the way traditional poker was played, introducing online poker. It is estimated that there are currently more than 120 million online poker players worldwide. While the game is essentially the same, there are some fundamental differences in the way the game is played. One of these key differences is that online poker is played at a much quicker rate. A typical online poker game yields 60-80 hands per hour or 200-250 hands per hour in snap poker.

As online poker has become more popular, more and more providers have entered the online space. This has meant that competition has become rife and providers have had to seek new and innovative ways to attract and retain customers. For online poker players, this has meant several new benefits. Such benefits of online poker include:

Accessibility

Unlike having to travel to a land-based casino, online poker games can easily be accessed at any place and any time, whether it’s on the commute to work or from the comfort of your sofa.

Online bonuses

Online poker games offer exclusive bonuses, particularly for new players. From a signup bonus or free cash that enables players to try out the game without having to deposit any funds, to free spins and mini-games.

Online poker communities

Today’s online poker games are more than just games. They also offer a community where like-minded poker players can come together to connect in online chatrooms and forums and even participate in tournament and leadership boards.

5G technology

5G is the next generation of internet connectivity technology, offering increased gaming performance with reduced lag and much higher speeds. As 5G technology is rolled out across much of the world, it increases the possibilities of what poker can offer.

The future of poker

As the digital revolution continues to develop, an increasing amount of new technologies continue to transform online gaming experiences. One of these technologies is AI in gaming. Artificial Intelligence-powered experiences enable additional non-human players to be added to the game that acts intelligently or creatively.

Additionally, technologies like virtual reality are bridging the gap between the physical and digital worlds. This allows the player to experience the atmosphere of a real-life casino, while still experiencing the benefits of playing poker online from anywhere and at any time.

Such technologies are shifting the boundaries for poker experiences, in which one day, it’s possible that poker will be played completely online. However, for now, it seems that while poker is increasingly popular online, it’s still very much a popular game in land-based casinos too.

What’s more, society’s perceptions are shifting to become more accepting of gambling games like poker. As such, laws across the world are being transformed so that both land-based and online forms of poker can now be played in more places across the globe than ever before.


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