In the past 18 months, land-based poker rooms have either been closed or had to adhere to Covid-19 restrictions and social-distancing rules. That's why the industry had to adjust and offer alternative gambling options.
Thanks to the unique and unexpected circumstances we had to face this year, poker providers had to evolve and offer new technologies to keep players entertained.
Players had a few options to play poker without risking their health or compromising on the quality of their experience. They could play online poker, join live tournaments at the best poker sites, and use Zoom to have a fun poker session.
Learn more about the latest poker tech developments in our Everygame report, and maybe you will be able to enjoy your next poker session more than ever before!
Playing Poker Online in 2021
Online poker has become quite popular in the past couple of years, as players got to enjoy the game without leaving their homes. Nowadays, fans of the game get to choose between two main options: first of all, they can play video poker and compete against an AI. If that's not enough for them, they can join live events and tournaments that casinos like Everygame host every now and then.
But lately, a third option has emerged: playing poker via Zoom. This communication app has been used to conduct business meetings and video calls for years, but nowadays, people use it for so much more.
Since the pandemic has changed our routines, Zoom has become one of the most used apps out there. While in 2019 the app had about 10 million daily users, by April of 2020, more than 200 million people used the app every day. That is why its revenue rose from $330.5m in 2019 to $622.7m in the next year.
Teachers taught their classes via Zoom, family members got to see each other virtually, and poker players got to see their opponents before beating them.
All three gambling options allow poker amateurs and pros to have fun, sometimes placing real money bets in mere moments. And while the technology used by poker players is not new, it hasn't been used for this purpose before.
Why are Things Only Changing Now?
The fact that you can now play poker in so many new ways serves to show how easy it was to introduce new technologies to the industry. So, why hasn't it happened earlier if the tech was available all along?
Well, the answer is probably simpler than we might think. It was because of a force of habit! Players were used to thinking of land-based poker rooms as the most prestigious and exciting gambling option, and we mostly saw online venues as backup plans for tough times.
But once Covid-19 has made us rethink our priorities, online poker began to look more appealing than ever before. People began to value the fact you can join a game with relative ease, without changing your schedule all that much.
You can have an authentic gambling experience while playing poker live, and while it won't be the same as playing the game offline – the experience will be very similar in many aspects.
The past couple of years have taught us that playing online poker can be just as exhilarating and challenging as visiting a land-based casino. You can still interact with your opponents if you want to, and you can even enjoy some lucrative promotions that brick-and-mortar venues don't offer.
Does that mean that online poker is here to stay, even once the pandemic will be a forgotten memory? We're sure of it!