In today’s online landscape, poker sites are pretty much considered commonplace. While some offer more exciting or unique games than others, we generally know what to expect from our favourite operators. But, what will these sites look like in 10 or even 20 years? With technology advancing at an unprecedented rate, it can be hard to predict where the online poker world will end up - but we’ve tried! Read on as we look into our crystal ball and make our predictions for the future of poker.
Poker’s Hot Streak
The conception of online poker brought the game to the masses at a speed that can only be described as supersonic. If you’re online in any sense you’ll know that throughout the last decade poker sites have spread to every corner of the internet. The dawn of online poker gave the game a much-needed resurgence. This is mostly due to the game’s increased accessibility. No longer did card hopefuls have to trek to the bright lights of faraway cities to test their skills in a half-thrilling game. Now, they simply had to log on and play. From this potential, operators have built entire online casino ecosystems, each with their own mark of excellence.
Some may feel that online poker with its widespread capabilities and easy accessibility doesn’t need to improve any further. Yes, online poker operators have achieved a lot in their attempts to capture the intricacies of real-world poker in their games. This can be seen with operators such as KamaGames, who host the social poker game Pokerist. Not only do KamaGames host Texas Hold’em poker but they also provide a range of other popular card games and features, including some unique to their app alone. However, with mobile technology progressing at an unprecedented rate, operators see new opportunities for their games. Almost every area of the gaming industry has cashed in on this advancement but none more than casual and online poker games. For a lot of people, this level of entertainment is enough. After all, a major factor in poker’s lasting popularity is its ability to adapt to changing mediums while remaining entertaining. However, true poker enthusiasts might want to up their game. So what can they accomplish next?
Virtually a Reality
Without question, the next step in poker’s online journey is virtual reality. Operators have already worked to create engaging games packed with unique features and enticing rewards. Virtual reality will allow them to further enhance those elements within their games and it might not be as far off in the future as you think. Given poker’s extreme adaptability to new mediums, it’s the perfect game to exist in a virtual reality landscape. What’s more, poker richness and entertainment value don’t solely lie in the complexities of the world around the player. That element is provided by the cards and players. Thus, the actual building of a virtual reality poker room is fairly straightforward when compared to other more vast universes. This ease of creation means that we could possibly see virtual reality poker rooms within the next ten years.
The Reality of Virtual Poker Rooms
Since the dawn of online poker, operators have been wholly driven in their attempts to create the most realistic experience possible. Virtual reality poker rooms truly have the potential to blend the online and live poker worlds and provide players with a never-before-seen entertainment experience.
Naturally, the level of personalisation within these virtual rooms will be unprecedented. Players will be transported directly to a poker room of the operator’s design. Naturally, operators can create rooms as lavish or basic as they wish, most likely based on buy-in. With the use of their customised avatar, players will then be able to sit, play, chat and interact with others in a variety of ways. Given the limitations of reading other players in online poker, VR would be the perfect opportunity to bridge this gap. Not only will players be able to more casually interact through speech, but if avatars advance enough to convey facial ticks, emotion, body gait or demeanour, VR would enable operators to realise their longtime goal of making online poker as realistic as possible.
VR vs Online
Online poker didn’t replace live poker, and likewise, VR won’t eradicate online playing. Players will always have their preferences and online poker still holds a lot of advantages. Despite the assured popularity that VR poker would generate, online has managed to craft an extensive collection of unique games, features and tournaments that players will find hard to relinquish. Instead of limiting poker’s popularity to just one medium, the hope is that this advance in technology would serve as a new boost to its overall player numbers - both online and in VR. This is the effect that the first poker boom had on the game as online opened the game up to millions who otherwise would never have interacted with the game.
The significant relaxation of gambling laws globally, coupled with the reach of modern gaming technology, could indicate that the next poker boom is just beyond the horizon.