A lot of land-based casinos had to shut down when the lockdowns began in 2020. This has caused the online casino industry to boom, making its global market worth at least $227 billion (£173 billion) in 2021. It’s also expected to have a steady growth rate of 8.77% in 2022 and the following years. There are many things to expect in the future of online casinos — from new online gaming establishments to new versions of casino games. Slots are one of those games that blew up online thanks to the simplistic nature.
But another casino game that has caught the interest of experienced players and amateurs alike is online poker. And with the many people it has started appealing to, there’s also a number of things we can expect from the online poker industry. Below are a few of them:
Private online poker games
Many people seem to enjoy the thrill of playing poker at a casino with strangers. But some prefer playing with family and friends. Sites and apps have improved the experience of poker thanks to elements like graphics and rewards, compared to simply playing it at a kitchen table. 888poker is one such site that lets you set up private poker games with friends for free.
For people who do want to try battling it out with strangers but are unsure, online poker clubs are an option. They’re more welcoming to newcomers and there are fewer professional players in their games. Private poker games appeal to people who want to play against people they’re familiar with or on the same level with, so this trend is likely to continue.
Increase in online tournaments
With the increase in online players, more events and poker rooms are being held to accommodate them. One type of online poker tournament is the multi-table tournament, which is an extended one- or two-week-long series where eight to ten tournaments are run per day at different buy-in levels. Some of the biggest poker events, such as WSOP and EPT, have even moved online. In 2022, they’re preparing to stage smoother and grander second goes at online tournaments — and this will likely be one of their default formats moving forward. Tournaments have also reported higher prize pools due to the higher-than-expected number of players that participated.
This increase in tournaments means you can try your strategies against several experienced players. But there is more to becoming a pro poker player than just having a good game plan. Instead, it also involves giving yourself an honest assessment of how good you are, and not stroking your ego so you don’t enter tournaments that are above your level. It’s also important to get your finances in order so you don’t go broke. The increasing online poker games and higher prize pools can appeal to more aspiring poker players.
Virtual reality (VR) is mostly known for its use in games to make them more interactive. And in 2018, poker site PokerStars has introduced a VR version of poker — the PokerStars VR. The environment is still in a testing phase, although it’s already available to the public as long as they have VR goggles, ideally Oculus products. For the time being, the avatars only hover in the air since they’re only represented by a head and torso.
PokerStars has also mentioned that they don’t plan on having real money games or tournaments any time soon. Despite these possible drawbacks, VR poker will increase in popularity in 2022 since it gives poker games the social and interactive experience that the pandemic took away. Through the PokerStars VR, you’ll find that you can also study your opponents and pick up on virtual tells.
If you are a fan of poker, then 2022 is the year to give the online version a try.