Online gaming is one of the most popular and most lucrative sectors in technology. The accessibility of smartphones, PCs, laptops and games consoles and improved Internet speeds around the globe mean that it is easier than ever to hop online and find a great gaming experience.
As of 2013, 700 million people played online games around the world, showing that there is clear interest in connected gaming experiences. These games allow players to have fun in a social environment that keeps them entertained for hours on end.
It’s little wonder that online gaming also makes bank for developers and publishers who create online games, with the sector will be worth a staggering $118.6 billion by 2019, with an estimated 6.6% growth every year.
Online gaming is growing quickly then, but what will be the next pillar of its success? There is plenty to suggest that poker will be the next major growth area as more and more players realize that traditional gaming experiences are not the only way that they can have fun gaming online.
Poker Games Are Accessible and Easy to Play
Part of the online gaming allure is that many of these traditional online games are highly competitive. Many of the world’s most popular games offer ranked competitive modes and value having a high skill level and improving one’s skills as much as they do having fun.
Playing cards, dice, and poker chips on a table via Pexels
For example, Riot Games’ MOBA League of Legends has over 27 million active users each day and many of them take to the game’s ranked mode in an effort to be the best. Players choose their best heroes (the player character which has several abilities) in their best roles (the game features lanes and positions which each have different duties) and compete to reach the upper echelons. Ranks range from Bronze (the lowest tier) all the way up to Challenger which is one step away from becoming a professional or amateur-professional player.
Likewise, multiplayer shooters such as Overwatch and Call of Duty both let players test their mettle. These games can be highly entertaining, but it’s the high-pressure competitive modes that really get people talking.
For players who love this sort of pressure and want to play solely to be the best, these traditional online gaming experiences will suit them well. But what about more casual players who want a more laidback vibe? And what about those less-versed in online gaming and want to play something that will let them have fun, even with no prior experience?
This is one reason why more people will turn to online poker games and online poker apps in future. Poker is not a particularly complicated game and new players can quickly pick up strategies and learn about different poker hands.
Unlike traditional online gaming experiences, poker doesn’t require you to have lightning-quick reflexes, nor does it require you to have prior knowledge (League of Legends may be difficult to pick up if you don’t already understand the MOBA lane system). So long as you stay patient when facing your opponents you’ll be able to become a skilled poker player in no time at all.
Play for Free and Win Money Prizes
Another reason that online gaming has been so successful thus far is that so many games are free to play. DOTA 2, League of Legends, World of Tanks, and Fortnite Battle Royale all allow you jump into the action for free. But how many of these games allow you to pay for free and offer you the opportunity to win real money prizes? Usually, payouts from these games are reserved for professional players only.
A pile of money stacked in a briefcase via Pexels
With online poker games, however, players have the opportunity to do just that. Many online poker apps offer big bonuses to new players, giving them the money to play and the chance to win major prizes for free, with no deposit required.
If players want to up the stakes a little more, they can get started from as little as $0.01 from some online poker brands (prices may vary depending on who you sign up with). Online poker players can actively reap the rewards for playing, which can make poker apps more worthwhile than other traditional online games.
Greater Variety of Game Modes
Because so many online games value a competitive nature, they offer a limited amount of games modes. If they were to offer too great a variety, then players may be good at one mode but not another and it also means that the player base would be split (which can spell disaster for the long-term success of these games).
This isn’t the case with online poker games, though. Many poker brands such as 888poker pride themselves on the variety of poker games that they offer. There are several different poker formats for players to enjoy, including Omaha Hi, Omaha Hi-Lo, Texas Hold’em, and 7-Card Stud. With players having several options to choose from it means that you’re far less likely to feel ‘burned out’ than with traditional online games which can often feel repetitive due to their competitive systems. Players also have a better chance of finding a poker format that suits them, too.
You Don’t Need a Powerful Gaming Rig
As online gaming grows, so does its technical requirements. Traditional online games promise better graphics and vow to get the most out of your console or PC, but this can prove to be expensive for players. If you don’t have the money to upgrade or you just don’t want to buy powerful gaming hardware, then you’ll be unable to play.
A woman sits in front of her laptop computer, looking at her smartphone via Pexels
Online poker games may be the next big thing because of their accessibility. Poker apps are often designed and optimized for a wide range of technical specifications, from the weakest PC to your Macbook or your mobile phone. It means that you should be able to have an entertaining experience even if you haven’t spend money on cutting-edge gaming hardware.
Traditional online games as we know them aren’t going to go away anytime soon, but the industry is sure to change and adapt as more types of players want to play a greater variety of titles. Expect online gaming – and the online poker industry – to grow significantly in the coming years.