The Evolution of Poker

by Tim | Oct 05, 2021

The Evolution of Poker

Whether you play poker for real money or just enjoy a casual game with your friends, there’s absolutely no doubt that this game of chance has carved itself a place in gaming cultures all around the world. Today you can play a variety of poker games in-person at casinos and dedicated poker games, as well as on the internet, with popular titles like Five Card Stud, Texas Hold-em, and Seven Card Stud available to online players. You can even play video poker online if you prefer the solo poker experience.

Join us as we briefly look at the history of poker, how it went online and how the game has changed since then.

The origins of poker

Long before online casinos with a free bonus and no deposit were even dreamed of, people enjoyed spending their time playing gambling card games. While the exact origins of poker are unknown, it is known that it has a close connection with the European game of Poque, which was very popular in France in the 17th century. 

It spread across the world and became particularly popular in the US after the French brought the game to the country. These French colonists, sailors and traders were mostly found in New Orleans but frequently travelled up and down the Mississippi, which helped introduce other regions in the US to this fantastic game.

Over time poker evolved into several popular variants, including Five Card Draw, Seven Card Stud and Texas Hold’em, all of which have enjoyed varying levels of popularity in gambling culture across the world in the 20th century.

The modern poker boom

While poker was undoubtedly a highly enjoyed gambling game, it wasn’t until the World Series of Poker (WSOP) began in the 1970s that poker really began to take off. This notable event in the competitive poker calendar helped solidify the professional scene. Another minor boost to poker came in the form of video poker. This electronic poker game took the basics of poker and turned it into a single-player game. As time passed, the legalisation of poker in various forms across the US in the 80s and 90s further solidified its place in the gambling scene. 

Technology gives poker a much-needed boost

In the early 2000s, the introduction of technological advancements like hole-card cameras helped turn poker into a fully realised spectator sport on cable and other television networks. 

But more importantly, the introduction and growth of online poker also took the game from a much-loved experience enjoyed by competitive gamblers to a mainstream game that is enjoyed today by gamblers and non-gamblers alike. 

The evolution of poker during the internet era

A woman sits in front of her laptop, which is surrounded by poker chips and money.

The shift to online play has caused a major change in the way people play poker. Here’s how the experience has evolved thanks to its incredible popularity in cyberspace.

It’s more accessible than ever before

Throughout most of poker’s history, players would have to attend private games or go to dedicated venues like saloons, casinos or poker tournaments in order to play. Thankfully, due to improvements in technology and the game’s incredible rise in popularity, it’s now easier than ever to find a game. Players, whether they’re serious poker players looking to test their skills, or just casual gamers looking for a free game, can simply go online and join a game on their favourite site. Whether you play on a casual, free poker site from your desktop computer or log onto a new mobile casino from your mobile phone or tablet device, you can now find a poker game at virtually any time of the day or night.

Players have gotten better across the board

Thanks to the internet, the overall level of poker play has dramatically improved, decreasing the skill gap that exists between the average online poker player and professional player. This is due in part to the fact that players can practice more, as games are available online 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It’s also because of the incredible amount of educational material that’s now available to players worldwide. Before the internet, players had limited access to books by skilled poker players while today you have those same books, online forums, YouTube, and many other materials to develop your level of play.

Greater levels of security

While the security of early online gambling sites may have been lacking, the ever-growing online market has pushed poker sites and online casinos to take the necessary steps to secure their platforms. These steps are not only necessary to protect themselves but to also protect their customers’ data, which has become highly sought after by cybercriminals.

A new generation of players are discovering the game through streaming

Online game streaming sites like Twitch and YouTube have helped poker reach an audience of younger players, many of whom are not interested in engaging with traditional television. The poker content on these sites is driven primarily by online streaming personalities, but many major poker organisations have realised the power of these platforms and are taking steps to grow their online viewership through these channels.

You can now play live dealer games

A professional croupier shuffles a deck of cards.

In the past, if you wanted to play poker online, the only way to do that was to play a purely digital version of the game at an online casino or poker site. However, the constant improvement of internet speeds has now made it possible for players to play live dealer games online. This new type of casino game has players taking part in games that are hosted by real flesh-and-blood dealers, a welcome change by many players who prefer the social aspect, as well as being able to play a game where chance isn’t determined by random number generators, or RNGs.

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