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Is Online Poker still Mainstream?

If you’ve been playing poker for years, you must have realized that the game isn’t as popular as it used to be. The media rarely talks about it. The number of poker shows has reduced rapidly and the poker boom is long gone.

But does that mean poker is dead? No, it is not. In fact, poker is still a mainstream game, and one people take pride to play. However, there are several reasons why you don’t hear people talk about it like in the early 2000s. Here are some of them.

The Rise of Online Poker

When Chris Moneymaker qualified for the World Series of Poker online and won the event in 2003, he elevated the game’s popularity tremendously. Everyone got interested in it, from Las Vegas to London.

For better or for worse, online casinos also took the opportunity to show people Las Vegas was not the only place to play the game. With time, more people were playing poker online compared to land-based casinos.

As the wave of online poker grew, playing the game became a common thing. And the spark that had made everyone talk about it earlier on dwindled.

Competition from other Casino Games

Chris Moneymaker’s unprecedented win in 2003 positioned poker as a unique game everyone should play. It was viewed as one of the best games to play at an online casino until people realized they could also win playing other games.

Then people began winning millions of pounds playing online slots. Some discovered roulette was easier to play while others fell in love with baccarat. Of course, these games existed before the poker boom, but they ballooned with the advent of online casinos.

Now you can play hundreds of games from multiple genres at the comfort of your home. Most of these games are easy to play and you might not need assistance. However, some, like blackjack and baccarat, require a bit of learning.

If you need help with blackjack or baccarat, there are lots of guides about the game online. Experts advise you learn one game at a time, at least if you want to play them on real money casinos. If you choose to play Keno learn about the game before you delve into bingo and scratch card games.

Too Many Poker Variations

Poker is fun to play until you meet a variation of the game you don’t know. Then you suddenly realize it’s impossible to become an expert at it. Instead, you can only become a specialist in one or a few variations of the game.

The good thing is that it doesn’t take long to learn any variation of the game. And once you grasp the basics of poker, you’ll learn the rest quickly. Speaking of the basics, the most essential part of the game is to learn about hands.

If you know the difference between a flush and a royal flush, you can learn Omaha and Razz Stud easily. Video poker is a bit different because it combines some elements of slots, but it’s exceedingly easy to play once you understand it.

You don’t particularly need to be the most skilled person to win video poker games. But knowing a few strategies can help. In case you are wondering, here’s the ultimate guide to video poker. The article walks you through the basics, strategies and types of games.  You’ll also learn the best casinos to play the game.

Dominance from Slot Machines

Slot machines make up 70% of online casinos. Poker splits the remaining market share with roulette, blackjack, baccarat, bingo and all other table games. It’s a surprising fact considering how much famous poker once was.

So, what makes people love slots more than poker and other games? Slots don’t require skills to play. Instead, the primary qualification to play a slot game is to have money in your account. Each game comes with a quick guide of how to play, but you don’t need to be talented to win.

You can bet anywhere from ten cents to £1000 per spin. And if you are lucky, you can win up to £15 million. There are hundreds of slots at any single online slot. Not all of them pay millions of pounds, but they all come with the potential to win.

The Skill Factor

Poker’s skill factor made it a unique game. People looked at it differently, now that you could improve your strategies and beat others. However, it didn’t take long before people realized the negative side of that fact.

Not everyone could become an expert at the game. Some people are naturally better than others, and that means it’s doesn’t provide a level playground. Of course, the game’s skill element is still a reason it is so popular with some people.

However, the fact that some people have better chances of winning poker than others due to their skills make it a bit fair. By comparison, slots, bingo and roulette have a reasonably fair playing field.

Someone who’s never played slots before could beat experienced players on their first attempt. But with poker, it could take weeks before you become an expert. And due to that, not everyone has been able to stay committed to the game as they should.

Fewer Poker Celebrities

During the poker boom, everyone knew the top poker players. WSOP used to broadcast games on TV anyways. But ever since the game went online, it’s difficult to know the best poker players. And that means there are fewer people to popularize the game.

Hollywood celebrities, musicians and athletes who helped legitimize poker back in the 2000s don't do it publicly anymore. And if they do, they don't get the media attention they did. As such, the celebrity factor which made people associate poker with their favourite celebrity died down.

Nowadays, only interested poker fans know about the best poker superstars. The public might see a few famous faces talk about the game on social media but because very few of them do it, poker isn’t treated with the same coolness people did 15 years ago.