While the number of online casinos has never been higher, for some time there have been rumblings that, of all the games you can play on them, poker is being left behind. In particular it’s seen as an older person’s game with research in the US showing the average age of an online poker player is 40. That’s because the younger generation who fuelled the poker boom in the early 2000’s seem to have deserted it in favour of strategy games instead,
As a result the online poker world has been taking a long hard look at itself, and the sorts of players it wants to attract, to see just what might entice them to get online.
So, really, the much-vaunted coming of age of virtual reality couldn’t have arrived at a better time for the online casinos and is set to transform virtually every aspect of how the game is played online.
Of all of the games played at online casinos it can be argued that poker is the one that lends itself most perfectly to VR. That’s because it’s the one game that offers the highest levels of interaction with both other players and the dealer. So it’s relatively easy to recreate the authentic casino scene, whether you’re competing against an automated opposition or other friends are playing at the same time, conference-call style.
While VR poker is still very much in its infancy many are optimistic that two things will help it to really take off. The first is the increasing availability and sophistication of headsets – and the probable lowering of prices as more and more are made – and the development of the poker software.
At the moment it’s not exactly a seamless experience playing in one of these games but there’s every reason to expect that it will become more and more like a totally authentic casino experience.
It’s also probably never going to be for the truly serious poker player. The action is too slow for them but it’s already an undeniably effective way for beginners and intermediate players to sharpen their strategic skills in a realistic game-play scenario.
So as more and more people come to enjoy the VR version of the game it would seem that the ordinary two-dimensional variety will become the less attractive alternative. Having said this, it’s always likely to have its fans and maybe even a certain level of nostalgic appeal. And you know what they say about nostalgia – it will never go out of fashion.