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iGaming is an ever-expanding industry, with new technologies and laws being added regularly. Now more than ever, people are trading in brick-and-mortar casinos for online games, especially when it comes to online poker.

There is so much variety in terms of table games, and you can now even work with a live dealer from the comfort of your own home. Similarly, people are no longer restricted to a PC when they want to access an online casino, and they can instead download an interactive app and play on the go on their mobile or tablet.

With so much more choice and accessibility, there’s no surprise that online poker is making its way to the top of the iGaming industry. But let’s have a closer look at why this is and the latest trends that are making the game more exciting each day.

What is online poker?

If you’ve played poker before at a land-based casino or even at a dining table with your friends, you’ll find online poker extremely familiar. There are very few differences between playing the game with people in real life or on your computer. You no longer have to go anywhere, and you can start winning without even leaving your couch playing the best US online poker real money games.

The basic rules of online poker are basically the same as the traditional game, especially when you opt for a live game with a real dealer. However, the great thing about online casinos is that there are several variations of poker, so you’ll want to read the rules of a specific game before you start playing. From there, you can have fun until you win big and cash out straight to your desired payment method.

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Where it all started

When you’re not a seasoned gambler, you won’t know the history of the iGaming industry and how it has only become legal in most states in the last decade. It was only in 2011 when the Department of Justice changed the Wire Act of 1961, giving individual states power over whether they wanted to make online casinos and games legal.

At first, you only saw the legalization of iGaming in the main gambling states, such as Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania, but now many more states are starting to jump on the bandwagon, especially since 2020. With more businesses moving remote and fewer people wanting to go to land-based casinos, we’ve seen an increase in online poker and other games throughout the country.

The emergence of COVID-19

While COVID-19 had a detrimental effect on many industries across the country, it contributed positively to the online gambling industry. Since no one could leave their homes and most brick-and-mortar casinos had closed down, people moved to the internet to get a fix of their favorite table games such as poker.

Another contributing factor to why people moved to online casinos more was due to the fact a large number of workers lost their jobs. Therefore games such as online poker seemed like an alternative way to make money and keep going while the pandemic was happening. Casinos saw this increase in traffic and started to boost their wager options while offering a wider variety of poker games as well.

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The growth of online poker

Since 2020, online poker has only gotten bigger, and traffic to some of the biggest casinos and games has seen a substantial increase of 43%. In 2020, the online poker market had an estimated worth of $14.7 billion USD, and it has been predicted to see an even more significant increase between 2021 and 2026.

Before lockdown, many people had never even played poker in their lives; however, first-time players were on the rise by nearly 255%. There was a huge buzz around the game, and it was a way for people to escape the stress of their everyday lives and what was happening in the world. Online casinos are continuously adding more options to their libraries, and you can now play more interactive and live games that make you feel like you’re in a real casino, no matter where you are.

Latest trends

Since online casinos have picked up on the growth of their poker games, they have all been participating in trends that enhance gameplay for users:

Live dealer games

Especially since 2020, people have been looking for ways to play poker with the same feeling of being in a land-based casino. That’s when live dealer games come into play. A camera is used in a real-life casino to show you a dealer playing in real time so that you can experience the authentic feeling of poker in the convenience of your home.

VR experiences

As the world of technology grows, so does the need for more realistic games. The same applies to online poker, and many casinos are considering adding a virtual reality element to their games. As a result, playing at a virtual table will feel more real than ever before as you won’t only be able to see the table, but you will be able to see your fellow players surrounding you.

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More mobile games

You don’t want to feel limited to sitting at home on your PC when you’re a seasoned online poker player. This has led to the increase of higher quality mobile poker games where users can play the table game on the go. While many casinos have already introduced this element, the ones who aren’t are also starting to get on board.

No deposit tournaments

Tournaments make playing online poker ten times more exciting, and online casinos want to reward their players with some no-deposit bonuses. So instead of placing a deposit to get involved, they’re offering bonuses that you can use immediately to get the ball rolling and experience the game to the fullest. It’s an excellent marketing method, and many players are grateful for it.

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