In the ‘pokerverse’, it is a well-known fact that poker is a skill-based card game. Back in 2003, history was made when a little-known poker player by the name of Chris Moneymaker entered a high stakes poker contest – the World Series of Poker (WSOP) – through a satellite game at an online poker room. That defining moment changed poker forever. It was a watershed moment in that the old guard had been displaced and a new era had dawned where online poker reigned supreme.
The floodgates opened and washed away the traditional boys’ club of elitist players. Now anybody with the requisite skill, determination, and ability can compete for the highest pots in the world. Today, no poker contest is out of reach; online poker players with enough fire in their bellies, and enough savvy in their minds can go toe to toe with the best of them. The Main Event of the World Series of Poker is now within reach.
How has mobile technology improved the game?
Across the iGaming universe, social media world, and communication channels, mobile technology reigns supreme. It is the fastest-growing online component of e-commerce portals, websites, and communication media. Everybody who is anybody is now mobile equipped. Today, we have poker platforms based on blockchain technology.
The rapid rise of the Internet has facilitated rapid-fire data transmission networks that are more secure, capable, and connected than ever before. Mobile poker apps have superseded traditional poker gaming on PC, and this trend is continuing at a blistering pace. Poker rooms realize the popularity of their mobile Texas Hold’em games, Omaha Hi-Lo games, and stud games. They are not missing a beat. The increasingly mobile nature of society, notably millennials is driving the poker boom.
Android and iOS Leading the iPoker Boom
Android is leaps and bounds ahead of iOS. According to Gartner (August 18, 2016), smartphone sales grew at 4.3% year on year in 2016, while Apple declined 7.6% year on year. Fast-forward to mid-July 2017, Android now accounts for 67% of all US phone activations between April and June. This was up 4% from the same quarter in 2016. Other operating systems such as Blackberry and Windows Phone comprise a small percentage of overall market share. The most popular Android phone in the United States at present is the Samsung Galaxy S8 (42% plus market share).
Smartphones, tablets, and phablets may trail PCs in terms of screen size, clarity, and entertainment appeal to a degree, but they more than compensate with other features. Today, mobile technology is totally VR equipped. It is possible to play mobile poker games using virtual-reality headsets and immersive audio to stylize and personalize the experience. Consider that 4 years ago, the popularity of online poker was such that the industry was worth £2.8 billion in gross global winnings
What Elements Make Mobile Poker More Enticing to Players?
Apps are ubiquitous nowadays. Mobile players frequent the App Store and the Google Play Store for online poker apps from the best cardrooms. Today, you can play 7 Card Stud, Omaha Hi-Lo, or Texas Hold’em on mobile anywhere you go. Real money games, practice play games, private tournaments, SNGs, MTTs and the like are readily available. Mobile technology is so far advanced that it is possible to calculate poker pot odds from your smartphone, tablet or phablet.
Mobile poker games are available in multiple formats including pot limit, fixed limit, and no limit. Plus, there are many new games that are being added such as SNAP poker – a fast-fold poker game. To cap it off, mobile poker is not limited to just poker – many online casinos allow their players to use a one-wallet account to access a full range of poker, casino, and sports betting options.
Among the many features now available with mobile poker games are the following:
- Banking options
- Customer support
- Full chat functionality
- Fully optimized gameplay
- Multiple variants of mobile poker
- Peer to peer poker with PokerCam
Mobile friendly poker online platforms are now the norm, even if poker rooms don’t have their own Android or iOS apps available. The shift to mobile is evident across the board, and this statistic is confirmed with Statista with the total revenues generated by social poker gaming between 2013 and 2017, as seen above. There is now a near 50/50 split (2017) between PC and mobile poker games, compared to just 37.4% in (2013)