Poker is a game with less than prestigious origins, which, until as late as the 1960, was thought to be played only by hoodlums and gangsters. The growth of Las Vegas in particular and the huge casinos frequented by high profile stars of Hollywood and sport in the 1970’s brought the game into the consciousness of the masses. And so it stayed that way until the late 1990’s when the internet began to develop. The game was to be revolutionized in only a couple of decades.
Today, the professional players have become celebrities, and the game is regarded as a sport watched by millions. As interest has grown in the offline game played by the professionals, so the online versions have blossomed and have benefited from technological advances at an amazing rate. The advent of the internet has also meant that dealers, who were historically known to manipulate the decks, are now driven by completely trustworthy and sophisticated computer software programs to connect players from all corners of the earth.
The growth of the online game, which has resulted in millions of online players, was also allied to the growth in the televised professional game, which won millions of new fans and even more interest in the game for anyone to play.
But the game of online poker that we know today, didn’t get to be like it is now overnight, and its technological developments have been rapid and far-reaching. Download and internet speeds, in general, have rocketed. Multiplayer games, which we now take for granted weren’t available at the start; graphics, which could have only been dreamed of twenty years ago, have made the experience so much closer to the real thing. We can now play wireless on our mobile phones. So what are the four biggest changes over the past decade which have made the game so much more accessible to players online?
In the ‘real’ game, if you fold your cards, then you have to wait for the game to end before you are dealt another hand. With today’s online games, when you fold, you can start a new game instantly. There is no waiting. The advantages of this are as follows; the player can start a new game as soon as possible, so he gets more chances to win in a given amount of time and, being that our time is being squeezed so much these days, the player is not left waiting around. Not having to wait is of particular advantage to mobile players who, by the nature of mobiles, are more likely to be playing their poker during short breaks in their day.
Live Poker Games
At the beginning of the online revolution, the dial-up connections were shaky and unreliable so the games would take longer and it was difficult to connect with other players. The modern online poker games with our super fast broadband connections enable us to dip in and out of real-time games whenever we please.
Online tournaments work in a similar way to the televised casino versions like the World Series Poker, but they can take more players and can offer Sit and Go tournaments. In these instances, players only have to request to play and, when there are enough players, the game starts.
Online Poker Timer
The online poker timer, developed by 888poker, has been produced with the aim of reducing confusion and the amount of time wasting that takes place. It also comes in handy when it comes to keeping track of the blinds and levels. The Poker Clock Timer has also been designed with the intention of enabling players to keep a close eye on the stages of the tournament. It is ideal for those playing a game of poker, with friends, at home.
You can set the blinds and the number of players involved in the game for yourself, meaning it’s perfect, regardless of big your game gets. You also have a choice between a standard, turbo or deep stack format with longer levels, the poker timer will automatically make sure that everything goes off without a hitch. This all helps to make the game more enjoyable and far better organised, leaving no one feeling cheated.
The 888poker Clock is compatible with PC, MAC, Android phones / tablets, iPhones and iPads.
Match Performance Feedback
With online poker, a player can now finish a session and look again at all the plays he made. Throughout the ‘live’ game, his software will have given him odds for all the other players around the table, and he would have been making calls based on all the data. After the game, he can now analyse his responses and learn from them – this would have been impossible with a ‘real’ game around a table. Today’s player is armed with far more data than previous eras. He still, of course, has to make the correct play to win the game, but his post-session analysis might tell him where he went wrong.
We still can and do go to casinos to play poker; many more millions of people now play the game online. In both online and offline versions, players play in tournaments rather than cash games; in a tournament, the number of chips won by an individual doesn’t signify how much money has been won, but simply the individual players’ finishing positions in the game. A tournament is played in stages (or rounds) until there is one remaining player who has all the chips.
What technology has done for poker is to give it a slightly more level playing field for the new entrant to the game. There is still a lot to learn but beginning by playing the odds will teach players where they are making mistakes. Ultimately, he or she will learn how the psychology of the game plays a big part outside of the odds and why it is that professional players ‘know’ how to win more games than the less-skilled players, but that takes time.
New players will also learn that, with time, the luck and skill balance changes to favour the experienced players.
The recent spike in technology looks set to continue. The biggest area will probably be in the experiential technology, which is likely to include enhanced virtual reality to allow online players to experience the casino environment with ever-increasing realism.
The growth of online tournaments over the past few years has occurred because players can play from their own home and they don’t have to face their opposition across the table – this can be a big plus for novices.