Online poker has changed tremendously in the last decade. In the past, players’ options were very limited. Most countries did not allow for online gambling and some made poker entirely illegal. For Aussie players, the legislation was as gray and unclear as ever. But, do not fret – Aussie gamblers can pick and choose between offshore sites and play their favorite games. If you take a look at this online casinos list, you can easily find legit websites to play poker at.
At the beginning of this decade, the online poker industry has started to thrive. Aussie players got more options than ever. More and more sites appeared on the market, offering gamblers the opportunity to play online pokies Australia, bet on card and table games, gamble with live dealers, and visit poker rooms from the comfort of their homes.
Nowadays, gamblers have more choices and can play online more securely. As long as they choose a safe and legit website, they can find many variants of their favorite game, play with live dealers and other people, plus enjoy the opportunity to gamble from any place, any time.
If you want to learn more about online poker and how it changed in the last decade, keep reading.
1. Markets are More Segregated
Not so long ago, players from all around the world played poker together online. However, this changed almost completely after Black Friday of 2011. In 2011, the US government shut down online poker and many countries broke off this global player pool to create their own.
This was done for regulatory purposes, but it changed the course of online poker. Nowadays, you can’t compete against players from every country in a big tournament. Even if you play at offshore casinos with multiple licenses, they will have a long list of restricted countries that have no access to the poker games.
In the last couple of years, there have been some attempts to bring back the segregated markets, but the success in this matter is still far away. Even so, Italy, France, Spain and Portugal are starting to slowly share liquidity.
2. Increased Security and Safety
Nearly two decades ago, this industry was full of scam scandals. It was very hard for players to tell apart between good and bad casinos and poker sites. Their banking information was leaked or they couldn’t receive their winnings.
Today, the poker sector online is more regulated and safer. Yes, fraudulent websites still exist and probably will always do. However, regulations dictate that every site has a license and meets strict protocols for security. As long as you play at licensed and safe websites, you needn’t worry at all about your safety.
3. Rise in Mobile Poker Gambling
There were only over 1 billion smartphone users a decade ago. Today, this number exceeds 3 billion. Not to mention, mobile technology has advanced more than anyone could anticipate. If you decide to gamble on your phone today, you can access such sites within seconds, download apps, and play seamlessly without any issues.
Last decade, most players gambled on poker tables from their laptop or desktop devices. Those that used their phones didn’t enjoy the compatibility available today. A bit over a decade ago, less than 20% poker sites were available on mobile, so even if you wanted to gamble, you didn’t have many choices.
Today, most casinos and poker sites are mobile optimized.
4. Access to Training and Learning Materials
If you played poker back in the days, the only way to learn how to play better was through practice. There weren’t many training tools and books available. Nowadays, everyone can learn a lot about poker just by going online and checking some guides.
If you go online today, you can find an endless list of poker tips, training sites, and guides created to help you learn more about the game and techniques you can use. While practice is still very useful and will help you form your own strategies, you can learn the basics by simply doing a search online.
A lot of the information is not only easily accessible, but absolutely free to use.
5. Filled Skill Gaps
As a result of the easier access to learning materials, players that were only beginners and weak in this game have improved fast and dramatically. Today, the most competent players are more competent than ever. For a person to be really good at poker, they must have strong fundamentals, amazing mathematical and analytical skills, and loads of experience.
The skill gaps are definitely filled, and winning in this game has become harder than ever. The game has become a lot tougher but also, much more exciting.
Since people had to improve significantly to beat others, the poker world has witnessed a tremendous rise in new strategies and approaches. The accessibility to learning materials has changed poker as we know it.
6. Marketing is Focused on Recreational Players
Do you remember the times when online gambling and betting in general was available only to high rollers? It was a luxury to go to a casino or attend a poker tournament. As years went by, this became more and more available to players. Ten years ago, there were already poker sites for low rollers, accepting high and low bets on different tables.
Nowadays, even poker sites and casinos have changed their strategies. The marketing attention of today is less focused on attracting the high rollers and top-rated players. Casinos are more focused on recreational gamblers which are more numerous thanks to the increased access to poker games.
7. Popularity of Live Streaming
Live streaming has changed the course of online gambling, especially at casinos. Nowadays, players can join real-time games and watch the dealer as they shuffle the cards, communicate with them and the players, etc. Live streaming offers a highly immersive experience that is a lot like traditional, land-based gambling. And, players can still enjoy the perks of gambling from the comfort of their homes.
This became very popular mid-decade and in just a few years, it became mainstream. Today, there isn’t a highly rated casino that doesn’t have a live game section. Thanks to developers like NetEnt and Evolution Gaming, players can enjoy seamless poker games in real time, as well as big tournaments held entirely online.
8. Highly Creative Gameplay
Strategies that worked before are long gone now. Many players have used the trending strategies of the past over and over again. Thanks to better accessibility, it’s very easy to figure out what has been trending and was used a few years back. So, players had to be more creative with their techniques and strategies.
Trends are changing now more than ever. People come up with new ways to beat their opponents and soon after that becomes the trend, something new appears. People have become really creative with their poker strategies.
It’s been truly fascinating to see the poker game evolve. It’s also challenging to stay on top with the current trends.
9. Plenty of New Poker Variants
It has become impossible to count the variants of poker that exist in the world these days. Since the online world gives players unlimited access, you can now choose between hundreds of poker games and different kinds of them.
No one can say how many of them are right now, but one thing is for sure – today, there are at least double the size of poker variants compared to a decade ago. Players can try something new every day, pick their favorite among many different choices, and experiment with different techniques and games online.
10. Restrictions and Laws Changing Globally
All around the world, laws and restrictions regarding online poker playing have changed. There are new safety measures in place, improved privacy laws, countries that changed their mind about making this legal, etc.
In 2016, Australia had an amendment in the Gambling Act. The demand for stronger gambling provisions grew among legislators. The Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill or IGAB was first introduced into the Australian Parliament in November of 2016.
This bill changed a couple of things and cleared up many of the ambiguities from the original act. It changed the wording of the Gambling Act in order to strengthen it. It also gave investigative powers to the successor to the Australian Broadcasting Authority, the Australian Communications and Media Authority.
To be more, the ACMA was given more power to enforce the regulations without working with police departments. In other words, it can create civil fines on its own initiative to punish lawbreakers.
Even though online gambling and poker games are still in the gray zone in Australia, some changes are already notable. The country is also working hard toward creating more restrictions, better regulations, as well as rules for protecting the privacy laws in the future.
11. More Aggressive Gameplay
Lastly, the most notable change in playing poker over the years is the increased level of aggression. There are more tournaments and more competition among players. 3-betting and 5-betting is a big deal these days, while it was almost unheard of a decade ago.
It’s no wonder that this has happened. People are more informed today, the competition is much bigger, and the opportunities are immense. With knowledge comes confidence and to win in a very competitive game, you need to show some strength and aggression.
Plenty of things have changed in a decade, more than anyone could have anticipated. Online poker was only a novelty a decade ago, something that was available in a few places and to some people. Today, everything is more available starting from learning resources to low wager tables to live poker plays. The world for poker players have changed tremendously. With the range of options and games on offers, fans of the game are enjoying it more than ever.
Based on the progress that online poker has shown so far, we can expect even greater, better things to happen in the years that follow. Think about it – ten years from now, we’ll view today’s options as something plain and underdeveloped.