For some, gambling is like climbing a steep hill. Take away the proper gear for such a tricky hike, and you get the idea of online gambling. A game of chance and wits, poker has become a global sensation since it spread its base from live locations to the internet.

The COVID-19 pandemic swept the world into panic and lockdown in 2020. This affected every sector and industry in the world in one way or the other. Yet, while other sporting events paused activities, poker moved to the internet, and this move was the key to its thriving when every other sport was down. From moving tournaments online to an increase in the list of poker bonuses with no deposit, a lot of newer features were introduced.

The Initial Effect

After the pandemic hit and the lockdown was ordered, the World series of poker postponed live games and migrated them to the internet. Even better, online gambling casinos still offer the full range of gambling products and services.

As business ventures were shut down, the number of poker newbies increased significantly. They were either in search of entertainment, another means of making money, or both. A survey in 2020 showed that 28% of already active gamblers had increased their activities since the move online.

The Boom

The migration to the internet proved to be a double-edged sword for the poker user base. While it became the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for the expert players, navigating the tricky waters of online gambling casinos was not quite the same for inexperienced players.

This increasing population of weaker competition only meant more money for skilled players and more revenue for the gambling industry.

More Variants Introduced

To motivate new players, poker sites started to offer a comprehensive games library that included more poker variants. Draw Poker variants, including Five Card Draw, and Badugi, became more readily available. Others such as 5-card stud, 7-card stud, Omaha, Omaha Hi-Lo, Texas Hold’em, and Five Card Omaha became readily available. Nowadays, some casinos offer a more exclusive combination like H.O.R.S.E. This is an acronym for; Hold’em, Omaha Hi-Lo, Razz, Stud, and Eight-or-better.

More Rewarding Bonuses

Initially, some poker sites started offering free bonuses as incentives for new users delving into the unknown world of poker, completely risk-free. These bonuses help newbies and amateurs practice the game before feeling confident enough to take chances.

They also help players surf poker websites and hone their skills without the fear of losing real money. A few top websites still offer these bonuses free or with minimal deposits in 2022. There are different avenues a player can get rewards, and some of these bonuses include the following;

 Welcome bonus: exclusively for new users on any gambling website. They may or may not be without a deposit.

 No deposit bonus: free bonuses with no risk of losing real money and no need for a deposit to access the bonus.

Deposit bonus: Incentives can be up to a 100% match up. This match-up means that if a player chooses to make a $100 deposit, they can get an increased bonus matching 100%. For example, a deposit of $100 means an equal bonus of $100. This may be in addition to a free welcome bonus.

High roller rewards and Loyalty Rewards: this bonus targets high stakes. It typically offers high bonuses for high stakes.

Just After the lock-down

Some months later, restrictions on movement started to ease, and health protocols were set up to prevent the spread of the virus further. Live casinos were reopening with mandatory instructions like social distancing, which reduced the number of players permissible in the casinos. Also, there were smaller tables with fewer players per table, plexiglass dividers, nose masks, and regular temperature checks. These changes resulted in dwindling numbers in live casinos.

Eventually, the number of active players started to pick up again, rising until it peaked at greater than ever in gambling history. Even with the gradual return to live casinos, online poker still thrived.

A.I supported assistance has been utilized online, which analyzes every game and helps players identify where they could improve. Many websites have live-streamed games which enable each player to see their opponents. Virtual reality, which is still being incorporated into some websites, has been a game changer immersing players into online casinos and giving them a feel akin to being in live locations.

In the middle of the worldwide closure of most sporting events during the COVID-19 pandemic, poker turned to the internet. Migrating online was the key to thriving even better than during the pre-pandemic timeline. From the events of the past few years, one thing is evident. Online poker has come to stay.

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