When You’re Dealt A Bad Hand: Why Online Poker Isn’t As Popular As It Used To Be

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In the mid 2000’s, the world seemed to have been overtaken by Poker fever: poker tournaments were getting featured on ESPN, people everywhere were buying poker kits in beautiful cases, complete with decks of cards and poker chips. After a few years, the trend moved online with virtual casinos and online poker games and apps becoming huge draws. But just as fast as the craze hit, it faded away.

Here’s why we think the craze died out:

Fads never last

Poker, like a lot of other games, isn’t for everybody. That’s not to say that not everybody can play it; what it means is not everybody will play it with the passion that the pros do. So after the initial rush of owning a poker set and setting up a poker night with friends, the craze eventually died down, leaving only those who either really loved the game, or loved its social aspect remaining at the tables.

“Cashless” betting options

After the hit videogame CS:Go became one of the most popular online games today, it introduced the concept of “skin gambling” where players could bet cosmetic items for their avatars for the chance to win more valuable cosmetic items. This gave players a more appealing venue for gambling as skins could be earned without having to shell out cash.

Since people can spend real money to purchase these skins from other players, the allure of being able to make money without spending much drew online gamblers to this more lucrative online gambling game.

Skill Gaps

One of the more harrowing feelings of joining the matchmaking queue of an online poker game is knowing that the people you’re playing against can be significantly better than you. A lot of people argue that gambling is about luck, which evens the playing field. Well, from experience, that may be true for slots, but definitely not for poker, where skill is a huge factor. This skill gap can make playing considerably less fun.

Did you used to play poker, whether online or at a real table? Do you still play? We’d love to hear from you about why you stopped playing, or why you still love the game to this day!

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