What is the current state of poker in 2021? Online poker has come a long way in the past decade. In April 2011, years after online poker was introduced in the US, the Department of Justice and the FBI unexpectedly cut off access when they indicted several large poker sites. That was April 15, a day that would go down in infamy as Black Friday. However, there has been a new shift in recent years that has allowed online poker to make a legal return. Free poker sites and apps have been present the entire time. These continue to attract a greater amount of attention as an ideal form of entertainment.
Online Poker Draws Huge Crowds
Because of its entertainment value, online poker continues to be a successful target for those who want to hone their skills at the game or who just enjoy the competition. Across the US, there are reportedly more than 60 million people who play poker online. According to research, this segment accounts for 60% of the entire global market of around 100 million.
Another reason online poker continues to be popular is that it’s easy to access. In addition, it can be played almost any time, anywhere. That level of flexibility has proven itself to be a significant foundation to the game’s success. With the first form of online poker having been introduced through a rudimentary IRC channel in the late 1990s, it has continued to attract more participation and find new ground.
A Look at the Average Online Poker Player
Poker is a game that anyone can enjoy, regardless of background or status. However, over the years, surveys have shown the typical makeup of an online player. Generally speaking, more males play poker online than do females. There are poker groups that exist specifically to promote women in poker. These have had a significant impact on the female contingent in the game.
The average online poker player is also 45.7 years old. This is slightly younger than the 51.2 average found at land-based casinos. Online players are also less likely to be married, making up 53.2% of the segment. At 62.7%, they are more likely to have full-time jobs. On average, the household income of an online poker player is around $60,000.
Although online poker is more accessible than land-based alternatives, the amount of underaged players is lower than most would expect. According to research conducted by the University of Lethbridge in Canada, less than 0.4% of the online poker segment is comprised of players who are 18 years old or younger. That segment contributes 0.9% of the gambling at land-based casinos.
Poker Education Tools to Improve One’s Game
Today, there are plenty of tools available to poker players who want to improve their game and most are free. There is various software available, including hand database programs that allow players to sort and recall all of their online hand histories. Other training solutions include hand re-players, as well as odds, equity, and variance calculators. In addition to these tools, there are a number of online podcasts and other training sites that provide a wealth of knowledge.
Online poker is here to stay. Not even Black Friday was enough to make it surrender. Legal free-to-play sites offer a great source of entertainment and social interaction. More people continue to embrace the game on a regular basis and, as they do, more innovation is being added to enhance the experience.
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