Online poker is the biggest form of online gambling that currently takes place and it has been since the late 1990s. With the massive online casino boom that began before the millennium, poker blossomed from a game that was played in many different variations in casinos around the world into a multimillion-pound industry.
Whilst online poker does now dominate the whole poker scene, there is still an extremely healthy offline poker world.
The popularity of poker can be traced back to March 19 1931 when gambling was officially legalized in the state of Nevada. Initially, venues for playing some form of gambling games were built slowly and it was not until 1946 that dedicated casinos began to be built when the Flamingo Hotel was opened and began offering an extensive range of gambling games. At the time, Bugsy Siegel, the owner of the Flamingo Hotel, did not realize where his hotel had been built. Over the next few years, however, more hotels and casinos began to be erected nearby, and soon, this area of Las Vegas was being known as the now famous Strip.
Prior to the legalization of gambling, it was still possible to play poker and it was actually relatively easy to find a poker game with the availability of credible casas de apuestas, even though playing for money was illegal. Played in many bars around the country, usually playing Five Card Stud or Five Card Draw, the decade of the 1930s was the start of poker beginning to snowball into the most played card game around.
In modern-day Las Vegas, the Strip is packed full of different casinos offering every variation of poker imaginable. All within a short traveling distance of each other, it is possible to play Omaha Hi-Low in the Mirage, then Seven Card Stud in the Bellagio, followed by Five-Card Draw in New York and finishing with Razz in Caesars Palace.
Of course, not only is poker played in Las Vegas and general casinos around the world but is it is a massively popular game to play at home.
If friends get together to play cards, almost instinctively the game is assumed to be some variation of poker. In addition, whilst Texas Hold-Em may be the number one poker game to play online, it is matched with popularity with Five Card Draw when playing at home. Five Card Draw is very rarely seen in offline casinos but is a much-loved home game, generally due to the ease of playing, unlike Texas Hold Em, there are only two rounds of betting and no real way to read other players, as there are no community cards.
Whilst online poker may be the way forward for many, offline poker is still massively popular and dominates casinos around the world. Furthermore, it cannot be forgotten that without offline poker, the world’s most famous poker tournament, the World Series of Poker, would not be taking place. The World Series of Poker now allows for players to gain entry to the tournament via online or satellite games, but the main event is still played solely offline, keeping the world of offline poker thriving.