Over the last two decades, online gaming of all kinds has become phenomenally popular throughout the whole world. Culturally and socially part of our everyday lives in this new digital era, there are now more people regularly playing games than are not.
Considering how video gaming and online gaming in general used to be viewed by the masses, that’s quite the shift in both opinion and participation. Gamers were previously considered to be the fringe of society. Now they are actually the overwhelming majority.
In Canada alone, according to a GlobeNewswire press release published in November 2020, 61% of survey participants said they had played some kind of video game within the last four weeks. Many identified gaming as a great way for family and friends to bond and stay connected online, while the average age of adult Canadian gamers is 38.
Within those metrics, a large proportion are regularly playing online casino games. Indeed, there are currently some 6.5 million registered online casino gamers in Canada alone, without even delving into statistics for other countries around the world. Interestingly, classic and traditional table games are amongst the most popular, such as poker and blackjack.
How Online Casino Gaming Evolved
Around the turn of the 21st century, there weren’t many online casinos around. If you wanted to experience gambling entertainment, physical casinos were still the place to go. That all changed once the internet became widely available in our homes and workplaces, bringing the opportunity to play games from the comfort of our own homes.
Games began to adapt and evolve to this new digital audience, then took another giant leap with the proliferation of mobile devices, which became much more than just something we used to make phone calls. In 2020, the largest share of the gaming market in any niche or genre is via mobile devices, from which we can play games at any time and from any location.
Online gaming sites like 888 Casino now offer thousands of games, all at the click of a mouse or touch of our smartphone screen. Developers have now made games which are aimed at both desktop and mobile players, ideally suited to the devices they are using. Likewise, a growing demand has led to impressive advancements in the games themselves.
There are now slots themed around everything you could possibly imagine. Online poker is now enjoyed by millions of players around the globe, with every variant of the game available. Likewise, blackjack has enjoyed a recent surge in popularity, with digital and live dealer options to choose from. Even roulette and craps have transitioned well from table to screen.
From Casino Floor to Casino Screen
There’s little to match the buzz and excitement of wandering through a busy casino, with all our senses alerted to what’s going on around us. Perhaps the biggest reason why casinos became successful in the first place, aside from the thrill and excitement of gambling itself, is that such venues are great social venues.
But how does the social element of a casino translate from a physical venue to an online gaming site? That has arguably been the biggest challenge for card games like poker and blackjack, because part of the buzz of such games was being surrounded by other people, whether competing against them as friends or simply sharing and enjoying the experience.
Nevertheless, poker was the first casino card game to successfully make the switch online, while also capturing the essence of what made this game socially popular. Indeed, more people now play poker tournaments online than offline, against real players from practically every corner of the globe. This can be via a digital display or even a live stream with real dealers.
Given that blackjack is an entirely different game, where participants are competing against the dealer, rather than other players, that presented a different challenge for developers. Digital versions of blackjack could also be played socially, alongside other players online, yet it wasn’t quite the same as being sat at a real table. That problem has been solved with live dealers you can see and interact with via live streams, whilst also chatting with fellow players.
Which Adapted Better?
Thanks to how technology has evolved in recent years, both poker and blackjack have continued grow in popularity at online casinos. Game developers have given great care and attention in capturing the social element of both, along with the kind of sensations we might experience at a physical casino table.
While it’s fair to say that poker still remains the most popular card game at online casinos, blackjack is now rapidly gaining, largely due to the simplicity of the game itself. Now that both can be played via live streaming and with real people dealing the cards, we can experience both games as they were originally intended, which means that both have also adapted wonderfully to our new digital gaming age.