The Potential of VR Poker
Poker has been evolving and adapting to players’ preferences for over two centuries. It’s played in several formats in organized tournaments, home games, and gambling establishments. However, today most hands get played online. The convenience of playing from mobile devices was a new impulse for the game, attracting swarms of players. This is where the potential for Virtual Reality (VR) poker is.
Although online betting has been on an upward trajectory, poker’s growth is slowing, and the industry is turning to technology to appeal to poker novices. One of the trends popular with young gamers includes Virtual Reality (VR) headsets, which redefine the virtual concept.
Part of the attraction of poker is the social aspect – the opportunity to interact with other players and attempt to gauge reactions. The big drawback of online poker is the lack of a psychological component. Poker gets transformed into a mathematical game of chance without the social dynamic. Not surprisingly, most players gravitate to live casino poker, an option some see as a bridge toward VR poker.
Interaction is an aspect where VR excels. The technology creates illusions that will excite the brain. It makes it possible to see players from other countries at the same poker table and experience the glamor of the Las Vegas strip from the comfort of one’s home. The reality is that VR’s potential is in improving simple games, such as poker.
When the online betting industry announced its plan to begin pivoting toward VR technology, most were skeptical about the potential. For many players, it was a novelty that would soon wear off, believing that the headsets were too awkward for practical gaming. Yet after Facebook rebranded itself into Meta, it was obvious virtual reality is the future.
The progress towards that future is slow and steady, with occasional leaps. In recent years, few VR poker titles started popping up, and the expectation is for big brand bookies to accept the trend when the technology is widespread.
The mass acceptance of VR has been seen as an inevitability. Sales of VR headsets are on the rise, with a 180 percent increase last year compared to the previous. And most industry experts claim that the number will skyrocket once VR headsets become more budget-friendly. Current models like Oculus or HTC VIVE are top of the line but are too expensive for most players.
As more manufacturers enter the market and improve the technology, the price will adjust, and more players will be able to afford VR headsets.
Another benefit of VR is the new options for players to top up their accounts. Digital wallets already enable players to make fast in-game deposits. Payments will be more secure with VR. Voice commands or hand gestures, verified with iris scans can be used to accomplish deposits.
Game developers and online casinos are following trends, and some companies are already heavily investing in VR gaming. However, VR remains a misunderstood concept for most players, and the current cost of headsets hinders mass adoption.
Yet VR poker is the format that will usher the technology into the poker scene in upcoming years.