Best of 2012: Best in Online Poker

Published December 22, 2012 by OCR Editor

Best of 2012: Best in Online Poker

Poker ready to take the lead in online gambling.

Online Poker became king of the online gaming industry in 2012. Player numbers jumped across the globe thanks to the proliferation of new operators, increased competition, the popularity of new types of games and an improved legal environment that has seen the United States re-enter the picture.

According to recent data provided by eGaming Review, gross gaming yield in online poker - basically the percentage of bets kept by operators - rose this year to around 250 million euros. The average number of players participating in tournaments and ring games also continued its upward trend.

Below are some of the online poker highlights of 2012, which likely contributed to the industry's popularity.

Fast poker

Rush Poker, the hit cash game invented by Full Tilt Poker, became all the rage in 2012 as a number of major operators launched their own version. Microgaming's Blaze Poker, Playtech's Sprint Poker and Zoom Poker, and Relax Gaming's Fast Poker, all sought to emulate the popular fast-paced game.

All these poker games have one thing in common: Players are dealt a new hand at a completely new table as soon as they fold their last. The meaning of this is that instead of sitting out at the one table twiddling your thumbs, you just move to a different table and start betting again. The action never stops!

Mobile poker

Mobile is fast surpassing online in every area of the industry - whether mobile betting, casinos or bingo - and poker is no different. 2012 saw most of the major operators either introduce new mobile platforms, include existing ones, and expand the variety and compatibility of their apps.

Just to provide a couple of examples: 888poker was one of several top online poker operators to make its product iPad compatible; Bwin and several others launched their first real-money poker application for owners of Android smartphones.

Social poker

Social gaming is the newest craze in the industry, and poker has not been spared. Without a doubt, the popularity of free-play social poker games has contributed to the increased interest in real-money poker. First poker enthusiasts try their hand for free in a social environment, and then they turn to the real thing.

Zynga Poker, available through Facebook, is the world's largest online game with over 30 million users every month. Zynga's mobile poker apps can be found through a variety of smartphone devices, and the company is also planning to enter the real-money poker arena at some stage.

Better legal environment

Full Tilt Poker returned to the fold to much fanfare after clearing up legal issues and being acquired by former rival PokerStars. The site's return provided an opportunity for customers to claim trapped funds from previously inaccessible accounts, but the good publicity behind its revival also had positive ramifications for the wider poker world.

The battle over the legalization of online poker in the United States took a step in the right direction when Nevada became the first state to issue licenses for intrastate online poker. The US Department of Justice ruled that online gambling across state lines is illegal, leading several states to move to regulate play within state borders.

Mentioned in this article

See also

Best Poker Rooms of 2012

Best of 2012: Best Online Casinos

Italy Has Europe’s Biggest Online Poker Market

Ireland to Levy 1% Levy on Online Bookmakers

Best Online Casino Innovations 2012


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