The winds of change are currently sweeping through the online poker world and nowhere is this breeze being felt more than at PokerStars Casino. For as long as the site has been in existence its clung onto its poker roots with a vice-like grip, but as the industry has evolved and players’ expectations have changed, so too has PokerStars.
Although still a platform defined by poker, PokerStars is now broadening its horizons in line with the rest of the community. As the industry has grown and evolved over the last decade, the people anteing up via their desktop or mobile device have begun to demand more. More diversity, more options and more value have pushed platforms such as this one to become more than pure poker portals.
Of course, games such as Texas Hold'em and Omaha might still be the lures that attract new punters, but it's the ever increasing roster of additional games that keep them amused and entertained.
Mixing it Up
One of the most interesting developments in the online poker world over the last four years is the gradual movement towards mixed games. Once the reserve of "old school" players who'd cut their teeth in the live arena, games such as HORSE, Hold'em/Omaha and 8-Game Mix are now popular choices with grinders of all persuasions. Seeing as how there are so many poker variations, it makes sense that PokerStars has expanded their offerings over the years.
The decision to offer more than traditional games like Hold'em and Omaha has been necessitated by a need for more value. As the average IQ of poker players has increased, the profitability of certain games has decreased, which is why many players are now looking towards mixed games. Not only that, but a survey of PokerStars' draw lobbies shows dozens of active tables in games such as 2-7 Triple Draw, 5-card Draw and Badugi.
Although not quite as packed as the Hold'em tables, these cash games are buzzing at the lowest levels ($0.25/$0.50). Moreover, the growing number of draw, stud and mixed game tournaments are also gathering steam as the community moves towards Hold'em alternatives.
Going Deep into Live Casino Games
While poker is undeniably the top draw at PokerStars, the suits at the top aren't willing to stand still. They have moved in time with the industry. This change in attitude has seen the online poker room build a roster of casino games into the mix. From virtual offerings to cutting edge live offerings, these games are designed to give casual punters and seasoned grinders a break from the norm.
Although the incorporation of casino games into a poker platform is nothing new, the company has decided to push the envelope by harnessing the latest live dealer technology powered by Evolution Gaming. Known technically as Immersive Roulette, these tables take the live streaming angle and push it to new levels. Through a network of HD cameras positioned around the roulette wheel, these games track the movement of the ball as it spins to a stop in a numbered slot.
In reality, these games don't offer any more chance to win than a standard game of roulette, but they do make the game, unsurprisingly, more immersive. For casual punters and serious poker players the main thing they want to get out of casino games online is excitement. It's often the case that they see poker as a more serious endeavor and games such as Immersive Roulette as a way to have fun. Because of this mindset, PokerStars has ensured its betting limits are as low as possible ($1 per spin) and the action is as intense as possible.