I know that it is hard to believe, and this may come as a shock to you, but the poker game isn’t everyone’s favorite!
I still can’t believe it either, but unfortunately for us, it is apparent that going toe to toe with the house at the table games is how casino-goers spend their time, much to the delight of casino owners.
When comparing revenues generated from land-based and online poker rooms to traditional table games, the later triumphs by a mile.
So, it is no surprise that casino owners opt to double down on marketing for casino games rather than poker.
As you can see from the graph above, poker is the smallest revenue maker in the online gambling market.
Of course, a major contributing factor to this is the limited availability of online poker in the US.
Although positive steps towards legalization have been made, even with democratic nominee candidate Andrew Yang championing the roll-out of fully licensed and regulated online poker, projected revenues for poker are grim viewing for those who want poker to grow.
But what are some other factors that make poker one of the least popular games in the casinos? Well, here are a few reasons why poker probably will never be as appealing as top betting offers and other popular casino games.
Being Card Dead Sucks
When playing liver poker, you are lucky to be dealt around 25-30 poker hands per hour, and many of those hands are completely unplayable.
There are even times where neither of the hands dealt is ones that you want to see a flop with.
To us, who play regularly, that is just part of the game, and we are used to it, but for those new to poker may be put off and think it is boring.
And when it comes to tournaments, players who want to make deep runs need to commit their entire day or most of it to playing poker.
Some people just don’t have the time, and you can’t blame them for not playing poker. No one wants to play in a tournament when they know they may need to leave at a moment’s notice or that it can take the whole night to complete.
Jumping onto a table can be intimidating to new players
I remember my first casino session like it was yesterday, and I will not lie, I was bricking it the entire time.
I enjoyed it, but I found myself shaking at times when betting or raking in a pot.
It did feel intimidating as well, and new players can feel like outsiders in the environment where everyone seems to know each other.
This is no fault of the players at the table, of course, but you do not get the same feeling when playing blackjack, roulette, or slots, for example.
New players are also seen as easy money and get targeted by the regulars, and god forbid if a new player sucks out on a reg or surprise them with a poker cooler.
Some of the scathing insults I have seen chucked at new players for playing 84o and getting there versus someone who feels they should win every hand.
Now largely, these interactions are in the minority. Still, you will never have a blackjack dealer berate you for winning against the house, so it shouldn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out where the average casino punter will spend his money.
There is a Blackjack jackpot at my local casino that exceeds six-figures, and you can win this jackpot by placing a solitary £2 bet.
This doesn’t exist in poker.
The allure of the casino is that you can turn something small into something big.
We’ve all seen or experienced riches that can be made when a card shoe is in the player's favor.
Of course, poker rooms run high hand promotions to increase footfall but the money to be made off these promotions is nowhere near traditional table gaming.
Yes, bad beat jackpots in poker exist, and when they hit, you know it will be a good night. However, the average casino visitor will try to hit the jackpot in the pit rather than on the felt 9 out of 10 times.
Becoming a winning player costs time and money
If you want to be a profitable poker player, it is no secret that this will cost time and money.
You will lose money when on the felt, and getting access to top of the range training courses does not come cheap either.
Add in the hours, days, and months of studying the resources, and this will put off the average person.
People are looking for a good time, not an education. It doesn’t take a math genius to play dice or wheel games and get lucky, and they do not need to work with a Poker Tracker 4 or other tools to achieve this.
Casino Games generate better comps
For argument sake, let’s say the average live poker session lasts around 4-5 hours for a new or recreational player.
In that time, the player will be lucky to make any poker chips on top of their initial buy-in, which isn’t that appealing for the average person.
In comparison, players who opt to play casino games can rack up these chips a lot quicker, and therefore, these games become more appealing than poker.
Dump enough dollars to the house, and you could even be rewarded with free hotel stays in the future.
This is just hard to do in a poker room unless you put in some serious hours, which most people do not have.
Celebrating and cheering is largely frowned upon
Hit the jackpot at a table game, and you can expect cheering and celebration from yourself and those around you.
Do that at the poker table, and you’re likely to get a telling off by one of the other players or the floor staff.
This isn’t because those who play Texas Holdem are allergic to fun. It is just that the dynamic in poker is different.
If you win a hand at the poker table, you take away somebody else’s money and not the casino’s.
After a stern word or two, this could ruin a new player’s experience and result in them never playing again.
This isn’t a dig at poker players either. It is just due to the nature of the game.
I agree that over celebrations are distasteful, but I think you need to cut some slack if they win the largest pot of their lives.