In the world of casino gambling, Poker has always deserved a place in the Gaming Pantheon.
It seems like it always has, and always will!
Still, even in the context of this fantastic and much-beloved table game, there are sometimes grumbles, complaints, discontent, and areas for improvement. None of these seem to diminish overall enthusiasm for poker itself! But it does open up opportunities for clever elements of the industry.
With their 2023 Bet On Poker release, the blue chip designer Playtech places itself squarely in that category!
This style of game almost resembles a side bet that took steroids and became a separate entity in its own right! The goal is not to defeat opponents directly, but rather to correctly predict the outcome of a poker game between 6 parties. In some ways, this resembles sportsbetting more than it does poker… it’s just that the “sport” involved is Texas Hold’em, without the benefit of betting, bluffing, or any of the similarly strategic side of the game. Here, it’s all about the value of hands, pure and simple.
This game may appeal especially to gamblers who love watching poker on TV, but couldn’t partake in the action as a side bettor… until now, that is!
While the 6 hands are not played by real individuals, there is a live dealer present to deal the cards, take bets, and give gamblers the feeling of interacting with an actual human being. This goes a long way towards providing the title its unique feel, and is not to be underestimated.
There are some unique charms available here, too! The betting odds shift in real time as more cards are revealed. The algorithm favors long odds: the more likely any given gaming outcome may be, the lower the reward for betting on it. Neither are things quite so simple as choosing the hand/position that will end up victorious! It’s possible to place bets on that, of course, but bettors can also lay wagers on the rank of hand that will win, the suits and colors that will be upturned, and even the color of the flop.
As far as side bets go (juiced up or otherwise), this one offers comparatively decent odds!
The RTP comes in at 96%, which lines up more or less with most slot games out there… though it pales in comparison to, say, the very slight house advantage enjoyed by players at standard Roulette, Blackjack, or Baccarat tables.
It’s not as though Playtech came up with this idea all by themselves – in fact, electronic variations on this concept have been popular in brick-and-mortar casinos for quite some time!
Somewhere down the line, an enterprising casino is going to find a way to allow players to bet on live poker games as they take place, combining favorite elements of craps, sportsbook, and poker… and giving “bet on poker” an entirely different meaning.
Until that day comes, though, fans of betting on Hold’em will have to make do with this compromise. It’s a brilliant one, in our opinion, and is likely to move Bet On Poker from the casino gaming margins to its center.