In recent years, poker has seen a huge increase in popularity in India. A major share of credit for this boom in popularity goes to the increased internet penetration. In addition to that, increasing smartphone affordability, and the rapid growth in digital infrastructure has given a boost to the online gaming industry in India.
The year 2019 was a particularly positive one for the Poker industry in India with initiatives like poker leagues and launch of a poker university. Presently, India is said to have around 3 million active poker players while the number of users continues to grow at 30 to 40% annually.
Millennials and Online Poker
While Indian Poker games such as Rummy or Teen Patti are popular among all demographics, millennials – age group of 20-mid 30s – are among leading players of online Poker in India and worldwide.
Smartphones and the need for instant entertainment while multi-tasking between apps makes Poker, a simple card game, where players try making combinations with 5 cards, a great attraction among the youth.
A hand of poker is not only quick, allowing players to enjoy between short breaks during the day or on their commute, it is a game of skill that demands attention and quick thinking of the player’s part.
A perfect recipe for the young demographic, online poker has witnessed a growing popularity for these reasons –
Easy to Learn
Poker is simple and easy to learn. As the user base for online poker continues to grow at 30 to 40% annually, the amount of information – blogs, videos, tutorials – available allows a player to go from novice to pro quickly.
Given the online gaming growth is driven by increasing affordability of smartphones, almost every online Poker operator offers mobile-friendly versions of the game.
Players can play the game from any device – laptop, tablet, mobile – and enjoy the same set of features.
Improving Product Features
As the industry grows – game development companies in India went from 25 in 2010 to 275 in 2020 – the competition between gaming providers leads to a variety of features being offered.
From better user interface to offering players free versions, so they can learn Poker without having to shed any real cash, Poker sites are making their games and apps more attractive to the Indian user.
An increasing number of online casinos and Poker sites are now shifting to local payment methods like UPI in addition to Debit/Credit cards and other wallets.
Promotions and Bonus Offers
In addition to the mobile apps and the fast-paced nature of the game, the promotional ads also have a role in the growing popularity of Poker in India. Big bonuses, referral points, challenging tournaments and big rewards are all part of ad campaigns of these sites.
Poker in India is portrayed as a skill-based game where players need to excel at decision making, understanding psychology, logical reasoning, money and risk management.
This posturing has been successful in attracting a growing number of individuals to online Poker in India. While the online poker industry in India is worth INR 400 crores at present, it is projected to touch INR 11,800 crores by 2023. The scalability of the game and a larger target audience – an aging population with spending power and increased accessibility – will boost the growing popularity of Poker in the years to come.