Gambling is a traditional part of Australian culture, and casino trends Down Under often prove indicative of what is to follow globally. Pokies – or slot games as they are known elsewhere – have dominated the landscape for decades, but that is starting to change.
Pokies date back decades, and while they remain the most popular of all gambling games, they primarily appeal to older players. Indeed, industry research found that almost three quarters of the money bet on pokies comes from players aged 55 and above. Younger players who are embracing the online gambling market are less interested in pokies and prefer the more strategic nature of card games. Here are three that are rising in popularity.
Language is a strange thing, and the word “pokies” is actually a shortened version of “video poker games.” The word has come to mean slot games, but real video poker is booming in popularity. Partly, it is because it is a natural first step for anyone who wants to learn the basics of poker without the stress of going up against human opposition. The computer won’t hustle you or laugh at you if you make a novice error.
But also, there is the fact that video poker is the only casino game in which you can completely eliminate the house edge and even turn the odds slightly in your favor. Doing so requires playing the right version at the right stakes and always making the optimum decision on which cards to hold. It’s something that’s incredibly difficult to achieve, so the casinos are at no risk of going out of business any time soon, but it is a challenge that players find truly compelling.
It’s the most popular table game in casinos across the world, and online blackjack in Australia has really taken off over the past couple of years. Like video poker, blackjack provides a chance for Australia’s savvy gamblers to practically eliminate the house edge entirely, just by following some basic strategy rules.
Unlike video poker, those rules are relatively easy to remember, and by knowing when to hit, stand, split pairs and double down, players can genuinely improve their win rate. Get the basic theory nailed, and there are more advanced strategies like composition-dependent theory and card counting that can reduce the house edge still further.
Back in the 1950s, baccarat was the most popular game in Europe’s high class casinos. By the 1990s, it had almost entirely disappeared. Over the past decade, baccarat has enjoyed a revival and is one of the most popular games of the online casino era.
Unlike poker or blackjack, there is no real strategy involved in baccarat. The game is incredibly simple, and in essence, calling “player” or “banker” is a little like calling red or black at the roulette wheel. The game’s simplicity and low volatility make it a perfect choice for online casino novices nursing a modest bankroll.