When the big bookmakers decided to allowtheir sports gambling customers to place their bets online they started arevolution in the gambling industry which is still developing today. Suddenlysports gambling fans were able to place bets on a huge range of differentsports and sporting events from all around the world. They were no longerrestricted to horse racing, greyhound racing or football, which were usually theonly sports regularly highlighted in most high street betting shops, they couldeven follow American football, baseball and ice hockey if they wanted to. Thishuge increase in sports gambling options was however not the only significantdevelopment which resulted from the introduction of online gambling, thebookmakers soon began to add a range of gambling games to their sports gamblingsites which led to the beginnings of what we now call online casino gambling. Priorto the introduction of gambling games online most of us had very littleopportunity to play many gambling games at all. There were of course a fewcasinos in Ireland but for most of us visiting a casino entailed travelling somedistance and was therefore a very rare occurrence. Even those of us who wereclose to a real casino were still limited to playing the traditional casino gamblinggames of roulette and blackjack because our casinos were relatively small and werenot able to offer a wider choice. Other than the real casinos our only other opportunityto play gambling games was to play bingo at a bingo club or to play the slotmachines in our pubs and clubs. The introduction of gambling games onto thesports gambling sites operated by the big bookmakers changed everything however.The online gambling sites were not restricted for space so there was almost nolimit on the number of gambling games they could offer on their sites. Most ofthe big online casino gambling sites now feature at least two hundred differentgambling games for us to play, ranging from all the traditional casino gamblinggames you might find in casinos all around the world through to bingo, dicegames and of course a huge variety of slots and video slots. There is no doubtthat the online sports gambling sites offered a big increase in sports gamblingoptions for sports fans, but the effect of the introduction of online gamblinggames was even more striking in terms of increased choice. It is also true thatwhereas the introduction of online sports gambling sites did not necessarily significantlyincrease the number of people betting on sports and sporting events, the numberof people now playing gambling games online has dramatically increased from thenumbers previously playing at a real casino or even at the bingo clubs.
Clearly the vast majority of the gambling games featured on most online casino gambling sites are slots games in various forms, but we should not forget that we now also have a far greater choice of traditional casino games than ever before. Unless we were fortunate enough to be able to visit one of the big casinos in the south of France or even in the States, we would probably have never had the opportunity to play gambling games such as baccarat or craps, neither of which are available in any of our real casinos. The fact that we can now play some of these games online has also dispelled some of the myths that have built up around games such as baccarat. We now know that it is not so complicated that we would not understand how to play, nor is it a game only played by high rollers with much bigger budgets than most of us could even contemplate. Playing baccarat online is no more difficult than playing a Hi/Lo dice game. The popular gambling game of backgammon does however require a certain amount of skill and experience to play successfully, but at least now we can give it a go without risking a huge amount of money while we learn.
Of all the traditional gambling games we can now play online however, the one which has really taken off is the game of poker. Poker was of course very popular in the gold fields of America and on the Mississippi river boats in years gone by, but had fallen out of favour in many parts of the world including here in Ireland. There were of course a number of big poker tournaments held around the world but the contestants were mostly professional players making their living from playing in those tournaments. The version of poker which most of us saw being played in the saloons in our favourite westerns was 5-card draw poker, but the game of choice for most serious poker enthusiasts is now Texas Hold’em poker. Texas Hold’em is now also the poker format used for most of the big tournaments, so it has also become the most popular version of the game online. For any of our readers thinking of starting to play online poker, and in particular Texas Hold’em poker we have detailed the rules of the various different forms of poker on our individual gambling games pages, but we should also point out that Texas Hold’em in particular tends to reward the players with the most experience. It is therefore important to gain some experience by playing the game for fixed odds against the house rather than diving straight in on one of the specialist online poker platforms. There are a number of new online poker sites specifically designed for beginners and we recommend that you start there. Poker is undoubtedly an exciting gambling game, but games such as Texas Hold’em which use community cards and entail multiple betting rounds can be very expensive. The minimum table stake bears no relationship to the amount of money you may need to stake even to reach the showdown stage of each hand, so take care where you choose to play and preferably make sure you know who you are playing against.