The online poker and casino industries are closely intertwined. Indeed, most online casinos offer poker games. Many poker players have found that partaking in casino games can improve their poker skills, while online casino players have found that they possess the attributes to excel at poker. As a developer, NetEnt has put most of its focus into online casino games rather than poker. But the work that the Swedish company is doing in the booming industry could end up having an effect on how the poker sector moves forward in the coming years.
NetEnt has risen to the top of the online casino sector and is now considered one of the three major software developers along with Microgaming and Playtech. When companies get to such a position of power, their innovations and ideas are often replicated by others. NetEnt is currently leading the way with virtual reality slots, for example, and the ideas that the company has come up with will be replicated by other slot developers. Itís innovations like this that have led the genre to evolve over time. If smaller studios donít copy what the larger ones are doing, they will be left behind.
Whatís most exciting for the poker industry, though, is NetEnt's progress with live casino. The company has won numerous awards for its work, including Casino Game Developer of the Year at the SBC Awards 2019. It also picked up the award for Casino Platform Supplier of the Year at the EGR Nordic Awards in 2019. Some of the innovations that NetEnt brings to live casino could easily trickle down into live poker.
Out of all the casino classics that the software developer has a hand in, NetEnt has been praised for its blackjack offerings, in particular. Their version of the game is designed to bring the brick and mortar casino experience to players in their own homes. The games feature real dealers and state-of-the-art software to ensure a smooth playing experience.
Real dealers are something that has been lacking from online poker up to now. It can work in blackjack because hundreds of online players can be playing the same hands at the same time. But in poker, there is only the possibility of having one player per hand because everyone would act differently.
In live poker tournaments, though, there is always a dealer. This casino employee makes the game run more smoothly by helping to count chips and letting players know where the action is. This isnít exactly required online, but it would bring more authenticity to the game and make online players feel as though they are playing in an actual casino.
Online poker sites will have seen the impact of NetEntís live games in the online casino industry and looked at ways to replicate it. One possibility would be with virtual reality. Instead of having a real-life dealer, there could be a virtual one. With VR Roulette already a thing, this is something which could be a possibility in the years to come.