Poker betting, Betting exchange, V-sports… What’s next?
Technology has thoroughly modified the gambling landscape. In the digital age, traditional forms of gambling have been adapted to online formats and new forms of play have emerged. These new formats of betting, spawned by technological possibilities, also multiply the players' chances of winning.
No discipline has been spared by this technological revolution : poker, sports betting, and general wagering have expanded to new realms for the player to discover. Indeed, be it in the contest one is betting on, or the person one is betting with, possibilities have dramatically expanded yielding new and fun ways to play and, potentially, earn very real money.
This article will review the main advances in poker betting, betting exchange and virtual sports and what we may expect as players for the years to come.
The term “betting on poker” can be ambiguous, as poker is a game that includes several rounds of betting by the players themselves. However, several modes of betting exist that run alongside the in-built wagering structure of poker.
A side bet literally takes place alongside live play. These types of bets may be made by the players themselves in which case they may concerns outside factors : such as how many letters the name of the next cocktail waitress to serve the table has, or who at the table will lose most weight over the next year. Another type of side bet concerns players having folded their hand and may regard whether or not another player was bluffing. Lastly, side bets may occur between players in the audience who can bet between each other on the color of the river. As such, these are a bit of banterous aside conversations which do not influence the game.
The following example, featuring poker legend Phil Helmuth, illustrates how such a bet may take place at a pro tournement table alongside play for high stakes.
Betting on Poker
This consists in betting on a live poker tournement – the WSOP for instance – as one would bet on any other sport : for instance putting money on a particular contestant to win. Muxh like other types of sports betting, outcomes will have associated odds from which you may define your strategy and attempt to uncover a value-bet.
Bet Victor and LadBrokes offer most odds for this type of bets, as you can choose to bet on the winner, players reaching the final table, the colour of the last flop, the colour of the last turn card, and many more.
Betting on Poker Hands
This last practice, though it may be less widespread, is no less interesting and fun. It consists in placing bets on a “fictional” poker game – to be understood as not involving any players. All six hands at the table are visible, and you may bet on one or more hands as well as on the winning type of combination before the draw, and after each round thereafter. Odds are calculated and fluctuate as the dealer turns more cards. In the end, bets on the highest hand or on the exact type of winning combination win, others lose.
The best example of this type of play is available at TonyBet. Unfortunately, there is no such type of play offered on live games, during tournements for example. However, one may speculate that in the future, this mode of betting will exist.
As the name suggests, betting exchange consists in a betting market where betters make bets directly with one another. That is, unlike a normal bet which engages a player and a bookmaker, this type of betting engages players vis-a-vis each other. One player offers a “lay”, that is defines his odds and the limit within which betters are allowed to place their bets. The other adopts the role of the “back”, picking the odds he wants to bet on and entering in an agreement with the other party.
Although bookmaking websites that offer this type of service usually take a commission, this type of betting can be advantageous as the odds are typically higher than those offered by the bookmaker himself. Few operators offer this mode of betting, and of those few we particularly recommend Betfair and Bet365 both for the optimal layout of betting options and the variety of events and odds available on their respective platforms. Also, you are entitled to bonuses and promo codes as detailed here for Betfair.
Virtual sports consists in placing bets as a player normally would for any sporting competition, but on an event that is purely virtual. Whether the player bets on virtual football, virtual horse flat racing, virtual horse jump racing, virtual greyhound races, or virtual auto sports, the event has no basis in reality and is generated by an algorithm. Thus, events still have a favorite, a challenger, and even a dark horse, but – as in reality – the outcome is uncertain.
This format of betting offers several advantages : chiefly, it allows gamblers to enjoy events throughout the day, every day of the week. It also gives impassioned supporters a chance to step back and analyse a situation more objectively than they would an event which involves one or more contestants that they like or dislike. Of course, this mode of gaming is subject to strict regulations and the result cannot be influenced.
Though it is less widespread, this form of play which lies between console-like visuals reminiscent of FIFA and sports betting, it is gathering more and more players and is becoming widely available on betting websites. Bet365 notably offers a large panel of virtual sports and regularly schedule events on an hourly basis.
In poker, advances such as live betting on real events might be coming soon. As odds are already calculated in real time at large poker events, viewers could place bets on a player to win based on his hand, his chip count, and his individual ability.
In online wagering, bookmakers could allow social functions for friends wishing to challenge each other and bet on each others' odds.
Lastly, in virtual sports, video game competitions could become a subject of betting, and individual randomly generated games could turn to full-fledged leagues. New sports, entirely virtual could also be developed for betting purposes as well as for broader entertainment.
In any case, these speculations are not far from us if we take into account the latest developments in the betting sphere, and the science-fiction of today could very well turn into the reality of tomorrow.