Video conferencing: The next step for poker?

Friday, March 2 2012

From the casino to the living room, poker has become a huge sensation across the world, especially in the United States. Millions of Americans play poker in casinos regularly, and now many have turned to the internet to provide them with a means of playing the game. It's so convenient that people can win hundreds of thousands of dollars without ever having to leave their house or change out of their pajamas.

However, internet poker has one major drawback: the lack of seeing your opponent. One possible solution to this obstacle could be using video conferencing tools via webcams to make the internet experience more engaging and bring back the advantages of live poker.

According to, two of the major disadvantages of online poker are the loss of personal communication and the inability to see tells or read people. Reading your opponent is a tool that all major professionals have mastered, but the skill is lost when in cyberspace. Using video conferencing software allows players to read and interact with their opponents once again, which is a major advantage to the player and can improve the game.

Doyle Brunson, a world champion and leading authority about Texas Hold'em poker, has written books on the sport and won millions throughout his long career.

Brunson strongly feels that eventually, "poker will be like a video conference and you'll be able to focus on the players across the table from you and read them," according to an interview with

The American Foreign Press states that despite the recent regulatory setbacks for online gaming in the United States, the federal government appears to be easing its stand on many forms of online betting, prompting states to attempt to tap into a new revenue source. There are still poker sites in operation in accordance with U.S. laws and regulations, and many more may return to the national market in time.

Some of the current sites have already begun to implement the video conferencing idea, but it's still in the early stages of development. However, as more sites return to the U.S. gaming market, incorporating video conferencing may be the direction they take.

Online poker is still as popular as ever, and adding the ability to see your opponent over the internet is a huge step for the players and the game. Just make sure you've got your poker face on.