When people think about card games, they often think of a group hovered around a table at a casino playing a game like poker. That image has been popularised throughout media for years; with the tension building as players review their options and try to bluff their way to success. But the reality is these days that for many people, playing card games happens from the comfort of their homes, while at work or on their daily commute.
This is because more people than ever are playing their favourite card games online. The reason? Evolution and advancements in technology. With mobile phone ownership on the rise and online casino websites improving every day, it’s no surprise that players are choosing to play their favourite card games online at places like Virgin Games instead of at land based casinos. But how has the game of cards evolved over time? And what has been the impact of technology? Read on to find out more.
Where did playing cards come from
It’s hard to say exactly when people started playing card games. Some early references in literature refer to the game as ‘the Moorish Game’ with there being etymological evidence suggesting that Arabic countries introduced the game in the second half of the fourteenth century, while other reports believe card playing began in Ancient China. In any case, card playing was likely to have come to Europe over time.
The invention of woodcuts in the fourteenth century and Gutenberg’s invention of moveable type later on in 1440 made printing cards possible. This is likely when playing cards, as we know them, became more widespread and popular. In fact, by the sixteenth century cards were well reported in literature, poetry and popular ballads which included metaphors that were based on card games and cards, the moral character of gamblers and the meaning of cards (whether that was in the political sense, divinatory sense, social or more). Card playing was performed by almost all levels of society.
The impact of technology
Technology has had a massive impact on so many parts of people’s lives. From the way people work, to the ability to talk to people from around the world, the socialising, to shopping and of course, entertainment. Like other activities, technology has had an impact on cards — and has already changed the way we play cards in ways that no expert could have predicted.
It started with the popularisation of the home computer. It was back in 1995 when Microsoft added a virtual version of the most popular card games like Texas Hold ‘Em and Solitaire to their Windows 95 operating system. And things haven’t gone backwards since. The ability to play card games online, anytime from anywhere, has allowed the game to gain more popularity than ever before — and with so many games available to play, users can enjoy new ones that they’ve never heard of.
One of the biggest advancements over the years has to be the ability to play with a live dealer with other players across the globe. The convenience of this has not only made the game more accessible and popular to new generations but created an incredibly competitive industry — which in turn has led to more exciting card game experiences aas companies compete to have the best technology and attract new customers.
Changing how we play the game
Not only has technology changed what card games we play, but it’s also changed how we actually play them. With advancements in new technologies like Augmented and Virtual reality, players can enjoy the games from the comforts of home like never before. Virtual reality card games are beginning to take off in casino hot-spots like Las Vegas, where land-based casinos are able to offer a full and immersive Vegas-style casino experience through a VR headset.
Casinos are also utilising technologies like big data to collect information on their players and be able to offer them the best gaming experiences personalised to their needs and preferences. In order to maximise card playing experiences, embedded technology is starting to be used in card tables, decks of cards themselves and gaming rooms in order to monitor how exactly players play and ensure that card players are relaxed.
It’s truly the beginning of a transformative revolution when it comes to how we play our favourite card games.
Into the future?
It’s hard to predict exactly how technology will continue to impact card games — things are changing almost every day and it would be impossible to say what’s next for sure. It’s likely that technology will continue to improve and evolve, and in doing so will push for more exciting experience when it comes to card games. This will, in turn, encourage more people than ever to pick up card games as a form of entertainment and even play with others around the world.
Land-based casinos, competing with the burgeoning online market, are likely to also continue to use tech to their advantage, and will probably invest more in VR technology to bring their unique casino experiences to players everywhere.
And the collection big data will ensure that users are getting the most personalized and desirable card game experiences based on what they enjoy. One thing is for certain — card games, one of the oldest forms of entertainment — are definitely going to be around for a while longer. Especially as technology continues to improve.