Coronavirus-induced lockdowns are causing more non-poker players to take an interest in the game according to recent statistics.
With the pandemic leading to a spike in online activity, upstart online poker operator GGPoker analyzed Google Trends in the UK and found an 87% increase in searches for the term “poker rules.”
Poker Searches Reveal Increased Interest
That figure tallies with a 92% spike in daily activity on GGPoker’s UK site. Given that GGPoker is hosting the $100 million WSOP Super Circuit Series, that stat is hardly surprising. However, the data suggests it’s not just seasoned players who are anteing up.
The operator’s UK platform has seen new sign-ups increase by 102% over the past two months. This correlates with a 200% increase in the number of Google searches for the phrase “how to play poker.”
Search data takes into account pre and post-lockdown conditions in the UK. Specifically, researchers looked at the 30 days before the country’s March 23 quarantine and the 30 days after. During that time, searches for the term “best poker hands” were up 282%.
Other significant stats, include:
- Search term: “How to play poker” – 200% month-on-month increase between February 23 and April 28, 2020
- Search term: “How to bluff” – 144% monthly increase between February 21 and March 22, 2020
- Search term: “Texas Hold’em” – 292% month-on-month increase between February 23 and April 28, 2020
The data may confirm what was already clear from the rise in traffic at the leading online poker sites. However, it’s further proof that poker sites are now in a position to capitalize on what many are referring to as the “new normal.”
Coronavirus Creates New Normal
If online entertainment is becoming the norm, poker is part of the zeitgeist. Operators have long been pushing to attract casuals and, for now at least, this goal aligns with a cultural shift across many parts of the world.
Traffic will almost certainly take a dip once lockdowns laws in the UK and elsewhere start to ease. The question is how quickly will is tail off. Moreover, how many new players can online poker sites retain.
Coronavirus will leave a lasting mark and the rate at which people feel confident to attend social events will differ. What we know for certain is that more people are showing an interest in online poker right now.
If society has changed forever, the task for operators is how best to engage this new wave of players. With much of the data trending toward handing rankings and bluffing, focusing on the basics could be a winning strategy.
Whichever ways operators embrace the upswing, the statistics suggest online poker is holding all the cards right now.