Why Live Gaming is Dominating the Online Card Scene Right Now
Bridge is one of the oldest and longest-lasting games known to card players. As detailed by the origins and history page of the EBU, bridge’s origins can be traced back to 1529, with one Bishop Latimer publishing a sermon referencing the card game.
The game has developed tremendously since then, while still keeping its intrinsic game mechanics and inherent demand for competitive players and teamwork. One of the most notable moments in bridge’s history came in 1742, with the release of Short Treatise on Whist by Edmond Hoyle. The tome defined the game of bridge (still called “whist” at the time) and was used as a bible, of sorts, by card players.
In the modern game, there are more readily available resources than ever to learn the basics of bridge, even here with us at Great Bridge Links. While the game has done well to adapt to the digital space by uploading videos, articles, and using the internet to set up clubs and rankings, new revelations across the online gaming space have brought other card games to new levels of immersion.
While it may not be possible for bridge to follow suit in the traditional sense, other card games have embraced live streaming to deliver a new way to play other classic card games.
The live gaming revolution is sweeping across all games
The advancement of technology in laptops, tablets, and mobiles, coupled with the ever-increasing power of the internet, has enabled the rise of a new form of entertainment and a new way to play classic games. The video game industry was one of the first to experience the new age of gaming, with people all over the internet adopting live streaming technology to connect audiences with popular titles. As detailed by PC Mag, streaming services are about cultivating and empowering communities.
The ability of live streaming to add another tier of engagement has been adopted by traditional card games as well. Live streams offer video game fans a more immersive experience, but this is still rather ‘hands-off’. So, card gaming took the application of live streaming to the next level, with some online platforms hosting several live blackjack games, that allow the user to play in real-time with others and opposite a human croupier.
The experience is much more hands-on and authentic than the online browser version of the game, and has proven to be very popular with existing card players. This is perfectly demonstrated by the game provider to the online platform, Evolution Gaming, reporting a soar in revenues, according to EGR Intel, of 49 percent to €365.8 million in 2019.
Going live has caught on across card gaming
Being the most popular card game at casino venues in the west, it makes sense that blackjack was the first game to get a fully-fledged live casino offering. It was quickly followed by the biggest casino card game in the world, baccarat, as well as many other novel creations for live gaming – all of which are made and run by Evolution Gaming. The expert game developers have created many live card games, including live blackjack, live baccarat, live casino hold’em, and live three card poker, as well as other novelty games like Dream Catcher and Lightning Dice.
Now, while when we here at Great Bridge Links say ‘Bridge Talk,’ we’re invariably talking about tactics for the card game. There will undoubtedly be some bridge talk in game studios, theorizing whether bridge can be brought to this new medium of gaming. Many card games and other casino games are enjoying a renaissance of sorts, with the on-demand, real-feel titles appealing to players all over the world.
Based on the current diverse offerings of Evolution Gaming, a direct live game equivalent of contract bridge likely isn’t possible given the nature of the game. However, it could be in their wheelhouse to develop a casino-equivalent, similar to how casino hold’em developed to have the player take on the dealer in a slightly altered format to regular poker.
For such an old card game, bridge has done well to embrace the digital space in the way that it has, but to go that next step further, and offer an even better online gaming experience, live online bridge is naturally the next route that should be explored – even if it requires a few alterations to make it applicable.
Live gaming brings people into the action at their convenience, and from the comfort of their own homes, meaning that the authentic gaming experience is just a few clicks or taps away. This is why classic card games like blackjack have been able to continue to grow their audience. A live-streamed online version of bridge may be a bit ‘pie in the sky’ but, given the games that have already gone live, a live bridge experience isn’t beyond reason.