28 September 2023
Online Poker

How is Online Poker Different in 2020s compared to 2000’s?

Time flies, doesn’t it? It doesn’t feel that long ago that Chris Moneymaker and Jamie Gold won the WSOP main events but it’s creeping up to two decades ago. Since the poker boom in the early 2000’s a lot has changed. Some of it has been for the better and some not. In this piece we’re going to highlight what is different about online poker today compared to the 2000s.

Poker Software

When online poker took off, there was very little software around. People were playing online poker the same way they would play in a live setting. If you wanted to develop quickly, you needed to buy books. You couldn’t even access a Texas Hold’em cheat sheet back in the day. Slowly but surely, software was made available though and today there is an abundance of advanced poker software. Some software is for poker stat tracking, bankroll management or hand range analysis. They are all useful tools for the professional and part-time player too.


Poker strategy has evolved significantly since the 2000s. Texas Hold’em is an evolutionary game and with the proliferation of software, players had to modify their way of playing to stay profitable. In the modern era, there are two schools of strategy; exploitative and game theory optimal. These terms didn’t even exist in the 2000s as people were not thinking on such a high level. That’s not to say they are wrong and today is right, but one cannot escape the fact the strategy is different today.


Like it lump it, bots are a part of poker in 2020s. Whilst they don’t fill the major sites, they are roaming the low stakes SNGs or cash games, mostly for rakeback purposes. These bots are a reasonable threat to online poker. This was just not a problem in the 2000s as nobody was writing bot programs or even considered making them to churn rakeback.

New Formats

Online poker in the 2000s mostly consisted of limit hold’em and no limit hold’em. People were not playing formats like pot limit Omaha or short deck. These new formats have grown in popularity due to experienced players growing tired of the old no limit texas hold’em format. The major poker sites had to find innovative ways to keep poker popular and offering new variants was a smart way of achieving this. With each new format comes new strategy and people with lots of leaks which keeps people playing.

No Americans

During the poker boom, Americans filled the major sites. The traffic soared and there was lots of fishy players joining the poker community. Fast forward to today and there are no American players sitting with other nations online. There are only a handful of states in USA that permit online gambling and most of them are only with people within the same state. The fallout from the banning of online gambling in America was severe but the community has sort of recovered. Online poker is very popular in Asia and Europe too.

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