Poker No Longer Just A “Man’s Game”

Women celebrating

For years and years, most people’s idea of poker is a bunch of guys sitting around a table playing cards. However, the past decade has seen more and more women join the game every year and many, such as Vanessa Selbst and Celina Lin, are showing that they are every bit as capable of winning as their male counterparts. A recent study done by International Game Technology provided some numerical evidence to show just how prevalent female players have become and one area of the game is much more even than most would suspect.

While men still outnumber women considerably in live poker games, social online poker is another story completely. Around one out of every three social online poker players is female. These games are the ones found at poker sites and popular social media outlets like Facebook. What this means is that a growing mass of women are getting good at the game before turning to the real money games. In a short time, a huge influx of women players could start to dominate the online real money games as they make the transition.

The numbers released by IGT were surprising for most poker fans and insiders. Because the sex of a person is not often seen at these social games, it was mistakenly assumed that many of these players are men. However, the truth of the matter is that women make up 45% of the social gaming market and it is only natural that this percentage should extend somewhat to the game of poker. One of the telling statistics is the growth that has happened in female social gamers in just the past year. The IGT numbers showed an increase of 22% in the number of female poker players from 2013 to this year.

One famous female player that commented on the IGT report was Gillian Epp, who plays both online and at live events. Epp said that as a woman, the social game offers a different atmosphere than real money online games. Because there is more chat, players are able to forge friendships and talk casually about the hands being played. In this manner, a love of the game is fostered and the players are focused on enjoyment rather than profit. When these social players decide to take their skills to the real money tables, they are often prepared with above-average abilities and their time at the social tables is rewarded with wins at the real money games.