When Nevada launched legal online poker, Texas Hold ‘Em was the only game offered. There were different versions and different table stakes levels of course, but if you wanted to gamble legally online at a state sponsored site within the Silver State, poker was the game, and Hold ‘Em was the only offering. Recently Omaha has been added to the virtual Vegas poker options in Nevada, appearing on the state-regulated Ultimate Poker website. Omaha and Omaha Hi/Lo were added on October 27, and currently make up a full 20% of the sites cash game traffic.
Comparing apples to apples, this is double the industry average for Omaha, which is just 10%. As a part of the new legislation which legalized Internet gambling in Nevada, that state decided to offer just poker for now, with the possibility of adding popular casino table games and slots in the future. With this new addition of Omaha adding traffic to the UP website, we will probably see Nevada begin to test other forms of poker as well, such as Seven Stud, Five Card Draw, Three Card Poker and possibly even variants such as Crazy Pineapple, Razz and Triple Draw. Also, there are multiple license holders who have not yet launched their online poker sites, so game choice may grow as they enter the fray as well.
The only other website legally offering online poker in Nevada is WSOP.com, which launched after the Ultimate Poker offering. Recent statistics provided by PokerScout show that both websites have virtually half of the Internet poker traffic in Nevada, and this addition of a new game variant by UP almost certainly guarantees WSOP will be delivering new poker options in the very near future. Over a seven day time frame including the end of October, Ultimate Poker claimed 126 cash game players at any one time, while WSOP averaged 125. Cash games do not make up the entire website offering, but are a favorite among many online poker players.
The WSOP website offering Internet poker also benefits by the obvious brand name recognition that the globally popular World Series of Poker delivers. The site has been cutting into Ultimate Poker’s share ever since it launched, so to get a true meaning as to whether or not Omaha is significantly helping UP, we will keep monitoring the situation and keep you updated regularly. However, considering that UP just recently added Omaha options, and the WSOP site launched with multiple varieties of poker, you could say that UP solidly holds the upper hand as far as site loyalty goes.
When the World Series of Poker site first launched, it began by offering a full lineup of popular poker options. No Limit, Fixed Limit, and Pot Limit Hold ‘Em have been present since day one, as well as No Limit, Fixed Limit, and Pot Limit Omaha. The site also began by offering Fixed Limit Seven Card Stud, and Omaha Hi/Lo is spread at that poker site. Offering a wider variety of gaming options has given WSOP approximately 50% of the market share in the early Nevada legal online poker industry, and launching first has probably been important for UP to hang on to the other half of market share. Check back soon as gaming options continue to grow, and we will alert you when the other Nevada interactive gaming license holders deliver their Internet poker offerings.
For players who do not live in Nevada and do not have the option at playing at either WSOP.com or UP, you may want to check out the options we have listed in our Vegas online poker reviews which includes Vegas style online poker that is legally available to all USA players.