Gender Dynamics in Card Games: Encouraging Inclusivity

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Pune, 25 May 2024: The gender dynamics in card games have always been perceived to be male-dominated. However, this conclusion has been up for scrutiny ever since the online games industry introduced popular card games as part of its product offering. The significant female participation in these games has forced industry watchers to question, do women avoid poker games or just the physical environment associated with it.

It seems that gender dynamics in card games are decided by the way they are played rather than by the games themselves. We try to examine if women are open to testing their poker hands if the game is played at their convenience.

Behind Traditional Male Dominance

Before the recent and somewhat conflicting gender dynamics of card games, male dominance in card games was a fact. When it comes to card games like poker, traditional gaming environments like casinos have always been male-dominated.

Besides, due to the male domination in offline card game scenarios, the style of play in games also proves to be conflicting. The riskier and more aggressive male approach does not align with the generally conservative female approach. Physical gaming environments have always made it less welcoming for women to participate in card games like poker.

All of this eventually led to the perception that card games like poker are for men only. However, the emergence of online poker game rooms spared women of the aggression and intimidation that were associated with highly adrenalised institutions like casinos. Online card games have bridged this gap to a great extent.

Gender Dynamics in Online Gaming in General

Reports claiming the shrinking of the gender gap in gaming are not surprising. Before moving on to card games, let us consider the gender dynamics in online gaming as a whole.
A Google-Lumikai report revealed that 41% of Indian gamers are women, a clear indication that gaming is not much of a male bastion anymore. Interestingly, 52% of men engage in gaming daily, compared to 43% of women. However, when compared across other frequencies, it is women who outscore men each time. Thus, more women engage in online gaming than men when it comes to playing – three to six days a week, once or twice a week, several times a month, once or twice a month, and ‘rarely’.

A look at other countries also shows a similar shift in gender dynamics. A recent report claims that 42% of British women respondents in a survey claimed to have engaged in some sort of real-money gaming activity. Compared to a pan-Asian average of 37% of women, South East Asian women score an impressive 53% of total gamers. Many of these countries had a traditionally male-dominated gaming scene. In the Philippines, an impressive 63% of gamers are women. However, segments like esports continue to be underrepresented by women in most countries. Nevertheless, the global online gaming industry undoubtedly has a sizeable proportion of female patrons.

Closing Gender Gaps with Online Poker

When it comes to poker games, reports are quite interesting. It is observed that, on average, for every eight men only one woman plays poker. However, this gender gap can be misleading, as the average for offline and online gender dynamics are quite different. While less than 10% of poker players in casinos are women, one-third of the players are women in online games! It is further noted that many women prefer to play poker online as it helps them hide their gender.

Perhaps this is the reason why online card games are now being perceived as the great gender dynamics equaliser in the gaming world. So, the next time you face someone online over poker hands, chances are that she could be a woman.

Online Gaming and the Future of Gender Dynamics

Millennial poker pros like Vanessa Rousso and Liv Boeree have inspired countless women to hone their skills in poker. Women like them, along with champions like Vanessa Selbst, Maria Ho and many others, are trailblazers for all female card game enthusiasts.

The success of these card game maestros, along with the convenience of online card games, has made card games hugely popular among women across the world. At the same time, let’s not forget that card games have been household favourites for generations. Women have always participated in them, albeit informally. Online gaming platforms are giving them all the right reasons to participate in their numbers.

Inclusivity Starts Online

Online poker platforms like Pocket52 provide the anonymity and safe gaming experience that a woman would miss in a land-based casino. Budding card game enthusiasts are using a wide range of resources and tutorials that help them improve their game. With secure fund transactions and fair play assurances, more and more women are developing card game interest, thanks to the online format. It won’t be long before the 41% women participation inches closer to a perfect half.