Poker operators have focused more and more on mobile gaming and social media in recent years. With millions and millions social gaming on phones, platforms look to bring some of those aspects to the world of online poker.
PokerStars is the latest to detail an interesting new feature. A new concept known as The Rail may appeal to players more used to playing social games than traditional online poker.
The Rail becomes a player-friendly, one-stop shop for personalizing the poker experience.
“We’re all social creatures at heart and sharing, comparing, and interacting is something we enjoy doing in our real and virtual lives,” Stars Group managing director and commercial officer of poker Severin Rasset told PokerScout.
“So, independent from any trends, we think The Rail is a very nice layer to add to the PokerStars experience. It showcases everything that’s happening on our site, the wins, those thrilling moments as they happen and all in one place.”
Social media aspects come to PokerStars
PokerStars announced last week that The Rail had launched on the United Kingdom client software. The addition is a one-stop, personalized destination where players can keep up to date with their favorite activities, events, and content.
The Rail incorporates more aspects of social media to appeal to a new generation of online poker players.
Players receive individually-tailored recommendations based on their own play and personality. Those can include:
- Social media
- Twitch streams
- PokerStars School
- Multimedia content
- Upcoming major events
- Recent games played
- Personalized videos
- Recent big wins
- Newly available challenges and promotions
Company officials hope the new additions keep players more energized and engaged.
“We want it to feel like you’re not just accessing PokerStars to play, but that you’re accessing ‘your’ PokerStars – your very own world and version,” Rasset says.
“For me, it’s also important to stress that this is the beginning of a journey and I expect that we will regularly update The Rail to make it more exciting every time players return.”
Personalizing the online poker experience
The Rail brings a complete all-encompassing poker environment for players. They can find PokerStars features and promotions that interest them. Some advantages might include: ease of use, quick links to favorite games, and being up to date on changes and updates.
Players can personalize the entire platform with multiple widgets for players to set up their own Rail.
“One of the best parts of the job is bringing our players something that is brand new, unique and which adds to their excitement every time they visit PokerStars,” Rasset says.
“We have been working on The Rail behind the scenes for some time to get it just right and we can’t wait to see the difference personalized content makes to the PokerStars experience. This is the first step and we will continue to see new additions and regular updates as this unfolds.”
The Rail now puts players in charge of their own PokerStars home screen. Players decide what and how they view content, games, and more.
PokerStars brings new elements to game play
Beyond The Rail, PokerStars has also added a new feature with players looking to vent some frustration. “Throwables” are virtual objects that allow players to engage in some unique interaction with fellow players at the table.
These allow players to display a range of emotions and have some fun bringing the game to life. Three Throwables were set to go live on March 14 and include:
- Fireworks – Launch rockets across the table at an opponent, setting fireworks off above a player’s head.
- Tissues – Throw a box of tissues at an opponent to dry their tears after a bad beat.
- Alarm Clock – Tell an opponent to get a move on with the alarm clock feature (see below). The clock will ring and shake when it lands. This feature can be unlocked through a limited time challenge.
Ready to launch a virtual rocket at a fellow player? The Rail and Throwables are now available on .UK and will launch on other PokerStars sites in the coming months.
Rasset promises more to come to the platform including more for The Rail.
“We have lots of plans and there is a long list of items that are already in development, or will be developed soon, but we prefer to keep some surprises up our sleeves,” he says.
“We are also open to hearing from our customers on new features they would like to see on The Rail.”
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