Online poker is one of the most popular and profitable games in the world. It is a game of strategy and luck but it also requires patience to learn the nuances of the game and master the rules. The rewards for learning the nitty-gritty of the game can be substantial.
The first step in playing online poker is downloading the poker software. This should not take very long on most computers and can even be done from a mobile phone or tablet. Many sites also offer no download versions of the poker client, although these don’t necessarily have as many features as the downloadable client.
Once a player has downloaded the software and opened an account, they will usually be able to login to a website where they can find their preferred game type and tables. The lobby is normally categorized by Cash Games, Tournaments and Sit & Go’s along with any other special format games the site may run. It’s also common for most sites to feature beginner tables where players who classify themselves as new to the game can be seated with other players who have the same status. This helps level the playing field for newcomers to the game.
Most online poker sites will also allow players to deposit and withdraw money fairly easily these days. Depositing can be done using a wide range of methods including credit and debit cards, pre-paid cards, eWallets and bank transfers. Withdrawals are normally processed within a few days and can be made via the same methods with some even offering a good old-fashioned paper cheque in the mail!
While some states have a ban on online gambling, in the majority of states it is legal to play. In fact, there are a number of online poker rooms that are focused on the US market and have built up solid player bases.
As more and more states regulate online poker, the industry is moving into an era of stability and growth. It’s now possible to safely and securely play at regulated sites in most states with an excellent choice of games available.
The only state that is not yet to establish a regulated online poker framework is Alaska. This is due to a number of factors including the state’s historical stance against gambling (with limited charitable exceptions) and the relatively small population which means that any regulated sites would need to sign agreements with other states to share player traffic in order to survive.
The upcoming legislative process for California will hopefully bring things closer to this, with the state passing its own online poker regulations and joining a multi-state online poker agreement such as the MSIGA in 2022. This will make it possible for operators licensed in the state to combine their player pools with those of other states and greatly increase potential profits. However, as with other states, there is a risk that the Federal Government will intervene to prevent this from happening, and that could put a damper on any plans for an interstate poker network.