Online poker has become a huge industry in the United States in recent years, and the game has come a long way since the days of dial up connections. Today, it’s easy to access, simple to play, and has minimal risks.
In the past, the biggest draw was the money involved in playing poker online. Luckily, the federal government has stepped in to help states regulate gaming within their borders. Although offshore sites are still legal, they don’t enjoy the benefits of basic consumer protection.
A new wave of states has rolled out legislation to legalize and regulate online poker. These include California, New Jersey, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, with several more states on the way. As a result, the industry is poised for a period of massive growth. The market is expected to top $4 billion by 2021.
Several operators have been caught up in the controversy surrounding the UIGEA, which essentially made it illegal for online poker operators to process payments relating to the game. Ultimately, this led to the closure of many major companies, including PokerStars. It also drove a few more startups out of business. However, there are a few notable companies that have stayed the course.
The Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act paved the way for a number of reputable sites to exit the US market. Some of the bigger names were among the dozens of companies forced out by the draconian act. Meanwhile, other companies have re-emerged after being caught up in the shuffle.
The best online poker sites offer a range of games. Depending on which operator you use, you’ll be able to find both cash and tournament games. If you’re a rookie, you can try your hand at some free poker games. On the other hand, if you’re a more seasoned player, you’ll want to challenge yourself with some high stakes games.
Among the most popular types of poker are the cash games. You can play for as little as 50 cents, and there are no time limits. There are various variations of this game, such as Omaha Hold ‘Em. Most online sites also offer a variety of video poker games.
While the internet is often criticized for its lack of privacy, the same cannot be said of online poker. Aside from a solid internet connection, you’ll need to provide your name, birth date, and social security number to sign up for a real money account. This information is used to verify your age. Another big advantage of playing online is the lack of eye contact.
The biggest difference between live and online poker is the speed at which the game is played. Generally, the online version will run a lot faster than the old fashioned game. Also, online poker sites provide anonymous tables so players don’t have to worry about being spotted. Furthermore, the rules are written in plain English, so there’s no confusion about what’s legal and what’s not.
The best online poker sites will also feature a selection of promotional offers and bonuses for new players. These can come in the form of a deposit bonus, rakeback, or a loyalty program. Check out what each site has to offer before committing your hard earned cash.