Online poker is an online version of the popular game of poker played at brick and mortar casinos. It can be played for free, or for real money. The game is available on desktop computers, laptops, and tablets. There are also mobile apps that let you play on the go.
In the past, poker was only played at casinos. Eventually, however, technology improved and it became easier for players to play on their computer. One of the first sites to offer real money games was Planet Poker in 1998. A few years later, author Mike Caro was dubbed the “face” of the site.
Since then, the internet has become a hub for the game. Several online poker sites have managed to make a splash, even with the restrictions imposed by the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. Some have found ways around banking and other regulatory issues. However, in recent months, many unlicensed gaming venues have closed down for good, largely due to a virulent strain of malware known as COVID-19.
The best part about playing online poker is that you can play for a variety of stakes. You can find sites offering a wide range of games and stakes, so you can take your pick from microstakes to high limit. When you join a site, you will be required to provide a name, address, social security number, and other identifying information. Most sites have automated systems that notify you when it’s your turn to act.
One of the first states to pass legislation regarding online poker was Nevada. Several other states followed suit. However, the first legalized and regulated online poker market is still Delaware. They also teamed up with Nevada to create the first multi-state poker agreement in 2014. In January 2017, the Garden State jumped on the bandwagon, joining the fold.
Although Nevada and Delaware were the first states to pass online poker legislation, it wasn’t until 2013 that the industry really took off in the US. This is largely attributed to Chris Moneymaker, who won $2.5 million in a World Series of Poker Main Event. His story became so popular that it was shown on ESPN. He eventually won the WSOP’s main event, a feat no other player had accomplished.
While the aforementioned state regulations have paved the way for a new era of online poker in the US, there are still some kinks to be ironed out. For instance, online poker operators in Pennsylvania must navigate a myriad of regulatory hurdles before they can legally operate. Likewise, online poker operators in West Virginia have to figure out how to comply with state laws.
As with any game, online poker is a risky business. There is a high possibility that a player’s money will be stolen. But there are a few steps to avoid such mishaps. For starters, players need to choose a secure online poker site. Also, online poker operators must adhere to state regulations, which will include licensing and regulation.