Online poker takes the classic card game and cranks it up a notch. Players can play from home on a computer, tablet or smartphone. They can play for pennies or satellite entries into live tournaments around the world. Whether they are just playing for fun or trying to make it big, the game of online poker is available to anyone with a computer and an internet connection.
People started taking online poker seriously in 2003 when an accountant from Tennessee named Chris Moneymaker qualified for the World Series of Poker main event by winning a $40 tournament online. This single-handedly revolutionized the game and led to huge growth in online poker rooms. It also got the attention of mainstream media and ESPN.
As with all types of gambling there are risks associated with online poker. It is important to gamble responsibly and keep your bankroll in check at all times. Using a trusted site and following the rules of your local jurisdiction are the best ways to avoid problems. Online poker sites are highly regulated in the states where they operate and must follow strict consumer safeguards.
In general, if you are a new player it is recommended that you stick to cash games rather than tournaments as the risk-to-reward ratio is much more favorable. If you are a casual poker player, a good starting point is to choose a site with a low rake, which is the amount of money the operator collects on each pot. Some of the best online poker sites will give you a portion of the rake back. This can be paid as straight up cash or through loyalty points that are exchangeable for bonuses.
Online poker is a multi-billion dollar industry and the competition to gain a share of the market is fierce. Almost all poker sites offer some type of bonus system to attract new players and reward existing ones. The amount of these bonuses vary but the most common are deposit matches, reload bonuses and cashback offers. The best poker bonuses are usually offered by the larger sites but smaller sites can still provide some great incentives.
Another thing to keep in mind is that there are a wide range of banking options for poker players. Depending on the country you are playing in, you can use credit cards, debit cards, pre-paid cards, third party eWallets or even wire transfers to deposit and withdraw funds from your account. Withdrawals are typically processed quickly and there are plenty of different methods for deposits and withdrawals to suit any player’s needs.
The landscape for poker is changing rapidly with more states allowing regulated online gaming. While the US market is limited at this time it’s growing every day. We will continue to monitor the legal situation and keep you up-to-date on major news and legislative progress in this area. Until then, happy gaming!