Until recently, US regulators effectively banned online poker. But at the urging of New York and Illinois, the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel reexamined the Wire Act’s scope. And with every passing year, the chances of a federal ban on online gambling decline. Nonetheless, there are a number of legal hurdles that online poker sites must overcome to operate legally. Here are some of the most common hurdles:
A major concern of players when playing online is hacking. While online poker sites generally use advanced security measures to safeguard their customers’ personal information and money, many users have complained that the game is “fixed” or “rigged”. This is simply not true, and many players claim otherwise. But it’s worth noting that the vast majority of online poker players don’t play at the highest levels. Despite this, online poker is a popular pastime for millions of people.
Before playing online poker, you must have a bankroll that suits your budget and skill level. You can begin with free games and gradually increase the stakes, but never go above your means. If you have $1,000 to spend, it makes more sense to play at a lower stake level until you can comfortably beat it with 10 or 20 winning cash sessions. Also, be sure to check if your site allows heads-up displays or tracking software so that you can see the progress of your hands.
While there are still some barriers to online poker, the benefits far outweigh these disadvantages. For one thing, it’s much easier to get legal in a US state than in other countries. And it’s also easier to get started. Fortunately, many states have legalized online poker. And once more states legalize it, the online poker industry is set to grow exponentially. With more states connected via a multi-state network, more players will be able to enjoy the benefits of online poker in the US.
Although there are some concerns about the integrity of online poker, there are also numerous financial incentives for poker sites to maintain the integrity of their games. Last year, PokerStars alone made $877 million dollars off poker – an increase of nearly 4% over the previous year. These figures prove that poker sites are the real big winners in online poker – and real sharks. For these reasons, online poker sites have no financial incentive to cheat. The only real way to determine whether online poker is rigged is to check the reputation of individual players.
One way to ensure that you’re getting your money’s worth is to play freerolls. Freerolls are tournaments that are open to customers of specific online poker sites, and participants don’t have to pay entry fees. In addition to free tournaments, they also offer cash prizes. PokerListings can connect you with exclusive free tournaments each week. In addition, a freeroll may be available only to club members, regions, and groups. So make sure to look into the details before joining the freerolls.
For many players, the dream of qualifying for big tournaments and winning millions of dollars is the ultimate goal. Many major online poker sites offer satellite tournaments that allow winners to earn entry to real-life tournaments. For example, in 2003, Chris Moneymaker won entry into the World Series of Poker through an online satellite tournament. This was the beginning of a poker boom that led to three times the number of players in the 2004 WSOP. Many of these players earned their seats through online cardrooms, including PokerStars’ Greg Raymer, who won the $10,000 WSOP final table.