Online poker takes the classic game and cranks it up to the max. You can play for the smallest stakes imaginable (literally pennies) all the way up to satellite entries into the most famous live tournaments in the world. Whether you’re looking for an adrenaline rush or just a quiet place to relax after work, there’s an online poker site for everyone.
People started taking online poker more seriously in 2003 when an amateur player from Tennessee named Chris Moneymaker qualified for the World Series of Poker Main Event through a $40 online satellite tournament. The media coverage that followed and Moneymaker’s massive win elevated the game to mainstream attention and millions of players flocked to online poker rooms to try their hand at winning big.
There are a variety of online poker sites to choose from and each offers different features, bonuses and game variations. It is important to find a site that caters to your needs and meets the requirements of your home country and currency. It’s also a good idea to start out in the free lobbies to get a feel for the pace and controls of the game before depositing any real money.
Once you’ve found a poker site that meets your requirements and expectations you should read up on the rules of the game. There are dozens of different variants of poker, each with their own unique rules and strategies. While the basics are relatively simple, the nuances can be confusing for new players. The most important thing to remember is to always be honest with your opponents. It’s a card game after all and you can be punished for even the slightest hint of dishonesty.
One of the biggest challenges for regulated online poker in the US has been finding a way to link up player pools across state lines. This was a key element of the original Black Friday crackdown by the Obama DOJ, but it was ultimately up to individual states to decide how to proceed. It took a few years but in 2017 New Jersey became the third regulated market to sign up to the multi-state poker compact known as the MSIGA.
Another big factor in regulating online poker is making sure that the security of player data is paramount. There are a number of ways that poker sites can help protect their players, including the use of digital device fingerprinting to identify players who have previously been banned or restricted from playing. This information is shared amongst regulated online poker operators to prevent players from circumventing their existing accounts. It also helps poker sites recognize fraudulent activity such as collusion, cheating and money laundering.