Online poker is a game of skill and chance that takes place in a virtual environment. It is a game that requires a lot of study and practice in order to master. The game has become incredibly popular as more and more states make it legal to play in. However, the game still isn’t available to everyone as some sites are restricted by law and others are simply not allowed to accept players from certain countries. This article will discuss the basics of online poker and how to find a site that offers the game in your jurisdiction.
The earliest days of online poker are largely credited to an accountant from Tennessee who used his talents as a computer programmer to create the first poker software in 2000. This software made it possible for people to sit at home and wager real money against other poker enthusiasts. The game quickly gained popularity and by the early 2000s it was a major industry that had exploded. However, Congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) and this severely impacted the market by making it illegal for banks to process payments for gambling related activities.
Luckily the industry survived and today regulated online poker is very much alive. In fact, in the United States alone, online poker generates north of $1 billion in revenue annually. That’s quite an accomplishment considering that only four states currently offer regulated online poker. New Jersey leads the pack with over $4 million in monthly revenues while Michigan and Pennsylvania are close behind.
In addition to these large regulated sites there are also hundreds of smaller, regional sites that offer the same great games. Many of these small sites are run by well-known poker brands and offer a very tight-knit community. These small communities are a great place to learn the ropes and even compete in tournaments for big prizes.
If you want to start playing online poker for real money the process is fairly straightforward if you’re in a state where it’s legal. Most reputable sites will offer a variety of ways to deposit funds including credit cards, debit cards, prepaid cards, pre-paid phones or even third party eWallets. They will also usually provide easy ways to withdraw winnings.
Most poker sites will offer free play money tables to give you a taste of the action without having to put any money on the line. This is an excellent way to learn the rules of the game and get a feel for the software before you play with real cash. Additionally, most poker sites will have “beginner” tables that level the playing field for beginner players by seating them with other players who self-select as beginners.
If you’re new to the game, it’s important that you do plenty of research and practice in a safe environment. There are a lot of resources available to help you learn about the rules and strategy of online poker. There are online articles, books, videos and even full courses that can teach you the fundamentals of the game. The more you study and play, the better you’ll become.