Until recently, online poker was illegal in most states. But the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a huge surge in traffic, and operators report double or triple the number of players compared to the same period last year. The sudden dearth of live entertainment options has led many casual players to online poker as an alternative. This is a positive development, as it shows that poker is still a viable form of entertainment. Here are five things you should know before starting your online poker journey.
First, the UIGEA ban is not as drastic as you might think. It makes it illegal for banks to process payments related to online gambling, but it’s still a big step to take. The UIGEA was attached to the Security and Accountability For Every Port Act of 2006, and passed the house and senate in a bipartisan vote. However, it’s not as draconian as it sounds, and online poker continues to grow today.
The best way to learn the game is to play low-stakes games. These are soft and allow you to learn the tactics, but they’re also free. A lot of poker sites have beginners-only tables that new customers can access for the first 30 or 90 days after registering. Beginners can enjoy playing these games without worrying about the competition because the beginners are free of more experienced players. It’s also important to stick to your budget – never play with more money than you can afford to lose.
In 2017, the Pennsylvania legislature regulated online poker. A few months later, West Virginia passed legislation allowing online poker. While the virtual hands haven’t yet been dealt, West Virginia is the newest state to legalize the game. While online poker remains illegal in most states, it has become an integral part of many people’s lives. So, it’s important to follow the laws in your state. Otherwise, you could end up in a situation where your bank doesn’t allow you to play online poker.
Legalizing online poker in the states is an important first step to ensuring that it’s legal. The legislation isn’t perfect, but it is the most common step towards making the internet a more open and regulated place. The DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel has recently re-examined the scope of the Wire Act. With each passing year, it’s less likely that the federal government will ban online poker in the US.
Regardless of how you decide to play, remember that online poker sites have a direct financial incentive to ensure the integrity of their games. Last year, PokerStars earned $877 million in revenue from poker, an increase of 4% from the year before. So, while online poker is not rigged, it’s still important to know your limits and play in a safe environment. If you’re unsure whether a particular poker site is rigged, you should withdraw all of your funds from that site and look elsewhere for your poker game.
While most states have regulated online poker, only six have done so. This includes Michigan, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. As of January 2021, six states have made it legal to play poker online. Other states are currently weighing the issue. However, as a general rule, it’s likely that the regulated poker market will be legal in those states. While there are a few states in the United States that have online poker legislation already, more may be on the way.
The US has a wide range of rules for online poker. The biggest hurdle was in 2011 when many states passed laws limiting online poker within their borders. But since then, things have steadily improved. Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia, and Michigan have all legalized the practice. Sites in those states are under construction. However, if you live in any of these states, you can still participate in online poker and win real money.