Online poker is a relatively new addition to the poker universe, with the first online poker tournaments having taken place in 2006. However, the growth of the industry has been brisk, with recent estimates indicating that more than four million dollars are being generated each month by poker players across the country. This is a huge increase from the nearly $900 million generated by card rooms in 2006.
Fortunately, most states that allow online gaming are doing so with a sense of prudence. In some cases, banks have even barred deposits for poker players. For example, in Alaska, the state’s two largest casino operators, Resorts Casino and Grand Lodge Casino, have not yet offered real money games. However, online poker is available to residents of neighboring states like Wyoming, Washington, Idaho, and Oregon.
For those interested in dipping their toes into the online game waters, the good news is that it’s not that hard. While the best sites can cost a fortune to join, you can find free poker sites that offer similar gameplay. Some online poker sites have even started offering a loyalty program, called the rakeback, which rewards loyal members with cash back. Alternatively, players can use cryptographic currency, which offers a bit of anonymity as well as low transaction fees.
As you probably know, the game of poker is a favorite among both professionals and amateurs alike. There are countless ways to improve your skills, from observing and analyzing the game to networking with successful pros. The top online poker sites have many resources and offerings, including a plethora of variations on the traditional game of chance.
A number of poker sites have rolled out mobile applications to ensure that their customers have access to the games no matter where they are. These apps are easy to download and operate, and most are compatible with most popular smartphones. Nevertheless, you’ll need to have a fast Internet connection to access them.
If you’re planning on using an iPad or iPhone, the most important thing to do is to check the device’s App Store. Many online poker sites have a dedicated app for iOS devices. Before making a deposit, however, you should read the fine print and make sure that the site is SSL encrypted. You’ll also want to confirm that the site has a solid privacy and fraud policy, so you won’t have to worry about your personal information getting out of hand.
The most basic step is to create an account with a poker site of your choice. In most cases, you’ll need to provide your full name, address, and date of birth. Additionally, the site may require you to submit a photo, a utility bill, or some other form of identification. It’s not unusual for a poker site to ask you to verify your identity, but it’s a good idea to have the information in front of you.
In terms of the top rated online poker sites, the top contenders include PokerStars, Betfair, and Full Tilt Poker. PokerStars offers the largest and most comprehensive tournament series, as well as the largest prize pool. Combined with a strong online and live presence, this makes it a clear favorite in the online poker community.