The Basics of Online Poker

online poker

Online poker started out as a niche activity but quickly became popular after an amateur player won the World Series of Poker Main Event. Since then, online poker has grown in popularity to the point where it is now legal in most states.

Online poker sites use a variety of methods to verify that players are located in a legal state. They can check your IP address and ping your cell phone towers to find out where you are.


The legality of online poker depends on whether the game is considered a form of gambling. Generally speaking, gambling laws prohibit games that are based on chance, while skill-based games like online poker are exempt. However, the precise wording of federal gambling laws can cause confusion. For example, the UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act) bans processing payments related to online gambling, but does not specifically mention poker or other games of skill.

As such, the legality of online poker will be determined at a state level rather than at the federal level. Some states, such as Pennsylvania and Michigan, already have regulated sites up and running, while others, such as West Virginia, are still working to get their sites up and running.

In the US, players must be able to pass a Know Your Customer (KYC) check before they can play for real money. This requires them to provide documents that prove their identity. This is a necessary step to prevent fraud and other types of illicit activity.

Sites that accept US players

The most popular online poker sites that accept US players offer a variety of games. Some allow you to play for free while others require a small deposit to start playing for real money. Most of these sites are regulated and use accepted, mainstream deposit and withdrawal methods. Some have casino partners in their jurisdictions, which adds to player safety. They also have customer support, so if you run into a problem, you can get help.

The popularity of online poker took off after a Tennessee accountant named Chris Moneymaker won the World Series of Poker Main Event in 2003. TV coverage of the final table helped to sell the game to millions of Americans, and soon, everyone wanted to try it for themselves. Today, regulated online poker sites are available in New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Michigan. West Virginia and Connecticut are expected to launch sites in the future. These regulated online poker sites feature a variety of games and stakes, including Texas Hold’em and Omaha.


Some online poker sites limit the number of bets you can make in a hand. Other sites impose limits on the size of your raises. Check the rules of your particular game to learn about these limits. Then choose the right bankroll for your poker games. You can also check the available banking methods to see which ones work for deposits and withdrawals.

Many poker players prefer limit poker because the betting structure and bet sizes are fixed. This makes it easier to understand pot odds and play a more balanced game, especially when compared to no-limit Hold’em. It’s also more likely that beginners will encounter opponents of a similar skill level in limit games, making it easier to develop their game against them.

In limit poker, it is important to pay attention to your opponent’s betting patterns and the way they react to your bets. This is particularly true in online poker where your opponent’s reactions can be difficult to read.


In a tournament, players typically win a percentage of the total prize pool based on their finishing position. The payout structure depends on the type of poker tournament and how many players are in the field. For example, a 10 player tournament may pay out 10% to 30% of the field, while a 20-player tournament will pay out 15% to 50%.

Winning online poker players can make hundreds of dollars a month playing low stakes games. However, if they move up the limits, they can easily make tens of thousands per month. Some even make six or seven figures a year in high-stakes games.

The site offers a variety of deposit methods including all major credit cards, Bitcoin and Litecoin. Withdrawals are processed within three business days. The site is also mobile-friendly and offers a robust selection of ring games and tournaments. It also offers a generous welcome bonus. Its only drawback is that it does not offer anonymous tables.

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