If you’re looking for a game of skill that offers a decent monetary return, online poker might just be the best bet for you. However, not all states in the US have legalized the game. New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware, along with Pennsylvania, are the states that have done so. Several more are considering it, too.
There are many advantages to playing online poker over live play. One major advantage is the sheer number of sites available to players from around the world. While some of these sites are tied into local casinos, others are independent. Online sites often have more sophisticated poker software, allowing players to play against the “house” at real money tables. In addition, online sites don’t have to worry about paying interest on the bankrolls of their customers.
Some online poker sites even offer side games against the house for real money. These side games are generally in favor of the house. Despite all the talk about gambling fraud, the IRS has not yet been able to make it a crime to use online poker sites.
The first signup process to be a good idea is the identification and verification of your identity. You’ll need to provide your social security number, date of birth, and a valid address to begin playing. Sometimes, the site will ask for additional documentation to confirm your identity. This can include your driver’s license or a utility bill. Fortunately, most of the bigger sites offer free money play for new members, making it a great way to test out the waters without losing too much cash.
Most sites will also feature a variety of poker variants. Typically, you’ll find Texas Hold ‘Em, Omaha, Omaha High, and Stud, as well as a number of tournaments that span the entire spectrum from low-stakes multi-table events to massive multi-table tournaments.
While the most recent poker sites offer a slew of options for players, it isn’t always easy to choose which one to play. For instance, you might want to consider the Borgata, which features a reasonably large array of tournaments. As a bonus, the site has decent guarantees.
On the downside, a lot of sites have disappeared. Until recently, the United States was home to a wide array of legal gambling sites. When the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was passed, however, a slew of them went the way of the dodo. After the UIGEA’s dust settled, several major poker sites returned to the US market. Those that did not eschew the American dollar included PokerStars, Full Tilt, and PartyPoker.
Other states have taken notice of the popularity of online gambling and have begun to enact legislation to allow the legalization of the game. Currently, California, Illinois, Nevada, and West Virginia have made online gambling legal in some form, while Delaware is considering it. Many states have cited the legalization of online poker as a potential source of tax revenue. Similarly, states like Michigan and Maryland are considering it as a way to increase local tourism.