Online poker is a huge business and is growing fast. It is available in a wide variety of languages, has a large number of tournaments and is played at a level of professionalism that surpasses live tournaments. The industry is regulated in most regions to ensure fair play and protection of player funds. The games are available to anyone of legal age and skill level with the only requirement being a computer or mobile device. Getting money on to and off from poker sites is simple and quick, with most offering credit and debit cards, pre-paid cards, third party eWallets, bank transfers, e-checks and the good old-fashioned cheque.
The first step to playing poker online is finding a site that has software you can download and install onto your device. Once you have done this, create a user account and fund your poker account. Then you are ready to start playing. Most reputable poker sites use encryption to protect players’ financial information. They also have a team of fraud and security specialists to monitor the game play and the transactions that take place within the poker room.
While you can find many free to play games at online poker rooms, for the best learning experience try to sign up with a real-money site that offers a variety of deposit and withdrawal options, has top-notch software that works well on different devices and runs on all major operating systems. A top site will also offer a good range of promotions, bonuses and rewards, especially for new players and loyal members.
Licensed poker sites process thousands of secure transactions daily and are constantly monitored by government and financial bodies to ensure that game integrity, safe transfers and player data are protected. Some sites even have a dedicated team of experts who investigate and prosecute any cases of fraud or collusion.
In the US, a resurgence of regulated online poker began in 2013 when New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware passed laws to regulate the game. However, the halcyon days of regulated online poker in the United States were short-lived as the federal Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) made it illegal to process payments to online gambling sites.
Fortunately for US players, this restriction on UIGEA processing was lifted in 2021 and the market reopened. However, the reopening of the regulated US poker market has been slow and steady and it is still mostly a state-by-state affair for now. Nevertheless, some of the largest sites are still open to American players and they can enjoy sharing a player pool with the three other regulated markets.