The online poker industry has seen impressive growth in the last couple of years with nearly 43% more people playing the game on a regular basis. As a matter of fact, recent data suggests that the popularity of online poker within the iGaming sector has resulted in a market valuation of almost $55 billion in 2021. This is largely thanks to its unparalleled convenience and exciting online format. But while online poker is a fun and possibly lucrative remote activity, it’s not quite as simple as it looks. For players who are new to online gaming, there are a few things to understand before you start going all in.
Online poker is not legal everywhere
Surprisingly, although online poker has seen massive growth, it is not legal in most states. Currently, there are only five states with legal online poker sites. These are Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. This means that if you’re outside of these states, you won’t be able to access regulated and reputable sites. This is because of the Interstate Wire Act of 1961 which prevents gambling sites from legally accepting online wagers across jurisdictions. Furthermore, this means that it’s illegal for banks to process online gambling transactions outside states that actually have legal poker sites. Fortunately, this is slowly changing with West Virginia and Connecticut recently legalizing online poker, although they have yet to welcome licensed sites.
Not all sites are legitimate platforms
Because of the massive surge in online gamers, many cybercrime groups have created fake gaming sites that look, on first reflection, legitimate. Through these scams, countless players have had their confidential personal information hacked or their online-connected money stolen. To prevent this, online poker players must be cautious and discerning. Looks can be deceiving, and many fake sites can have impressive-looking graphics, content, and certifications. But one effective way to discern if these are legitimate or not is by using a poker site verification tool. Using a system that checks various aspects of a website, these tools have been designed to check out gaming websites for red flags that can indicate malicious intent. Though it does require a few extra plug-ins, having such a site verification tool ensures that your money and personal information are safe.
The player pool is larger and more varied
Unlike physical poker rooms where most players are either locals or from nearby regions, online poker is accessible to a global audience. For new players, this can serve as both a pro and a con. This large and diverse player pool can be an advantage for those who want to network and learn new strategies from diverse players. On the other hand, such a massive player base can also be risky for newer players who don’t quite understand the game yet. For the uninitiated online poker player, it’s easy to accidentally join a more advanced poker room where international opponents are much more experienced. Thus, it’s important for online poker newbies to not only have an understanding of the game but of the variety of players who take part on online platforms.
Cryptocurrencies can be used for transactions
Online poker has been one of the earliest adopters of cryptocurrency. Thus, today, as crypto continues to boom, many poker operators now accept cryptocurrency transactions. Consequently, crypto can both be used to fund player accounts and cash outs. Although most online poker beginners may not want to use their precious crypto for gaming, it is important to note that using decentralized tokens can be more convenient. Since crypto doesn’t use third parties, transactions are much faster and have relatively lower fees.
Although online poker does have a learning curve, it’s truly one of the most inviting and enjoyable poker formats a player can dive into. Players who thoroughly understand poker and have taken the time to familiarize themselves with online poker procedures may soon find a bevy of perks, benefits, and winning pots that they can enjoy.