Despite some hiccups, online poker has been around for a while. In the 1990s, the first sites emerged. These games offer the excitement of real-money poker, but with the convenience of being able to play at your own pace. As more people use the services, the value of these sites increases.
In the past, many states tried to legalize online poker. Some have passed legislation, while others have not. However, four have recently passed laws making it legal for residents to play. If you live in one of these states, you should know what options you have.
Online poker sites are regulated in several different ways. First, some require that you convert funds from your bank account into dollars before playing. Then, some sites only accept U.S. dollar transactions, and others may be based outside the U.S. but still accept players from the United States. There are also offshore websites that do not fall under US regulation, but some will allow you to play.
Most of these sites also offer other services, such as a robust sportsbook and a world-class racebook. Other features include a superior mobile client and poker bonuses. You might not have to worry about rounding issues with a chip stack that constantly “tops up.”
Another aspect of online poker that is worth mentioning is the sheer number of hands you can play at a time. While most live poker players can expect 25-30 hands per hour, online players can see as many as 100 hands per hour. This allows more hands to be played, and more experience to be gained.
An interesting fact is that most of the largest global online poker sites have left the U.S. market, in part because of the federal government’s attempt to push them out. One way they were able to accomplish this was through the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. Since the act was passed, many sites that previously accepted U.S. players have moved overseas.
Aside from the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, other measures have been introduced to combat illegal poker websites. For example, digital device fingerprinting is used to block banned players. Also, some sites are now using software to monitor players for suspicious behavior, such as juggling multiple accounts.
It is important to note that there is no state-regulated online poker in Massachusetts. At this time, however, there are plenty of poker sites that cater to local residents. And if the laws in neighboring states pass, it is possible that a legalized online poker option could be available in the near future.
There is a chance that Massachusetts will join the ranks of other states that have approved online poker. But, in the meantime, it is up to you to find a great site that will fit your needs. Ask friends or family members for recommendations.
When deciding on a poker site, make sure to find one that offers multiple games and is compatible with your phone and computer. Most sites allow you to multitabling, which means you can play a tournament and Omaha cash game at the same time.