Currently, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Michigan, and Delaware are among the states that allow online poker. But as more states consider regulating online poker, more may follow. In the meantime, the poker industry in the U.S. has not developed as rapidly as it might otherwise. But that may soon change. Here are the top factors to consider when choosing a poker site or app:
Speed: Another benefit of online poker is its speed. A game of poker played online is much faster than a live game. This speed is important for some players, as playing live poker can be tedious. On the other hand, online tables can deal up to sixty hands an hour, which is a significant advantage for shorthanded games. Additionally, multi-table play allows players to deal more hands per hour. However, if you have a large bankroll, you can opt for multi-table play.
Security: To ensure the security of your account, a reputable online poker site will require you to provide certain information. These details may include your social security number, date of birth, full name, and address. In addition, an IP PIN from the IRS can protect you against identity theft and fraud. This IP PIN can also be used in other aspects of life. But remember that it’s best to avoid revealing this information to just about anyone.
Privacy: While playing online poker under a username can make you less vulnerable to identity theft, it can also help you avoid becoming a target of predatory opponents. By playing poker under a nickname, your opponents have a clear opportunity to identify you and track you. The privacy of playing anonymously is an important factor, as it can protect you from being tracked by opponents using HUDs. And it can also help protect the newbie in a shark-filled sea.
Laws: Despite the numerous benefits of online poker, there are still a few legal issues to be aware of. Online gambling laws vary widely by country, and they depend largely on the location of an operator’s servers. Some remote islands, such as New Zealand and Canada, have laxer laws than other countries, which give the online poker sites more freedom to operate. And while many countries are becoming more comfortable with online poker, it remains illegal in many areas.
Bad Beats: While online poker players generally report more bad beats than their live counterparts, the problem is compounded by the smaller stakes. Because the stakes are so small, players are encouraged to call with subpar hands. However, live players are better at profiling opponents. In addition, the faster pace of play can create artificially high variance. Regardless of the benefits and risks, online poker is a great choice for players of all skill levels.
Regulation: The United States Department of Justice has repeatedly tried to regulate online poker in the US. While this measure has not succeeded, many online poker websites continue to operate until April 15, 2011 when the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act took effect. During this time, the government also took action. It took several years for the U.S. government to act on the issue. On April 15, 2011, US banks were forced to block transactions with offshore online poker sites. The situation has now stabilized and US citizens are once again free to play at online poker sites.