Online poker is played on a desktop or mobile device using an internet connection. Players can place real money wagers on a variety of games, including Texas Hold’em, Omaha and Stud. Online poker is available in states that allow regulated gambling and offers many advantages over traditional card rooms and casinos.
Regulated online poker returned to the United States in 2013, with Nevada and Delaware launching their first sites. The two states then joined the first multi-state agreement, known as the MSIGA, in 2014. This allowed them to combine their player pools and increased the number of players available for each site. New Jersey passed its own online poker laws in early 2013 and joined the MSIGA in 2017, making it a three-state market.
There are several benefits to playing poker online, including the convenience of playing from home and the ability to participate in different tournaments with varying stakes. However, a major advantage of playing regulated online poker is that your funds are always safe and secure. All reputable regulated poker sites are required to use systems to protect their players from rogue employees and cheating players. This includes the use of geolocation software, which checks that a player is within their legal jurisdiction before allowing them to play.
In addition to this, reputable poker sites offer 24/7 customer support and a range of banking options to meet the needs of all types of players. This means that players can choose the best way to fund their account, whether that be with a credit or debit card, prepaid voucher or one of the many web wallets available. Most reputable online poker sites will also have a VIP program that rewards their biggest spenders.
Before online poker became so popular and regulated, it was possible for a rogue employee at an online casino or poker room to “cheat” their way to a win. These instances were very rare and the affected players often did not recoup their losses, but this type of behavior is now nearly impossible with regulated, reliable sites.
Another benefit of regulated online poker is that players can play against players from all over the world without worrying about federal prosecution under the Wire Act. This is especially important for US players, as it allows them to compete against a much larger pool of players than they would find at unregulated sites.
The top five online poker sites offer a wide variety of gaming options, from cash games to Sit ‘N Go events and MTTs. They also offer a large variety of bonuses and promotions, from huge welcome offers to easy-to-earn freerolls. Some of the best poker sites also feature anonymous table gaming, which can help new players avoid sharks and give seasoned pros a chance to level the playing field. In addition to this, all of the top-five sites offer safe and fast payouts through various methods. Most of the trusted sites also offer a paper check option for winnings, although this can take time and cost you a fee.