Whether you’re looking to play for the lowest stakes imaginable, or try and win some big money, online poker has something for everyone. It’s easy to get started and you can play from virtually any computer, tablet or phone that has an internet connection. You can even play for satellite entries into live tournaments around the world.
The first step is to find a poker site that accepts players from your country or region. Then you’ll want to make sure that the site has the appropriate licensing from a reputable body like Curacao eGaming or the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). Lastly, you’ll need to sign up with an account and deposit some funds to begin playing for real cash.
Once you’ve signed up with an online poker site, you will be given a user ID and password that can be used to login to the poker client. Once you log in, the client will usually take you to the lobby where you can see all of the available games. Most of the time these will be categorized by cash games, tournaments and sit-n-go’s. There are also often “beginner” tables which allow new players to be seated with other people that have a similar experience level.
This is a great way for newcomers to the game to make their way in the world of online poker without having to spend any real cash. You can also use these beginner’s tables to learn the basics of the game before moving on to higher stakes games.
After a long legal battle on multiple fronts, it finally looks like regulated online poker is making its way back to the US. The first states to regulate the game were Nevada and Delaware, which then joined a multi-state agreement known as the MSIGA. This looked promising as it would enable these three states to combine their player pools and grow the overall size of the market.
However, the halcyon days of regulated online poker were brought to an abrupt halt with the passing of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). This act went after the money flow that fuels online poker and made it illegal for banks to process payments to online gambling sites. Several major poker sites were forced to shut down as a result, and only the largest ones survived.
Fortunately, the recent legal victories for the industry have cleared the way for new states to join regulated online poker. This was most recently signaled by Michigan becoming the fourth state to join the MSIGA. Hopefully, this will be the start of a new era of online poker in the United States. In the meantime, those that are still interested in playing poker can do so at offshore online casinos or at a licensed US-based poker site. These sites offer a wide range of banking options including credit cards, debit cards, prepaid cards, third-party eWallets and bank transfers. There are also always age checks in place to ensure that players are of legal age.