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About Online Poker

From chat–based free online poker to World Series of Poker winners, online poker has come a long way. In the past 5 years, online poker has grown exponentially and the industry is now estimated to generate around $200 million per month.

Online–Poker

Online poker is poker that is played over the Internet. On many sites you can find variations on the game such as Texas Hold’em, Omaha and 7 Card Stud.

Online poker is more flexible than poker in traditional casinos. Online poker players play for lower stakes. There is a faster rate of play and the opportunity to increase earnings by playing multiple tables simultaneously.

Benefits of Online-Poker

  • Accessibility: With online poker available from your laptop and running 24hrs a day there is no longer a requirement to search out a casino or brick and mortar card room.
  • Low Stakes: Online poker players can play for stakes as low as $0.01/$0.02 cents. In offline casinos, minimal stakes are usually $1/$2.
  • Freeroll tournaments: Online poker rooms offer free–to–enter freeroll tournaments, which particularly attract beginner poker players.
  • Satellite tournaments: Online poker players play satellite tournaments to gain entry into real–life tournaments.
  • Hand and play tracking: Online poker players can review their hand histories and play statistics to help them improve their game.

Disadvantages of Online Poker

An online poker player does not have the advantage of physically sitting at a table with his opponents. He cannot read body language or ’tells’ to anticipate cards around the table.

Is Online Poker Legal?

Online poker is legal and regulated in many countries including the United Kingdom.

Is Online Poker Illegal?

The Acts that make online poker illegal in America are the Wire Act and the Safe Port Act.

  • Wire Act
    Passed in 1961, this act prohibits wagering or betting over phone lines in America.
  • Safe Port Act
    Passed by US President Bush on October 13, 2006, a provision of the Safe Port Act is "Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act" (UIGEA)
  • Internet Gambling Study Act
    Introduced in May 2007, this bill provides for the study of the United States response to Internet gambling
  • Skill Game Protection Act
    Introduced in June 2007, the Skill Game Protection Act seeks to legalise poker, bridge, chess and other skill games
  • Internet Gambling Tax Act
    The Internet Gambling Tax Act was introduced in June 2007, which seeks to legislate for Internet gambling taxation
  • Poker Players Alliance
    Established after the Safe Port Act was passed, the Poker Players Alliance aims to protect the rights of poker players and currently has 650,000 members

How do Online Poker Rooms Make Money?

Online poker rooms generate revenue in 3 main ways:

  1. Rake:
    Rake is collected from real money, ring game pots. Rake is calculated as a percentage of the pot and is capped at a maximum fee
  2. Tournament Entry Fees
    Multi-table and sit-and-go online poker tournaments are not raked. An entry fee of approximately 10% of the tournament entry fee is added to the cost of the tournament
  3. Side Games and Hand Betting
    Some online poker sites offer side games like blackjack or betting on poker hands to generate additional revenue.

How Does Online Poker Differ from Offline Poker?

Cannot see the other poker players to read body language and tells

Rate of Play

  1. Card shuffling and dealing are instantaneous
  2. No delays for counting chips
  3. Auto–action buttons make online poker play faster because a player can select an action before it is his turn
  4. Online poker rooms can average 90 to 100 hands per hour

Poker schools: most online poker rooms run poker schools, to help poker players of all levels to progress and improve their game

Bonuses

Online poker rooms give bonuses to attract new players and retain existing customers. The most common poker bonus is a deposit bonus, where a player is given a bonus code when he deposits money. Bonuses are released gradually over a period of time and raked hands played. Many online poker rooms offer VIP programs, to reward regular players and high rakers. These are known as reload bonuses.