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What is Online Poker?

What is Online Poker?

Simply put, online poker is when you play poker on the Internet. Online poker has proved very popular and has lead to an increase in poker players.

Online Poker Versus Conventional Poker

Why would you want to play poker on the Internet rather than at your local poker room? The biggest reason beginner poker players prefer online poker is because they find traditional poker venues too intimidating. The second most popular reason is that one often has to drive very far to get to your local poker venue and online poker can thus save you time and gas money.

Not every casino offers poker because the game is not as profitable (for them) as slots or other card games. They do charge a fee but running the poker room is sometimes more expensive than the money they make from the rake. This is the reason that you sometimes visit your local casino only to see that they have replaced their poker room with more slots games.

Online Poker Websites

Online poker sites can afford to offer you cheaper games because they have very little overhead costs. They don’t have to rent a big venue or pay the salary of hundreds of employees. Adding a poker game to their selection of games does not cost them anything and they are able to offer you low stake or even free games. Beginners will start with the free online poker, move on to low stake games, and finally move on to the big stakes when they know all the rules.

Online poker websites are also able to offer tournaments at a much lower cost than conventional casinos. Winners of online poker tournaments sometimes gain entry to real-life brick and mortar poker tournaments.

A negative side to online poker websites is that you will often be exposed to more fraudsters. It’s easier for fraudsters to arrange collusion between players, as it’s harder to detect this online. But online poker websites are improving their anti-fraud measures and they are getting better at detecting collusion and other types of fraud. Nowadays, online poker websites hire security personnel to view card, player and pattern history. They are also able to check player computer IP addresses, which will tell them if there is more than one person playing simultaneously from the same house or office. If they detect anything fishy, they cancel the player’s login and ask them not to visit their site again.

Online Poker Legalities

Online poker is governed by different laws than its brick and mortar cousin. In the United States, the legality of online poker is a much debated issue. This is mostly because of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) that was signed into law by President Bush in October of 2006. Poker players are hoping that the new administration will change this act.

Online Poker is however legal and well regulated in several other countries. It’s legal in the United Kingdom as well as in many Caribbean Sea countries.

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