Online poker is one of the most popular games right now, with millions playing around the globe every second of the day. According to the World Poker Tour, there were 100 million online players globally as of 2021, with 60 million players in the U.S. alone! Whether as a hobby, just wanting to learn how to play, or competing in big stakes tournaments, it’s an online game that people from all walks of life enjoy.
Online poker wasn’t always so popular. It only picked up when a guy named Christopher Moneymaker qualified online for the 2003 World Series of Poker (WSOP) main event and took the world by storm when he won the entire championship. It was Moneymaker’s win that ignited the online poker boom because he proved to the world that if you can play poker, even by just qualifying online, you have an equal chance of becoming a millionaire, too!
If you’re ready to play online poker, here are five things you should know before starting.
- Know Your State Laws Legality
This may sound odd, but online poker for real money isn’t legal in every state in the U.S. This is because each state has the power to pass individual laws regarding gaming; thus, it has nothing to do with the companies that provide online gaming services. As of this writing, seven states have passed legislation to legalize online poker, and these are Connecticut, Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Be sure to check your state laws regarding online poker before playing.
- The App Offers Multiple Formats
Online poker has become so popular that many variations have developed over the years. Most people are already familiar with 5-Card Draw, which is the most basic game. Then, there’s 7-Card stud, Texas Hold’em, and Omaha, among others. To get the best poker experience, make sure the app or site you use offers multiple formats so you can learn how to play each of them. This way, you’ll learn the lingo as well as gain a good all-around understanding of poker variations.
- Make Use of HUDS
The best players know that poker is a game that is based on math and numbers, which they use to help make decisions. But if you don’t like math, don’t fret! Many players today use a Heads-up Display or HUD. A poker HUD is a program that studies your opponents and puts their data up on a screen so you can use it as a reference. This is useful because HUDs will often help you calculate poker odds and perform other tasks that cannot be achieved in a casino. A HUD is like a computer partner that tells you about your opponent’s strategies and what they did in the past, which you can use to your advantage. Many people have never even heard of a poker HUD, but now that you have, you know one of the secrets to winning in online poker!
- Available Funding Options
When you play online poker for real money, it’s just like playing at a brick-and-mortar casino, except that you’ll need to input your financial information when you set up your account. With that said, you’ll want to make sure that the app or site accepts the payment methods that you use. For example, some poker sites allow direct bank transfers, credit cards, Paypal, and even cryptocurrency.
- Verify The Site Is Secure
The fastest and easiest way to ensure the site you are using is secure is to look at what letters the URL starts with. URLs that start with “HTTPS” are safe, and the ones that are just “HTTP” are not safe. The letter “s” in the first set stands for secure, which means that the site is using a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificate. This verifies that all of your data and messages are encrypted and that the security is top of the line.
Online poker is back, and it’s time for you to jump in and get into it, too! But before you do, use our suggestions to make sure you succeed in getting an enjoyable and all-in online poker experience!