Online poker has been a huge game in the US for decades. However, the laws surrounding it have been changing. It used to be that a person would have to travel to Las Vegas in order to play. Today, there are a number of states that have regulated online poker. While some sites may be dangerous, many are safe. There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing an online poker site.
When the first sites for online poker started to emerge in the 1990s, there was a lack of regulation. The laws that were passed were only applicable to people living in the state in which the site was registered. This made it difficult for many sites to stay in the market. After Chris Moneymaker won the 2003 World Series of Poker, the unregulated online poker industry exploded. But the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act forced many sites to leave the U.S. and a number of other sites were shut down altogether.
In the wake of the Wire Act ruling, there was uncertainty regarding how the different states would regulate interstate poker. At first, Nevada and Delaware were the only states to pass legislation. These two states kept the interstate compact, meaning that players from one state could play against players from other states. A few years later, the Multi-state Internet Gaming Agreement was introduced.
This agreement allowed players in two other states – California and Michigan – to share a pool of players, allowing them to play together. This increased the amount of traffic on the sites, ensuring that there were more active games and more opportunities to win money against weaker opponents.
Some sites have wagering requirements and deposit limits. Some will also require you to play a certain number of hands to qualify for a bonus. To be sure of a poker site’s legitimacy, you can check with a third-party security firm, the BBB or Trustpilot.
Another way to guarantee that a poker site is reputable is to check its licensing. Sites can be licensed by the federal government or by individual states. If the site is licensed by the federal government, it will have to meet standards set by the Department of Justice.
One final thing to check when playing online is the level of security. The best poker sites have robust anti-money laundering measures and use a random number generator to ensure fairness in play. Additionally, some sites will use a secure SSL encryption to protect the information that you send over the internet.
The best online poker sites offer a variety of deposit options, as well as promotions for new players. Depending on your preferences, you can choose to play free or play for real money. Many of the top poker sites offer a large selection of tournaments, which give you a variety of opportunities to compete and win.