Although online poker has been around for decades, it has only recently become legal in the United States. The first online poker sites appeared in the late 1990s, and after Chris Moneymaker’s victory in the 2003 World Series of Poker, the unregulated online poker market exploded. However, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) forced many sites out of the U.S. market, and only a few, like PokerStars, remain accessible to U.S. players today.
However, online poker is different from live poker in a few ways. For one, it is difficult to play in the United States, which restricts access to most US-based platforms. As a result, a large part of the current online poker scene is comprised of offshore cardrooms, which are legal to operate but frowned upon by the U.S. government.
To play online poker, players must download poker software. Most sites only require a small amount of memory and should not take very long to download. However, if you do not have the time to download the software, you can always opt for a no download version of the game, which is available from any poker site. However, this option will not provide you with all of the features available in the full download version.
Legality is a big issue for many states that haven’t yet approved online poker. However, there are some states that have legalized online poker in some way. West Virginia, Michigan, and Pennsylvania have all made the move to regulate online gambling. More states will be following suit in the coming years. The legalization of online poker will undoubtedly make it easier for US players to enjoy the benefits of online gambling.
Another big advantage of online poker is its speed. In some games, you can play up to 60 hands per hour on an online table. Even if the tables are short-handed, you can play many more hands in a day than you could on a live poker game. This means that the games can be more exciting and less boring.
Online poker is more competitive than live poker. You can play the same exact hand against a tougher opponent than you would if you were playing live. And you can play for a lower stake in online games. The lowest stakes can go as low as pennies. So if you’re a beginner, you should try out online poker before you play a live game.