Online Poker: An Overview

Online poker has really taken the United States by storm since the late nineties. Almost 25 years later, these poker sites have amassed millions of faithful players all across the United States. However, when looking to start playing poker online, there are a number of things that you should look into, such as the legality of the poker rooms you’re playing in, how to play online poker, and the variety of payment methods that are available.

Legality

When looking at the online poker industry, legality is not something that’s totally cut and dry. The United States Constitution currently allows all the states to make their own laws when looking at online gambling. States such as Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Michigan have already legalized online poker. 

Online casinos have to sign licensing agreements with the ones on land in order to even begin their poker rooms. And even more, states are looking to file for gambling licenses to legalize the market. 

How do I play online poker?

There are a number of things that you should look at when finding an online poker room. First, you should check and see if online poker is even legal in your state (Nevada, New Jersey, Michigan, Delaware, Pennsylvania). 

Then, you have to choose the best online poker site for you. This includes the kind of poker games you want to play, the betting limits available, payment methods, support options, and even whether or not there are mobile poker apps for US players. 

Next, you create an account on the poker site. Poker sites will ask you to provide proof of identities, such as an ID, the final four digits of your Social Security number, or a copy of your bank statement. This is to ensure that underage teens don’t try and gamble. Finally, you should put money into your account and claim a bonus offer that may be available, and then play on!

Deposit options for online poker players

So you’ve set up an account, and you’re starting to play. Poker sites in the United States have a number of different deposit methods available for poker players. One of the best deposit methods that are available for deposit methods is credit and debit cards, such as Discover, Visa, and Mastercard. Luckily, banks will process payments like this, ensuring that your deposit is secure. 

Some people use e-wallet methods such as PayPal and Skrill to transfer money to the poker site. There are also methods such as e-checks and online banking that are incredibly popular. However, it does take a little while longer. Finally, a number of US poker sites offer prepaid vouchers and cash deposits that you can use as casino cages or even your local 7-Eleven. 

The Top Poker Training Websites

When looking to learn about poker or hone your skill, you may find yourself not knowing where to start. Currently, there are over 103 poker training sites currently on the Internet. To be fair, some may not be up to snuff when you’re looking for the biggest bang for your buck. Below is a comprehensive list of the best poker training websites

Raise Your Edge

This website is fairly new compared to the other websites out there. However, the owner, Bencb789, has been playing poker for almost a decade and has been known for being the biggest online poker tournament winner in the last 2-3 years, so it’s safe to say that he has an extensive resume. 

If you’re looking for a comprehensive class to hone your craft, the Tournament Masterclass is definitely something to look at when looking for a training website. This masterclass goes over 200 preflop ranges, giving you a look at almost every possible preflop situation. He teaches you about the absolute basics of winning poker but also adjustments that you can and should make when trying to exploit your player pool.

Upswing Poker

If No-Limit Holdem is your poison, Upswing Poker has a membership course that is one of the best courses you can put your money into. Updated monthly, this program can help everyone from beginner poker players to higher levels who need to hone their skills. The only requirement for this course is that you understand the rules of poker. For the course, there are six modules that you should work through in order:

  • Lab Core Strategy
  • Advanced Lab Strategies
  • MTT’s
  • Live Poker
  • Mini-Courses
  • Plays and Explains

If you’re a more advanced poker player, you can be certain there’s something for you to learn, such as overbetting or aggressive 4betting. The Poker Lab even has had selection charts that can help you play different preflop situations. 

PokerNerve

If you’re new to poker and want to learn more about the ins and outs of the game to become a seasoned poker player, look no further than PokerNerve. Their Road to Success MTT Poker Course is a series of lessons not unlike a college course. You start out on the basics of MTT play and then go through and develop your skills as the course moves on. This website has more than 80 hours of video content; all made to help you hone your skills to be a top-notch poker player. 

The Differences Between Live Poker and Online Poker

Both online and live poker have their fair share of strategies and overall differences. If an old-school sort of play is where your heart is, the live arena is the place to be. However, in the past three decades, online poker has been the place where poker has exploded in popularity. Luckily, you don’t have to choose in today’s day and age. You can play both or just one. Today, we will be talking about the similarities and differences between online and live poker

The similarities

In order to talk about what’s different, we need to establish a basic understanding of the similarities between the two arenas. First of all, the rules for a live Texas Hold’em game are the same as the rules in the online poker arena. The game moves in the same fashion, and the turns always move in a clockwise direction, whether that’s on a live or virtual table. You’re also betting chips, either symbolizing play money or real money, and there will be full-ring and six-max tables available in most cases. Skills such as bluffing, value betting, pot odds, and hand ranges are all skills that are necessary for both arenas. 

Speed and Difficulty

Naturally, in an online setting, the dealer is going to be a computer. This cuts down on the time that a human dealer would take to check the cards, count the chips, deal the cards, or just size up the opponents. During an online poker game, cards and chips are dealt without that time barrier, so the game can start almost immediately. Not only that, you have a time limit to make your decisions. 

 

In order to play and succeed at online poker, you have to make good, quick decisions, as you can play more hands during an online poker game on average than you can during live play. The average of hands played per hour on online poker is 100 poker hands compared to the 30 poker hands that you may play in a live arena. 

 

Online poker tends to be more difficult as it’s a more structured game. You’re not sitting with your fellow players at a table like you usually would in a live poker game. The more hands you play, the better you become. 

Tells

The way to become successful in live poker is to notice the players’ physical tells around you and use those to your advantage. When looking for tells in online poker, it’s not that easy. There aren’t ordinarily physical tells. There can be a webcam table, but typically you’re not going to be able to see other people’s tells.

 

In order to figure out a tell-in online poker game, you have to pay attention. What did someone bet, and what position are they in? What patterns do you recognize? You have to become a more technical person in order to be able to become successful.

The Outlook of Online Poker

The Outlook of Online Poker

Poker legend Ed Miller recently penned an opinion piece for Cardplayer detailing what he thinks the outlook for online poker in general. In particular, he discussed how online poker in the U.S. will be over the coming decade. This may come as a shock for players who love the game, but the future of poker is looking quite bleak. In his piece, Miller offers some optimism and little realism as to where the future of poker will be headed:

The future of online poker in the United States is “hot but not white-hot”

While the self-deprecating Miller claims that he has frequently been wrong about the direction of online poker, in most aspects, the main points of his past predictions have played out more or less as he called it. Miller is one of the few figures who has maintained a high level of fame in the poker world who was around well before the major online poker boom that began in 2003. Since the beginning he has predicted almost perfectly how the boom would progress into a bust and what would likely emerge from the rubble.

Unfortunately, those who have come to love the online game are at what is likely to prove to be a trough in the fortunes of internet poker. The question now is what will arise from the ashes. Miller thinks that, for the United States in particular, there is cause for cautious optimism. One of the reasons is the large number of populous states, like Pennsylvania and Michigan, that are seemingly on the cusp of erecting a legalized online poker regulatory framework. Another factor is that many of the companies that will come to dominate the U.S. poker scene in a regulated and legal environment are likely to have learned from the serious missteps of the poker boom, making an organic bust out for the entire industry much less likely this time around.

Miller advises strongly to encourage recreational-style play

The best and most important takeaway from Miller’s piece is his solid advice to future poker operators. Miller advices to discourage game specialization, multi-tabling, heads-up displays and other means by which professional players can maximally and viciously exploit the recreational players.

Miller correctly points out that the optimal strategies between even variants of a game like Hold’em vary so dramatically between limit and no-limit varieties that it makes it very difficult for a single player to become an expert at both. This is even truer if players are encouraged or forced to play five or 10 different poker variants at a sitting. This would lower the expert players’ edge and make the experience far more enjoyable for the recreational or net-losing players.

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