Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Some Facts about Online Poker

Online poker is all the rage right now for people who for one reason or another prefer to play poker over the internet. It is as fun and riveting as offline poker games but it is far more convenient. Read on to find more about online poker.

Online Poker versus Offline Poker

Online poker is conceptually similar to offline poker. You play with other people and the same basic offline poker rules apply. However, your interaction with your poker buddies is done through an online casino of which you are a registered member, and you use virtual cards and chips and you play in virtual poker tables. Before you can begin playing you also need to download and install the special gaming software provided by your online casino.

Online Casinos

Online casinos are the internet counterpart of your brick and mortar casinos. Online casinos facilitate and initiate online poker games by providing and distributing online poker software so that networked poker games can commence among players from all over the world. Not all online casinos offering online poker games and tournaments are legitimate, however. Some would just take your deposit, let you play, and then prevent you from withdrawing your winnings. Some online casinos are operated by crooks who simply wish to obtain your credit card information for fraudulent activities.

If you are thinking about joining one, be sure to check that casino’s web site. Give special consideration to its terms and conditions, the number of years it’s been operating, and the number of members it has. Check the website for security seals and see if it’s a member of any online gaming and online poker associations. However, do not take the casino’s word for it; search the internet for confirmation of the casino’s alleged affiliations and security features. Furthermore, initiate a search engine query about your target casino to find customer reviews about it.

Online Poker Legal Aspects

Online poker, as with many online wagering games, falls within the gray area yet to be defined and addressed by the law-giving bodies. Of course, each state has something to say about gambling per se which may be stretched to involve online gambling as well. The federal government also has the so-called Wire Act statute which may or may not classify online poker illegal; it is so vague that it is subject to contradicting interpretations.

Before you begin playing online poker, be sure to research your local state laws on gambling. You should also remain informed about any legislation that may impact your online gambling activities.

Winning at Online Poker

When you win at online poker, you generally have a choice between letting the money remain in your account for future games and withdrawing it for use elsewhere. Some people who are new to the world of online gambling have difficulty imagining how their payouts are disbursed. You can withdraw your winnings through various ways, depending on your online casino. The most common means are PayPal, wire transfer, direct deposit to your bank, etc. Check out your online casino’s payout disbursement methods and the service fees it charges for withdrawal.