How to Choose an Online Poker Site

So, you have decided that you want to play poker Online, and your hunt for the perfect site has begun. But alas, there are literally hundreds of poker sites on the Internet. How do you discriminate between all of these available sites, to find that desired site ? There are several key criteria that you should be aware of, in your quest to find the poker site that is perfect for you. Understanding these criteria, and being able to use them as a basis for comparison, will significantly simplify your selection process:

Free Poker – If you are looking to play online poker for pure recreation, and not for money, ensure that the site you are interested in accommodates “free” players. Most online poker sites do cater to free players.

Software Download vs. Web-based – Most, if not all, online poker sites require you to download their poker client software onto your computer system to run. If you are adverse to downloading such software onto your system, then you might want to check to see if the poker site alternatively has a web-based poker interface, which allows you to play poker on the site from within your browser. Software installs run the potential risk of viruses and/or adware being loaded onto your system (although most of the reputable firms would never do that), but software installs on your computer generally run a lot faster than web-based sessions. Software installations harness the power of your local PC’s CPU, whereas web-based interfaces rely on downloading any screen real estate updates over the Internet during play. This can be slow, particularly, if you are running over a slow internet connection (e.g., a dialup line). Hence, if you are after speed, select local software installations; if you are concerned about your computer’s safety or cannot afford the disk space used by a software installation, select a web-based poker site.

Methods of Deposit/Withdrawal – If you are planning to play poker for money over the Internet, it is very important to consider the methods of deposit and withdrawal that a poker site supports. Many of these sites permit major credit cards to be used, which seem to be the universal deposit mechanism of choice. Others permit the use of bank transfer, ACH transfer, checks, and wire transfer from banks. Most poker sites also support some form of 3rd party eWallets, which provide an intermediary between banking institutions and the poker site itself. The main criteria to look at are: 1) What methods of deposit/withdrawal are supported by the poker site, and how many of these methods are supported by the locale that you live in ?; 2) Is it legal to fund/withdraw to/from a poker site, from the jurisdiction that you are playing in ?; 3) What are the fees associated with the 3rd party eWallet companies that you are able to use, and how reliable are they (this latter question can be researched on some of the poker message forum boards) ?

Locale Restrictions – Some poker sites restrict the playing for money (and even free play sometimes), based on your locale, and the laws governing gambling in your locale. You should check with the laws of your local jurisdiction and check with the poker site, to see if there are any imposed restrictions on play, based on your locale.

Support – You should definitely look at the methods of support that a poker site offers. Poker sites generally provide one (or more) methods of support that include: telephone support, fax support, Email support, and live chat support. The more of these that a poker site offers, the better. For telephone support, check and see if the poker site offers toll-free support from your playing jurisdiction or not.

Game Variety – Depending on your level of poker playing expertise and your interest in variety, it is important to determine which game types the poker site supports. Almost all of the sites offer Texas Holdem, but depending on your level of interest, you should check to see if they offer games like Five and Seven Card Stud, Omaha Poker (and all of its variations), Blackjack (not poker, but often included as a game option), Stud (and its variations), Draw poker, Tournament support, and limit and pot limit games. Tournaments in particular are very popular with online poker sites, and some site tournaments offer very large prize pools.

Bonuses – Most, but not all, of the poker sites offer some form of bonus to the player, when you initially sign up with the site. Each site’s bonus is somewhat different, but of the one’s that offer first time bonus, it is usually predicated on a minimum initial deposit. Many bonuses are also calculated based on the amount of money deposited and spent on the site. Additionally, many sites offer reload bonuses, which are bonuses that are offered to existing customers, beyond their initial deposit bonus, and as an incentive to keep you as a customer.

Graphics and Useability – This is a very important consideration. Every poker site has a different look and feel to it. If you are going to be playing poker for money, it is important that you feel comfortable with the screen graphics and your ability to navigate (via mouse or keyboard clicks) through the poker program. If you feel uncomfortable at all with the poker site, you should definitely not consider playing at it for money. You should always test a poker site out in “free” mode first, before actually considering it for real-money wagering.

Game Features – You should always consider the game features that are available with a given poker site. Game features such as hand history, multiple simultaneous playing windows, player notes, audible and visual indicators, player statistics, connection status indicator, player chat, turbo games, and screen options should always be considered.

Rake – Rake is the amount of the pot that the poker site takes (as part of its fee for doing business), from each hand. You should always be aware of how much rake a poker site takes (compared to another site). Poker sites usually use a Weighted Contribution rake method or an Average Contribution method, when calculating rake. Obviously, the lower the rake, the more money you will take home on hand wins, but this criteria by itself should not dictate which poker site you use, since all of the above factors need to be taken into consideration as well. In summary, the aforementioned criteria should always be used, when deciding which Poker site is best for you. Depending on your preferences, some of these criteria should be given more weight than others. Happy Poker site hunting !!

How Internet Gambling Became a Multi-Billion Dollar Industry

Online wagering only began in the 1990s, but it didn’t take long for it to become a multi-million dollar business. The catalyst for the explosion in online gaming came in 1994, when the government of Antigua Barbuda, an island nation in the Caribbean, passed a law allowing online casinos to operate from their country.

Naturally, many people saw this as a huge opportunity, and two of them, Andrew and Mark Rivkin, formed a company called Cryptologic to write software enabling safe handling of finances in online gambling with till-then unequalled encryption practices. Another big company was formed in 1994 too: Microgaming.

Cryptologic and Microgaming were the two leading companies as afar as gaming technology. Cryptologic was first to make a fully operational gaming platform with electronic money account management. By the end of 1996, InterCasino was up and operational on the web – one of the very first online casinos. It wasn’t long before online casinos were a multi-million dollar industry. Not long after that it stepped up to being a multi-billion dollar industry.

In 1997, Microgaming released Cash Splash, the first online progressive slots game. At this time, players from the US were a large chunk of the online betting population, and this fact drew the attention of Senator John Kyl (R-AZ), who started drafting various legislative bills to stop people from gambling online. The first of these, the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act, did not pass, and Americans continued their love affair with online
betting.

Other world players coming on board the internet casino train during the late 1990s included Argentina, and UK territories Gibralter and Isle of Man, which began online sports betting sites. By 2001, the British Channel Islands legalized online betting, and later that year, there was a push to legalize internet wagering in the UK as a whole.

In 2005, the UK Gambling Act was approved, and it was a boon for the internet casino industry. The law created the UK Gambling Commission to oversee all enforcement of regulations in licensing online gaming sites, preventing underage gambling and ensuring software fairness accreditation and reporting of monthly payout percentages. The Commission also investigates and prosecutes illegal gambling and basically is a very comprehensive online wagering regulatory agency. The UK’s internet wagering oversight is now considered a model for other countries that want to regulate online gambling.

In October 2006, US legislators tried to legislate an end to betting online by American citizens with the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. Then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN), attached the bill to a “must-pass” bill on Port Security aimed at combating global terrorism, claiming that online wagering proceeds were used by offshore companies to fund terrorism. But just before enforcement of this act was to go into place, new legislation was written allowing US citizens to participate in online gaming. Though it has passed from committee, there is no guess as to when or if it will be passed by the House and Senate. That means that currently, US online gamblers exist in a gray area of the law, though public sentiment is growing behind full legalization of online gambling in the US.

Tips On How To Gamble

How would you like to have your name on a check worth thousands of dollars? Actually, it’s not as difficult as you may think. It requires some time and effort on your part; however, the rewards far outweigh the effort that may you put in.

The first thing you should do is research, in order to answer the following questions. Can you make money playing online poker games? Nowadays, it is very common to see online poker games offering interactivity between gamblers such as tournaments. So the answer is yes it is possible to make money.

Can you make a living from online casinos? Yes, you can, but you have to do what the pros do, bet relatively small. Consistency is the key and the most important thing is self-discipline, to avoid impulse betting.

Making money on casinos is not just based on luck. Therefore, it is wise to find out what the fundamentals are before one starts. You really must know how to play the game before you begin.

It’s a good idea never to believe wild stories and claims. For example, someone claims to possess a “secret” system and he repeatedly states “extraordinary, amazing or revolutionary” claims. If this is the case, why aren’t they using their system to make money for themselves? Why would anyone give away secret tips at such a low rate? Could it be because they are looking for suckers to lure into buying into their system? Don’t forget what they say about things being too good to be true?

Just remember anything worthwhile in life requires effort and is never easy