Getting Started With Online Poker

In the US, the primary lobbying group for online poker is the Poker Alliance. Founded in 1996 in response to threats of an online gambling ban in the US, the Poker Alliance now has over one million members and continues to change its efforts to suit industry needs. In the United Kingdom, the gambling industry has largely been untouched by the regulatory changes, and Slovenia and Germany are in the process of regulating the market. Several South American countries are also in various stages of regulating their own online poker markets.

Getting started with online poker is easy. Before you begin, you’ll need to download the poker software onto your computer. This software requires relatively little memory and shouldn’t take too long to download, even with archaic connections. If you don’t want to download the software to your PC, you can find no-download versions of the poker game at any poker site. However, these no-download games won’t give you all the advantages of the download version.

Most poker sites have sign-up bonuses. These are cash bonuses that will match your first deposit, often up to $500. Other sites offer deposit bonuses as well, so make sure you sign up for all of them. By taking advantage of bonuses, you can make even more money from your online poker games than you’d have otherwise. In fact, most players spend a few hours a week playing online poker and collecting the bonuses that come with them.

When playing online poker, understanding the rankings and starting hands can help you win the game. For example, the 6-5 diamonds has straight flush possibilities, but so does the 8-9-J. You can learn more about online poker strategy and hands by taking advantage of online training resources. If you want to learn about poker strategy from top players, there are numerous free tutorials online. For advanced players, however, a video database with famous poker pros is highly recommended.

However, online poker may not be for everyone. The majority of internet poker sites are operated outside the US and are not subject to the laws that are familiar to many players. To play poker online safely and legally, choose larger and established sites. However, no matter where you play, be sure to check the laws of the country where you live to ensure that the online poker site is legal in your country. The US government has not officially approved online poker, but it’s a good start.

Although West Virginia has a population of under two million, it could become a major market for online poker if other states can share its player pool. The state’s lottery director traveled to neighboring Pennsylvania to discuss the matter. The West Virginia State Lottery is now responsible for devising regulations and issuing licenses to online poker sites. This legislation is only in the beginning stages and more states may follow suit. The sooner online poker becomes legal in the U.S., the better.