Online poker is a game where players compete against each other on the internet.
There is no physical location and everyone is playing anonymously, so it is easy to think that online poker would be illegal because of this anonymity.
In fact, many people believe that they will never be “caught” playing it. However, is online poker legal in the United States?
What is Online Poker and What are the Different Types?
Online poker is a card game where players compete against each other on the internet.
The history of online poker is a bit convoluted, but the first online poker room is believed to have been started in 1997.
Unlike brick and mortar poker rooms where players can meet up with other people face to face, online poker is played from home against anonymous opponents across the country or around the world.
There are several different types of games that you can play on an online gambling site.
The three most popular types of online poker are Texas Hold'em, Omaha, and Seven Card Stud.
How Does Online Poker Work?
When you play online poker, the site is acting as your bank and is responsible for keeping track of all your money.
The sites also provide a virtual deck of cards that is shuffled by an RNG (random number generator), which is programmed to generate numbers that are unbiased and random.
This ensures that no cheating can take place on the site. When it is your turn, you will receive cards that are hidden from the other players.
You have to make bets before every round in order for everyone to stay in the hand.
The winner is determined when one person has all of their opponents' money or a set number of rounds is played.
Is Online Poker Legal in the United States?
The legality of online poker is not really clear, but it is generally thought that playing over unregulated sites is legal.
Many people believe that because players are playing against other individuals and not against a “house” (the term used for an institution like casinos where you play against the site itself), online poker is legal.
Many people also believe that it is not legal, but this is mostly because they do not understand how the game works and how players are actually playing against each other.
Why Do People Play Online Poker?
One of the main reasons why people play on unregulated sites is because there is no age requirement to start playing.
Many sites require players to be at least 18, but there is nothing stopping younger people from lying about their age and starting to play online poker games on unregulated websites.
Another reason is that it is easier for international users because they usually do not have the same gambling laws in place as the United States does.
Pros and Cons of Playing on an Unregulated Site
The main benefit is that there is no age requirement.
The downside is that you may be playing against someone who is cheating or has a large advantage over you because they are using bots, which can handle many hands at once and play perfect poker every time.
You also have to worry about whether the site will actually pay you when you win, because there is little to no regulation in place.
Legalities of Playing on a Regulated Site
The legalities are very different for regulated sites versus unregulated ones.
A regulated site is defined by the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) which was signed into law in 2006.
Under this law, the legality is based on whether or not you are gambling online from a state which has legalized it.
If your home state has legal online poker and is regulated by laws similar to those that govern other forms of gambling in the United States then this is considered legal.
However, if you are playing poker in a state which does not allow this type of gambling, then it is considered illegal under the UIGEA.
States that allow playing online poker legally include:
Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware.
States that do not allow playing online poker include:
Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, and Washington.
In the rest of the states, the legality is not clear and is up to interpretation.
The internet is a beautiful and complicated place.
You can find just about anything online and the same goes for playing poker in cyberspace.
We’ve covered everything you need to know about how it works, what types there are, if it’s legal or not, why people play, pros and cons of unregulated sites versus regulated ones so now all that's left is answering one simple question: Is Online Poker Legal in the United States?
It depends on which state you live in but we have some helpful links below to help answer your questions!
If you want more information about any other aspect of this post then be sure to leave a comment below and we will get back with an informative response as soon as possible.