Online poker is an exciting and fast-paced card game that has taken the world by storm. In fact, a few years ago, it was estimated that total online gambling revenues in the United States would reach over $4 billion by 2021, with a sizable portion of that revenue being generated by regulated online poker. This is a tremendous growth opportunity for both the players and the poker sites, but there are some factors to consider when playing online.
The most important factor to take into account when selecting an online poker room is the rakeback offered. Rakeback is a way for online poker rooms to compensate their players for the money they lose to the house. It is typically paid in some form of cash back or in the form of loyalty points that can be exchanged for cash or other bonuses. There are many different ways to calculate rakeback, so it is important to find a site that offers the best value for your dollar.
Aside from rakeback, the next important factor to look for in an online poker room is the amount of traffic it receives. Higher traffic equals more action, and more action usually translates into better payouts. In addition, larger player pools can offer a variety of skill levels, from beginner to pro. This is an excellent feature for newcomers to the game, as it can help them find a level of play they are comfortable with.
Another benefit of online poker is that it allows players to play at more than one table at a time, which would be impossible in brick and mortar casinos. Depending on their skill level and available bankroll, players can make significant profits by playing multiple tables at low stakes. This is how many of today’s professional poker players began their careers, building their bankrolls and progressing through the stakes.
Despite its enormous popularity, the early days of online poker were not without their challenges. In 2011, Congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which made it illegal for banks to process payments related to online gambling, effectively putting a damper on the industry. This spelled disaster for many of the biggest operators, but several smaller companies managed to weather the storm and continue operating.
As a result of these and other events, the online poker landscape has changed significantly. While some people still play free online poker, the vast majority of players are now playing real-money games. In fact, the industry has grown so much that many state governments are considering legalizing it to boost their tax revenues and create jobs. Currently, Nevada and Delaware are the only two states that have legalized it, but Pennsylvania is moving towards that goal and is expected to join them soon. As more and more states legalize online poker, the opportunities for both new and established players will continue to grow exponentially. The potential for big profits will only increase as the regulated market grows.