Online poker is experiencing another boom, very much like that of the early noughties.
Back then, a film called Rounders quickly gained a cult following as it highlighted the rewards one could amass from poker. In 2003, when Chris Moneymaker won the World Series of Poker, the success alluded to at the end of the film became a reality. It was as if a touchpaper had been lit, with player numbers increasing rapidly. Online poker had arrived in the mainstream.
The current boom isn’t quite as pronounced but is nonetheless happening. Across the United States, laws are being relaxed, allowing online providers to set up, resulting in strong online poker revenue. When you couple that with the recent pandemic, in which online gaming became increasingly popular as one of the only viable socialising and relaxing methods, you have the perfect storm for boom number two. There’s even a film if you so desire; Molly’s Game recently showcased the world of high stakes poker to a much wider audience.
If you’ve been thinking about joining in and playing online poker, there’s no time like the present. Simply going online and getting started is not easy; there are so many providers, and they might not all suit your needs. That’s why you might find this guide on selecting the right provider for you helpful.
Online poker is pretty much like any sport or competition; there are good players and some very good players. As a novice, you might think about looking for a site that only has the good players in it. Therefore, look for a site that offers some form of levelling, and maybe one that also has tutorials. That won’t just mean understanding which hands are better than others; that’s a prerequisite, but it’ll mean knowing about multi-tabling and other areas specific to online poker.
Staying safe online can be challenging, and the first poker boom ended because of concerns around safety and honesty. The market is much more heavily regulated now, but playing poker online for real money still has pitfalls. Look for an accredited site with plenty of traffic; the more players that are on the site, the more likely it is to be safe. There are usually resources online to help you know good providers from bad, but do a quick Google search for a site review if in doubt. Most reputable sites should be taking steps to protect your digital information, and they will proudly tell you as you sign up. If there are no visible security measures, that should be a big red flag.
Features and Variety
Everybody wants to play differently, and the site you choose should reflect that decision. Some apps are suitable for your smartphone and are coded towards the single-screen, handheld experience. Others will be better on a computer or laptop, but the display is just the start. Did you know there are hundreds of poker variants, all using different wild cards, draw methods and systems? If you’re conversant with Texas Hold’em, there is little point in joining a site that only offers Pot-Limit Omaha.
As a new player, you will find that every provider wants you on board, and they attract new players with bonuses. That might have a bearing on where you choose to play, but don’t simply head for the highest bonus and start there. Using the criteria above, you might have two or three sites left to choose from; only then should you see how much they are paying you to get involved. Pick a bonus that rewards you well and get started. Remember, if a provider fails you, there’s always going to be another one waiting to welcome you with open arms.
Laila Azzahra is a professional writer and blogger that loves to write about technology, business, entertainment, science, and health.