The rapid increase in online poker traffic during the COVID-19 pandemic is due to the sudden closure of many live gaming venues in various parts of the world. Most unlicensed gaming venues closed their doors due to the virus, and there was a resulting dearth of live entertainment. Seeing no other options, many casual poker players turned to online poker. Some operators experienced double or triple their traffic during this time. Luckily, there are many resources for learning the basics of online poker.
Before playing online poker, you’ll need to download a poker client. These require a minimum amount of memory on your computer, but should not take long to download even on archaic connections. The good news is that most poker sites also offer a no-download version, which does not require installation. However, you will not get access to all of the features that the full download version of the game offers. To get the most out of these options, you’ll need to sign up with several sites.
As a player, it’s important to be aware of any local laws that may affect you. For example, some states do not allow you to play online poker within their borders. It is illegal to transfer funds to or from a gambling site outside the state that it is operating in, and online poker operators need to make sure that only players from that state are playing in their establishments. Otherwise, they could run afoul of the law.
Before you register for a new account, check the legal status of the site. Only a few states have made online poker legal. While some operators are operating outside of legal jurisdiction, there are still offshore sites that accept players from the US without any kind of preselection. Fortunately, many of the sites listed on this page are offshore, meaning they are fully licensed and safe. It’s also important to check that the site is operated by a US company. The big international poker brands must set up a company based in the US to be legally responsible for their actions in the US.
States that have made online poker legal are New Jersey, Delaware, Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Nevada. The US has made online poker legal in seven states, but the vast majority of states have yet to pass legislation requiring these sites to be licensed. In Delaware, players can play poker at online poker sites operated by Dover Downs, Delaware Park, and Harrington Raceway. All three sites run on 888poker software. Online poker in New Jersey also continues to grow.