Playing poker online is a different kettle of fish altogether as opposed to playing a live poker game. It requires total commitment, patience and self-control especially when playing for profit. Playing poker online can be an easy way to make money, maybe not as much as you would like, but regular, reliable monthly profits. Our aim in this article is to equip you with the necessary poker skills to win consistently whilst playing at internet poker sites.

Unlike other games, you are not playing against the house with an in-built edge against you. Instead you are paying the casino a commission (on your winning pots or entrance fees to tournaments) to play against other gamblers. To succeed you must win more than you lose to pay the rakes.

What is a rake? A rake is the small percentage the casino extracts from most pots as a fee for hosting the poker game. Players should note that the poker sites featuring on our website are reputable; they have state-of-the-art software, they have been certified by eCogra and Affiliate Guard Dog and are well funded. They turn over millions of dollars in revenue every year and will do everything possible to keep their players happy and secure.

Should you decide to play primarily cash games (instead of tournaments) then feel free to browse the online sites we offer that will repay you a percentage of the house rake. Almost all online poker sites take a 5 percent rake or commission from the post-flop. This amount is given away to the site when you win that pot. With a rakeback site you can earn up to 30 percent of this raked money back even if you’re playing fairly low-stake poker.

Once you’ve signed up at an online poker site, you’ll need to register your details, deposit cash from a credit card (ensure that your card protects you from online fraud). Pick a screen name so that other online players can identify you. Some poker sites offer you the chance to pick an Avatar. An Avatar is a cartoon figure, photograph or symbol to represent you online.

New players will have the chance to play in free-rolls, events that are free to enter. These tournaments not only offer you the chance to become familiar with the site’s software and to know fellow players but also to win some good cash. Many free-rolls offer between $500 and $5,000 in prize money and may take place on a weekly or monthly basis. As a new player you will be offered the chance to play in one of these events.

History of Online Poker

The first online card room was introduced by Planet Poker in 1998. Paradise Poker arrived one year later and became the industry leader. However, their reign did not last long and soon they were overtaken by Party Poker owned by Party gaming. Coincidentally it is also the world’s largest poker room accounting for more than 50% of the online poker market. The site was launched in 2001 and licensed in Gibraltar. Presently it boasts an incredible 70,000 players which occupy 8,000 tables during peak traffic.

Party Poker also hosts the annual Million, an offline tournament with over GBP7 million in prizes. Online poker’s popularity is growing at a prodigious pace. In 2003 an estimated 600,000 people played online, this figure has shot up to over 1.3 million. 

Is Internet Poker Legal?

This depends on where you live. Many countries still have to catch up with the phenomenon of internet gambling. Unfortunately gambling legislation in most countries are outdated. Before you place any bets, please check the legality of internet betting in your jurisdiction. 

In the United Kingdom, it is legal to play poker online. The Gambling Act of 2005 legislates remote betting. Remote betting includes all types of betting where the parties involved are not face to face. It includes placing bets over the Internet, telephone, and television. A new organisation, the Gambling Commission, was formally established on 1 October 2005. It is responsible for controlling and regulating licensed online casinos.

In Australia, the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 prohibits operators from providing online gambling services. In most cases individuals are allowed to wager online.

However, the situation is less clear when it comes to the United States. The Wire Act is often cited as the appropriate legislation covering internet betting but specifically deals with operating a sports betting business. Proponents of online gambling argued that it is legal but the US Department of Justice insists otherwise. In 2004 Antigua and Barbuda won a World Trade Organization ruling that the United States legislation criminalizing internet betting violates global laws.

The Lobby

This is the area of an online poker room where you get to choose your games, stakes, style of poker, whether you want to play a cash game or tournament, visit the cashier to withdraw or deposit funds.

From the lobby you can view which games are offered, which tournaments are registering new entries and who is playing. Before signing-up for a real money account ensure that you understand the poker site’s Terms and Conditions first.