With the pandemic closing down physical casinos, people have been turning to online platforms to play poker. Google has even shown that searches for online poker have reached a five-year peak since mid-March of 2020. Different states have also seen huge jumps in online poker numbers — two such states being New Jersey and Pennsylvania, with the former taking in $79.9 million and the latter taking in $43.1 million in April 2020.
It’s worth noting that this immense increase in numbers is thanks to in-person poker players switching to online poker. Moreover, there is also an influx of new players who want to try online poker due to how convenient it has become. If you’re one of those players looking to enter the online poker world, there are a few things you should first know to prevent any surprises. Below are three of them:
Choose a good banking option
There are many payment methods available, from credit/debit cards to PayPal. However, each comes with its pros and cons. Payment using credit/debit cards might be the most commonly used method, but it may take up to 24 hours for the amount to reflect on your poker account. Not to mention taking your winnings back can take up to a whole week.
A new transaction option is the use of cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency in online gaming has also been on the rise since it keeps a player’s real money safe. It’s a convenient way to pay as well since you can see the transferred money in your gaming account in near real-time. Taking your winnings back is equally fast. This is because using crypto doesn’t require third-party financial institutions to verify the transactions.
Check if online poker is legal in your state
Chris Moneymaker’s victory in the 2003 World Series of Poker resulted in a poker boom that involved an unregulated online poker market. In 2011, the FBI shut down poker sites within the country and blocked U.S.-facing poker sites. Although the U.S. now has strict anti-online gaming laws, there have since been states that have legalized online poker. The first state to do so was Nevada, and the current sole site in legal operation is WSOP.com, backed by Caesars Entertainment. However, several other states are beginning to legitimize online poker, with Michigan being one of the latest in 2019 with the site PokerStars.
If you don’t live in a state where online poker is legal, you can still register on their poker sites, though you may or may not be able to deposit money. In terms of playing, treat it as a land-based casino — you don’t have to be a legal resident, but you can play if you visit the state.
Familiarize yourself with your poker software
Poker is a game of information — and there is software out there that can help pros and amateurs alike get important statistics that will help them make better decisions. But before buying online poker software, you should know what you want to get out of it.
There are three kinds of poker software — pre-creation (which are training type programs), gameplay (which help players decide on their moves), and post-sport (which helps players analyze finished games). For pre-creation, PokerSnowie is a good choice as it uses AI to help you improve by showing you the mistakes you made during play and helping you avoid making them again. For gameplay, software like Poker Tracker 4 are powerful tools. They track your hands, calculate statistics, and offer a HUD of your opponents’ statistics. Finally, the Asian hand converter is an example of post-sport software that lets you look back at the hands played and analyze how the game went.