Getting Started With Online Poker

Online poker is one of the most popular games on the internet. It has seen meteoric growth since its introduction in the 90s, with players coming from all over the country to play at sites that offer a wide variety of games and events. The popularity of the game has even spurred some states to legalize and regulate it. However, players should understand the federal and state gambling laws that affect them before committing to any site.

Getting started with online poker is simple, but mastering the skills takes time and practice. Many sites provide tutorials to help newcomers get acquainted with the rules and strategies of the game. Many also allow players to play for free before they commit to putting real money on the line.

When choosing an online poker site, make sure that it offers the type of games you want to play. Some sites specialize in a specific game, such as Texas hold’em or Omaha. Others are devoted to tournaments, which can be a great way to make some quick cash. In either case, it’s important to make sure that the website has a good user interface and a reliable payments system.

The halcyon days of online poker began to end in 2006, with Congress passing the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). This law targeted the money flow that drove the industry by making it illegal for banks to process payments to poker sites. While this put an immediate damper on the market, some companies continued to operate in the shadow of the law and were eventually forced out of business.