There are loads of online poker sites on the internet. Here are a few questions and answers that will help you to get the most from them.
- Is the site secure?
The site should be secured using the same technology than online banking and credit card sites use. The site may be certified by a well known third party that provides secured transaction handling. Trusted third parties include Thawte and Verisign. These companies use encryption to keep communications between your site and the online poker site secure. This means that all details such as your name and address, credit card details and the cards you have been dealt cannot be ascertained by a malicious third party.
- Is poker the same as other forms of casino gambling?
Not really. Most casino games, such as roulette, slot machines and black jack have odds that are in the bank's favour. However, in poker you are not playing against the bank, but against other players. Whilst there is an element of luck in the game, the World Series of Poker tends to have the same bunch of finalists each year. They are either very lucky(!) or poker is a game with a strong element of skill.
- So how do online poker rooms make money? They collect a percentage of the pot, known as the rake. The rake in an online poker room tends to be in the region of 5%. In a bricks and mortar casino the rake is more likely to be in the region of 10% or more as their overheads are higher.
- How are the cards dealt?
The cards are generated using a computer algorithm called a random number generator. This ensures that the cards dealt are truly random, and more likely to be random than hand shuffled and dealt cards.
- Is it legal to play online poker?
Laws in countries across the world vary, so check what the law is in your jurisdiction. The situation in the US is unclear. However, online poker is completely legal in the UK, where is it explicitly regulated.
- How do I find a trustworthy online poker room?
The best way is to choose a poker room that is audited by an independent and respected company, eg 888.com / Pacific Poker are regulated by iTech Labs, an Australian company who specialise in the independent testing and certification of online gaming systems.
Tip: You can fund your online poker using a credit card.